Thousands of immigrants who are in the United States illegally started lining up on January 2 at Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) offices across California to apply for driver's licenses. Legislation giving this privilege to illegal aliens (Assembly Bill 60) was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown in October 2013 but it just became effective this month.
In a closed-door meeting on January 7, House Republicans discussed the best strategy to prevent President Obama from implementing his administration’s executive action on immigration policy. That policy, put into effect by Obama’s presidential memorandum on November 21 and Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson’s executive action memorandum on November 20, would provide for “deferred action” — or amnesty — to delay the deportations of millions of illegal aliens.
Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.), is prepared to introduce legislation in the 114th Congress that would reverse President Obama’s executive action to defer deportations and grant work permits for up to five million illegal aliens. Other members of Congress have introduced bills to prohibit the use of funds to carry out the Obama executive actions granting amnesty to illegal aliens.
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who has topped most recent opinion polls gauging public opinion of likely candidates for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, has been criticized by conservatives for his advocacy of a “path for citizenship” for illegal immigrants. He has often used that term and other language that is closer to that employed by President Obama (e.g., a “broken” immigration system) than to the more accurate descriptions of these situations employed by those who advocate strict enforcement of our immigration laws.
A report in Voice of America (VOA) on December 29 predicted that President Obama’s recent executive action to protect some illegal aliens from being deported may actually have killed prospects of the president reaching a comprehensive immigration agreement with Congress in 2015.
In an interview with NPR broadcast December 29, President Obama posed the rhetorical question: “By me having taken these [executive] actions, does that spur those voices in the Republican Party who I think genuinely believe immigration is good for our country?... Or does it simply solidify what I do think is a nativist trend in parts of the Republican Party?”
Angela Navarro, who has been living in the United States illegally since 2003, has recently taken up residence in a Philadelphia church to avoid deportation. It is an unofficial policy among immigration officials not to apprehend illegal aliens who seek sanctuary in churches.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released its fiscal year (FY) 2014 enforcement statistics on December 19 in an ICE report that indicated that “overall removals” (deportations) had declined.
In an opinion filed on December 16, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, federal Judge Arthur Schwab said President Obama’s immigration actions are invalid, effectively count as “legislation” from the executive branch, and concludes that they are “unconstitutional.”
Senator Rand Paul today introduced the Preventing Executive Overreach on Immigration Act on December 12. The bill (which has not yet been assigned a bill number, but has been placed on the Senate’s legislative calendar) is companion legislation to Rep. Ted Yoho’s bill of the same name (H.R. 5759) that passed the House of Representatives on December 4, 2014 on a 219-197 vote.
Leon Rodriguez, the director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), told Spanish-speaking reporters during a conference call that “undocumented” (illegal) immigrants should be able to start applying for deferred action granting them protection from deportation and work permits in February and May.