Obama Must Act | The Real Republican Immigration Agenda
Hi, my name is Neal Datta and I’m an immigration attorney here in New York City. And today is November 6, 2014. And I thought this is a good time to review the effect of the recent midterm elections on the prospects of immigration reform. And whether or not Obama really is going to have to take steps of his own in order to try to help resolve the immigration status of about the eleven million people that are estimated to be in the United States without lawful status. And its important to delineate that there’s two different things that are meant when you hear the term “immigration reform.” One of them is immigration reform which makes it more difficult to regularize your immigration status and leads to more deportations and the other one which might help people who are here without status regularize their status.
The Senate already passed a comprehensive immigration reform bill. The House which was previously conservative controlled had the bill there, had the perfect opportunity to vote on it. And they didn’t. And that means that whatever was encompassed in that bill is not something that is acceptable to the republicans and anything that comes out of them next term is going to be less like the bill that came out of the Senate if any, its not going to be better.
The central issue which is how do we assist those people in the United States who have no lawful status. There’s a whole other section that has to do with temporary workers from other countries so that they can work temporarily on farms and agriculture and slaughter houses, that’s a whole other issue, there’s another one that has to do with increasing the number of visas that will be available to scientists and people with engineering and mathematics degrees, that’s yet another one.
What I’m mostly concerned about is the humanitarian side of the immigration reform debate. And that has to do with dealing with the people that are here, that have families that are here, that have been here for many years.
When the republicans are talking about reform, they’re talking about something entirely different than what the Democrats are. And recently the Heritage Foundation, which is well known conservative organization, came out with a “Ten-Step Checklist for Revitalizing Americans Immigration System.” And what’s interesting about it is it provides a map for the conservative view on how immigration reform should take place. And the points that they want.
The first and most important item that they list on their plan, is that first congress remove all forms of “EXECUTIVE Policy Directives” that ignore or contradict existing laws.
The most recent examples of those are the “Differed Action for Early Childhood Arrivals Program”. Resulted in more than more than 670,000 people obtaining a Differed Action Status and the authority to work in the United States, the capacity to obtain a social security number, perhaps a drivers license, insurance, buy property, live here work, and basically become participating members of our society. And those are people who came to the United States before they were 16, years old. That’s the number 1 item on their list. Remove all Executive policy directives.
The second and most important item that their asking for is that the “law order” that the immigration agencies tasked with enforcing the law be left alone without any interference or political pressure from the Executive Office.
The other issues that they focus on are providing Customs Border and Protection with more technology and infrastructure, which is another way of saying to further militarize the borders.
So the thrust of the plan that the Democrats, that the Republicans have is revoke the status that was given to anybody who didn’t have any status before. Increase the militarization of the border, and let the police who are in charge of deporting people make all the policy decisions as to how an who should be deported. There’s no mention of any type of earned citizenship. There’s no mention of any type of any temporary status. There’s no mention of anything of that kind, with less consideration of humanitarian factors and absolutely no consideration for actually the humanity, and the humanitarian factors and the families, and the actual people that are affected by the immigration laws.
The final debate is well what’s the president going to do. What are the chances of any immigration reform legislation coming out of legislature in the next two years that the president can sign that will actually have some element of helping people without status obtain status. If he’s going to do anything in the next two years to help immigrants then in my opinion the only way he’s going to do it is using the Executive Authority granted to him under existing law, in particularly Section 212(d)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
If it does happen you can of course check back. You can bet that there’ll be some more information I provide if that does happen. And of course if any of you have any questions feel free to send emails and that’s it. I hope you guys have gotten some important information, useful information and thank you for listening. Thank you.