Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
December 21, 2014

Posts in "Immigration"

December 10, 2014

White House Thinks GOP Will Blink on Immigration Action

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Obama is betting the GOP is bluffing on defunding border security. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The White House sounds ready to call the GOP’s bluff on President Barack Obama’s immigration action.

GOP leaders are suggesting the real fight will happen next year, when the Homeland Security funding in the “cromnibus” — what makes it a cromnibus and not just a plain old omnibus — expires in February. Full story

By Steven Dennis Posted at 2:22 p.m.
Immigration

December 9, 2014

Obama: Back Immigration Action Because of Christmas, Bible

President Barack Obama implied Tuesday that the Christmas spirit should have people backing his executive action on immigration.

During his immigration question-and-answer session in Tennessee, a member of the clergy wished him a “joyful and blessed Christmas.”

Obama thanked him.

“I appreciate that, Father. It’s worth considering the Good Book when you’re thinking about immigration. This Christmas season there’s a whole story about a young, soon-to-be-mother and her husband of modest means looking for a place to house themselves for the night, and there’s no room at the inn.

“And as I said the day that I announced these executive actions, we were once strangers too. And part of what my faith teaches me is to look upon the stranger as part of myself. And during this Christmas season, that’s a good place to start.

“So thank you for your generous comment. But if we’re serious about the Christmas season, now is a good time to reflect on those who are strangers in our midst, and remember what it was like to be a stranger.”

The 114th: CQ Roll Call’s Guide to the New Congress

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Obama Immigration Action Full Speed Ahead

Congress isn’t going to stop President Barack Obama’s immigration action. Not this week, not next year.

That’s the view of Obama, and he’s going full speed ahead to implement his order.

As he made clear on Tuesday at a Q&A on immigration in Tennessee, the president will be reaching out across the country so the 4 million people eligible for his new temporary executive amnesty program — including deportation relief and work permits — feel comfortable coming forward and applying. Full story

By Steven Dennis Posted at 6:02 p.m.
Immigration

November 25, 2014

Obama on Immigration: ‘I Just Took an Action to Change the Law’

President Barack Obama’s big immigration speech in Chicago Tuesday included a stunning aside as he talked down hecklers upset at his deportation record.

“What you’re not paying attention to is, I just took an action to change the law,” he said to them, saying he couldn’t understand why the hecklers would still be mad at him.

He also noted that his actions changing enforcement priorities would apply to “everyone” — i.e., all immigrants here illegally, not just the more than four million the administration estimates will qualify for work permits and deportation relief under his latest immigration action. Full story

By Steven Dennis Posted at 7:20 p.m.
Immigration

November 20, 2014

Obama to Republicans: Don’t Shut Down the Government Again (Video)

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(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

President Barack Obama’s forceful, emotional speech announcing his immigration executive action had a not-so-subtle message to Republicans: Don’t try and stop me.

“To those members of Congress who question my authority to make our immigration system work better or question the wisdom of me acting where Congress has failed, I have one answer: pass a bill,” he said. “I want to work with both parties to pass a more permanent legislative solution. And the day I sign that bill into law, the actions I take will no longer be necessary.

“Meanwhile, don’t let a disagreement over a single issue be a deal-breaker on every issue. That’s not how our democracy works, and Congress shouldn’t shut down our government again just because we disagree on this.”

Full story

Obama Speech Excerpts — Says ‘Real Amnesty’ is Doing Nothing (Video)

The White House has released speech excerpts President Barack Obama plans to deliver on his executive action on immigration:

“That’s the real amnesty – leaving this broken system the way it is.  Mass amnesty would be unfair.  Mass deportation would be both impossible and contrary to our character.  What I’m describing is accountability – a commonsense, middle ground approach:  If you meet the criteria, you can come out of the shadows and get right with the law.  If you’re a criminal, you’ll be deported.  If you plan to enter the U.S. illegally, your chances of getting caught and sent back just went up.

The actions I’m taking are not only lawful, they’re the kinds of actions taken by every single Republican President and every Democratic President for the past half century.  And to those Members of Congress who question my authority to make our immigration system work better, or question the wisdom of me acting where Congress has failed, I have one answer:  Pass a bill.” Full story

By Steven Dennis Posted at 6:40 p.m.
Immigration

Obama Would Veto Any Bill Undoing Immigration Executive Action (Updated) (Video)

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Immigration reform protesters hold up signs in front of the White House on Aug. 29. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 6:52 p.m. | President Barack Obama would veto any legislation hatched by Republicans to undo his immigration executive action granting relief to millions, according to a senior administration official.

The official left no doubt that the White House is prepared for a shutdown standoff if Republicans attach a rider to the upcoming spending bill needed to keep the government open past Dec. 11.

In a background briefing ahead of the president’s primetime speech Thursday, four senior administration officials detailed the president’s sweeping new executive actions — the winners and the losers — and the legal basis for them.

Ultimately, the president decided to act this week after consulting with Democratic leaders, concluding that Republicans would react the same way whether he acted now or later, so “Why wait,” said one official. Full story

Obama’s Own Words on Immigration Are Republicans’ Best Ammo

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Republicans are using Obama’s arguments against executive action on immigration against him. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images File Photo)

President Barack Obama spoke so many times against taking broad executive action to end deportations that he’s left Republicans with an arsenal of ammo to use against him.

Kentucky Republican Mitch McConnell, the incoming Senate majority leader, vowed “action” will be taken against the president by the new Congress, after excoriating the president for doing what he said he couldn’t.

McConnell, quoting Obama, said: “‘Democracy is hard,’ he said during a commencement speech in Miami three years ago. ‘But it’s right. [And] changing our laws means doing the hard work of changing minds and changing votes, one by one.’”

“As someone who well understands just how difficult the work of changing minds and votes can be, I couldn’t agree more with the president’s statement,” McConnell continued. Full story

November 19, 2014

Obama Will Announce Immigration Action in Primetime (Video)

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After rallying at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement headquarters, immigration reform protesters march to the White House on Aug. 28, where about 130 were arrested on the sidewalk. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In a video posted to Facebook, President Barack Obama said he will announce his immigration executive actions Thursday night and speak again in Las Vegas on Friday at Del Sol High School.

Obama says in the video he will lay out what he can do with his “lawful authority” as president while still working with Congress on an immigration overhaul.

Speaker John A. Boehner’s spokesman Michael Steel, however, said taking action on his own would “ruin” chances of getting anything done. Full story

By Steven Dennis Posted at 1:20 p.m.
Immigration

‘Emperor Obama’ Warned Against Immigration Executive ‘Amnesty’

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Obama is expected to announce his immigration overhaul Friday. (Reuters File Photo)

With the White House appearing near to announcing a broad executive amnesty in the coming days, a spokesman for Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, warned of blowback.

“If ‘Emperor Obama’ ignores the American people and announces an amnesty plan that he himself has said over and over again exceeds his Constitutional authority, he will cement his legacy of lawlessness and ruin the chances for Congressional action on this issue — and many others,” said Boehner spokesman Michael Steel.

Steel has also noted the numerous times that President Barack Obama has said he doesn’t have the authority to stop deportations on his own without Congress. Full story

By Steven Dennis Posted at 11:20 a.m.
Immigration

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