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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Immigration and the Civil Rights Summit

With comprehensive immigration reform off the table for now, immigration advocates have turned to the issue of deportations, particularly of family members.  The Obama administration has reached 2 million deportations and advocates are urging the President to change his policies and consider the welfare of children and families:

Report: Deportations Quadrupled With Obama, Two-Thirds Were For Minor Offenses

UT students were among those protesting deportations both Wednesday afternoon and Thursday during the Civil Rights Summit, with a large march from the UT Tower to the LBJ Library:

Students Protest Ahead of Obama's Civil Rights Speech

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Activists try to put immigration back on the agenda

Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) has a district that is changing - and may lead to a new focus on immigration reform:

As Hispanic population booms, immigration debate comes to key Republican’s Va. district

Meanwhile, in Florida:

Miami immigrant rights group to host annual awards dinner with hopes for immigration reform

A network of young immigrants are looking to President Obama to cut back on deportations:

Young Immigrants Turn Focus to President in Struggle Over Deportations

While other advocates began a nation-wide bus tour that will stop in key congressional districts in Texas:

Cross-country trek embarks for immigration reform

Read more here:



Thursday, February 13, 2014

Boehner says immigration reform off the table for this year

House Speaker John Boehner surprised many analysts last week, saying that passing immigration reform was unlikely before the 2014 midterm elections. The rationale behind this is complicated as noted in this article from the New York Times:

Behind Retreat on Immigration, a Complicated Political Interplay

Why are many Republicans against a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants? This cartoon helps explain part of the reason...

Meanwhile, Senator Chuck Schumer has been looking for ways to get around the roadblocks in the House:

Schumer Offers Long-Shot Option to Skirt House G.O.P. on Immigration

To see an  in-depth look at immigration issues that have come up this week in Europe, check out my Europe blog:

Saturday, February 1, 2014

GOP Unveils Immigration Principles, Obama Facing Tough Choices

On Thursday the GOP presented their "Immigration Principles" which are expected to lay the groundwork for legislation going forward - the principles call for legalization but not a path to citizenship:

President Obama, who has previously called for a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants has said he is open to compromise with the House:

"The quandary for Mr. Obama is clear: He has vowed to overhaul immigration in two presidential campaigns, but to make good on the promise, he may have to agree to conditions from House Republicans that will be hard for many Democrats to accept. Mr. Boehner is facing pressure of his own to come up with a plan that will appeal to Hispanic voters."

Speaker John A. Boehner’s blueprint may force President Obama to decide whether to abandon a new path to citizenship. Doug Mills/The New York Times

Editorial from the New York Times:

Jennifer Rubin highlights the challenges that reform proposals will face:


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Immigration Rising on House GOP Agenda - Obama backs off while States charge ahead

A crowd gathers on the National Mall for an immigration reform rally. | M. Scott Mahaskey/POLITICO

Conservative blogger Jennifer Rubin finds cause for optimism on the immigration reform front in the house as leaders begin to stake out positions:

The Hill also reports that the 3rd ranking House Republican is calling for legal status, but not citizenship, for undocumented immigrants:

Meanwhile, President Obama is holding off on taking any executive action to allow the House time to work out a deal:

Meanwhile, states have been taking action on immigration in the absence of a bill passing at the federal level;

Source: National Immigration Law Center

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Immigration Texas is back! Stories on the state of play in the House and Europe's concerns over intra-EU migration

House Speaker John Boehner and Rep. Eric Cantor

The politics of immigration hasn't changed much since my last post in July.  The House of Representatives has not taken action on the Senate's comprehensive bill, and the current expectation is that some action might be taken in the Spring:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is joining with business interests, labor and immigration advocates to push for action by the House:

In Europe, immigration from Bulgaria and Romania has raised issues about intra-EU migration:

The issue has impacted German politics as well as in Britain:
But some say the issue has been overblown:

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Senate passes amended reform bill -- Obama and Bush (!) Push House to take up the Senate Bill

Immigration Texas has been on hiatus for the last month, but immigration legislation has moved forward, starting with the passage of the Senate bill, amended to appease Senators who felt the border security measures needed to be more stringent.  However, GOP members of the House of Representatives voiced their displeasure with the Senate bill, even before the final vote:
A group of immigrants and activists for immigration reform, led by Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and CASA, gather to march to urge congress to act on immigration reform, on Capitol Hill in Washington, June 26, 2013. REUTERS-Jonathan Ernst

Final passage came on June 27th with a vote of 68 to 32, with 14 Republicans backing the bill:
In the last few weeks, House Speaker John Boehner has repeatedly said that the House would not take up the Senate bill, and would come up with it's own, and today, GOP House members met to discuss how they would move forward. Some media outlets have gone so far as to say that immigration reform is dead in the House, but that seems to be hyperbole for now as argued by John Ward of the Huffington Post "Immigration Doom And Gloom Is Giving John Boehner Some Room To Operate ":

My own expectation is that the House will work towards passing legislation to give a path to citizenship for DREAMers, a STEM bill that will increase visas for skilled immigrants and allow those who earned advanced degrees to stay in the U.S., and of course, border security. Of course, the House has already voted to stop Obama's DACA executive order: and a DREAM act was supposed to be introduced by democrats in the House earlier this year: (apparently this did not happen) but this legislation would give House Republicans a way to deal with one of the more sympathetic groups of undocumented immigrants, without having to deal with a broader "amnesty."

In the meantime, President Obama is pushing the House to take up the Senate bill ("or similar legislation"):
and former President Bush called for a "positive resolution to the debate":