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Posts in "Immigration"
September 6, 2014
Updated 11:46 a.m. | President Barack Obama intends to delay an announcement of executive actions related to immigration until after the mid-term elections, a source with direct knowledge of the White House decision confirmed to CQ Roll Call.
One day after Obama told reporters he planned to announce his executive action on immigration “soon,” he appears to have expanded the definition of “soon” to at least early November.
White House officials told the Associated Press and the New York Times of the decision earlier Saturday.
September 5, 2014
Updated 12:49 p.m. | President Barack Obama brushed off a question Friday at the end of the NATO summit about delaying his immigration executive actions until after the November elections — saying he expects to make an announcement “soon.”
Obama didn’t define “soon.” Nor did he directly address the politics around the issue, with some vulnerable Senate Democrats worried an action before the elections could hurt them at the polls.
Obama said he’s started to received some information from Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. and Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson on steps he can take on his own, and said that he is determined to act. He said he suspects he will have some reading to do on his flight back to Washington, D.C.
“What I’m unequivocal about is that we need immigration reform, that my overriding preference is to see Congress act,” Obama said. “We had bipartisan action in the Senate. The House Republicans have sat on it for over a year. That has damaged the economy. It has held America back. It is a mistake. And in the absence of congressional action, I intend to take action to make sure that we’re putting more resources on the border, that we’re upgrading how we process these cases, and that we find a way to encourage legal immigration and give people some path, so that they can start paying taxes, and then pay a fine and learn English and be able to not look over their shoulder but be legal, since they’ve been living here for quite some time.”
September 2, 2014
President Barack Obama might act in the next few weeks on immigration. Or he might not. He might wait until after the November elections. But politics isn’t his top priority.
At least, that’s all according to his spokesman.
“There is the chance that it could be before the end of the summer. There is the chance that it could be after the summer,” said Press Secretary Josh Earnest.
Earnest was peppered Tuesday with questions about Obama’s previous, and possibly inoperative, declaration that he would act without delay on immigration once he received a report from his attorney general and Homeland Security secretary on his legal authority to act at the end of the summer.
The declared end date of “end of summer” has now become a fudged up timeline, with reports that the White House will delay acting — at least in part — until after the November elections to protect vulnerable Senate Democrats in red states.
Earnest said that politics wasn’t the president’s “top priority” — that getting the policy correct was.
But that increasingly sounds like someone trying to declare that there isn’t gambling going on at Rick’s.
August 27, 2014
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest warned Republicans against trying to defund the president’s coming executive actions granting deportation relief to illegal immigrants.
“We would hope that Republicans wouldn’t do the same thing again,” Earnest said Wednesday, referring to last year’s failed effort to defund Obamacare.
The threat articulated by some congressional Republicans in recent days won’t affect the president’s thinking, Earnest said.
“The president has determined to take the kinds of common sense steps that are required to address the worst problems of our broken immigration system. Nothing the president does is a replacement for the kind of robust solution that passive bipartisan support through the United States Senate, but the president is determined to act where House Republicans won’t, and there is strong support for that all across the country. … So, again, it would be a real shame if Republicans were to engage in an effort to shut down the government over a common sense solution like that. But they’ve done it before. Hopefully they won’t do it again.”
The administration has reportedly been considering granting deportation relief and work permits to as many as 5 million people here illegally. Full story
August 6, 2014
President Barack Obama pushed back on the idea that he’s an imperial president Wednesday, saying that while he is considering additional executive orders on immigration and in other areas, he is “bound by the Constitution.”
A reporter asked the president about a quote from his campaign railing against then-President George W. Bush acting on his own without going to Congress. Obama said he doesn’t have “a green light” to act as he chooses.
“I’m bound by the Constitution. I’m bound by separation of powers. There’s some things we can’t do,” he said at a news conference tied to a major U.S.-Africa summit. “Congress has the power of the purse, for example.” Full story
July 31, 2014
The White House torched House Republicans’ plan to vote to block President Barack Obama from granting deportation relief to any new people in the country illegally.
Republicans say the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program has acted as a magnet for the surge in unaccompanied children across the border, even though recent immigrants are not eligible. And Republicans are demanding that Obama not expand that relief amid reports he’s considering granting “administrative amnesty” and work permits to as many as 5 million more unauthorized immigrants.
Here’s Press Secretary Josh Earnest’s statement:
July 30, 2014
The White House threatened to veto the House’s $659 million border supplemental Wednesday, saying it could actually make the child migrant crisis worse.
The veto threat could buck up Democrats looking to kill the bill in an effort to push Republicans to pass a more generous version.
“Republicans have had more than a year to comprehensively fix the Nation’s broken immigration system, but instead of working toward a real, lasting solution, Republicans released patchwork legislation that will only put more arbitrary and unrealistic demands on an already broken system,” the White House’s Office of Management and Budget said in a Statement of Administration Policy. Full story
July 29, 2014
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest slammed the House GOP’s $659 million border crisis package Tuesday as too skimpy to address the crisis and containing partisan provisions that could prove unworkable, although he stopped short of a veto threat.
Earnest said House Republicans haven’t treated the border crisis with the same level of “urgency” as President Barack Obama, who requested $3.7 billion for the border crisis. And he ripped the GOP for not adding funding for wildfires or for Israel’s Iron Dome. Full story
July 25, 2014
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest pronounced himself a cynic when it comes to chances the House will act to pass an emergency border supplemental before going home for the August recess.
Earnest said Friday that his “cynicism” is due to Speaker John A. Boehner’s comments Thursday that he was still talking about it with his members, suggesting the GOP is still arguing amongst itself about what to do.
“If there are additional proposals that Congress will actually act on, we’re certainly willing to have conversations with them about what they’re willing to do,” Earnest said. “But again, all we’re hearing from the speaker of the House is talk that’s not backed up by any action.” Full story
July 21, 2014
The flood of unaccompanied child migrants crossing the Southwest border has slowed this month to about 150 a day, but a $3.7 billion border supplemental remains “critical,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Monday.
President Barack Obama will meet Monday with his homeland security council — Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell, and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel — to discuss the border crisis, Earnest said.
Earnest suggested White House efforts are starting to result in fewer child migrants — although at 150 a day, that’s still nearly 55,000 per year.
Earnest said the supplemental spending request pending in Congress remains “critical” to addressing the crisis and preventing it from happening in the future.
Last week, Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, indicated he was losing confidence that a supplemental spending bill would pass before the August recess.