July 26, 2014
Republican leaders have blocked immigration reform legislation from being heard in the House. Speaker John Boehner said that the House will not vote on a comprehensive immigration reform bill this year.
The most aggressive option in this category would be expanding deferred action to anyone who could have gained legal status under the bipartisan bill that passed the Senate in June 2013.
According to a Congressional Budget Office analysis, the Senate bill would have covered up to 8 million undocumented immigrants. It is unlikely that Obama goes that far. But even more modest steps could provide relief to a population numbering in the seven figures.
“You can get to big numbers very quickly,” says Marshall Fitz, director of immigration policy at the Center for American Progress, a progressive think tank.Rep.Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill) who met with the President last week was quoted in the Los Angles Times:
"We sat down with the president... and we said to him, 'Mr. President, we want you to be as generous and broad and wise as the Republicans have been small and mean-spirited."Republicans have served as obstructionists in the immigration debate for years. Most block comprehensive immigration reform for two reasons – to please extreme right-wind conservatives who are against reform (even though polls show the majority of Americans support it) and to block anything that President Obama and the Democrats support.
Adding to the debate has been the recent influx of undocumented children pouring over the borders to flee abusive situations in their Central American. countries. This is a human rights issue as much as it is an immigration issue. Children should not be deported back to unstable countries to face suffering or death.
I hope President Obama steps up and uses executive orders to do as much as is legally possible. The U.S. Congress has failed to effectively serve the people of the United States for years. It is past time to take action, especially for the legal, longterm nonresidents of the CNMI.