March 6: Fox News: GOP supports Trump new immigration order
Republican lawmakers largely endorsed President Trump’s revised immigration executive order on Monday and suggested it addressed concerns they had about the original measure, even as a coalition of Democratic attorneys general and civil rights groups prepared for a new round of legal action. House Speaker Paul Ryan, who had voiced reservations about the original travel ban rollout, said the new version advances “our shared goal” of protecting the United States. Another Republican critical of the original version, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, said he believes the revised order will “pass legal muster.”
February 21: Lifezette: Supremes to consider whether foreigners
have protections afforded US citizens when they are foreign soil
The Supreme Court on Tuesday is taking up a case that presents a critical question of law: Can a U.S. law enforcement officer be sued in American courts for the death of a foreigner outside the United States? For most of American history, the answer to that question has been a clear and emphatic “no.” Courts for two centuries have held that constitutional rights do not apply to foreigners with no voluntary connection to the United States.
February 21: The Hill: 80% of Americans oppose sanctuary cities
An overwhelming majority of Americans believe that cities that arrest illegal immigrants for crimes should be required to turn them over to federal authorities. The poll shows that President Trump has broad public support in his effort to crack down on sanctuary cities. A survey from Harvard–Harris Poll found that 80 percent of voters say local authorities should have to comply with the law by reporting to federal agents the illegal immigrants they come into contact with.
As it stands, hundreds of cities across the nation — many with Democratic mayors or city councils — are refusing to do so.
Trump has signed an executive order directing Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly to find ways to starve these sanctuary cities of federal funding. A Reuters analysis found the top ten sanctuary cities in the US receive $2.27 billion in federal funding for programs ranging from public health services to childhood education.
February 18: Reuters: Eight people flee U.S. for Canada, seeking asylum
As a U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officer seized their passports and questioned a man in the front passenger seat of a taxi that had pulled up to the border in Champlain, New York, four adults and four young children fled the cab and ran to Royal Canadian Mounted Police on the other side. One by one they scrambled across the snowy gully separating the two countries. RCMP officers watching from the other side helped them up, lifting the younger children and asking a woman, who leaned on her fellow passenger as she walked, if she needed medical care. The children looked back from where they had come as the U.S. officer held the first man, saying his papers needed to be verified.
February 15: Houston Chronicle: Galveston Negotiate Cooperation Agreement with ICE
Commissioners on Tuesday voted 4-1, Commissioner Stephen Holmes opposed, to enter negotiations to eventually allow ICE to install a computer system at the Galveston County Jail that would allow deputies to more quickly identify inmates who are in the U.S. illegally. Sheriff Henry Trochesset told commissioners that ICE would pay for the computer system and the training of deputies who will work with the agency.
Holmes raised concerns about unanticipated expenses and civil rights lawsuits. Trochesset said that ICE was approaching nearly every county in Texas in an attempt to enlist their cooperation in the program. The program would only apply to the inmates after their arrest, Trochesset said. "Only once they are arrested and in custody does this program move forward," he said.
February 14: The Washington Times: Immigration Groups Demand
the Release of a Dreamer-Gang Member Arrested
Immigration officials said Tuesday they are detaining an illegal immigrant Dreamer because of his gang ties, sparking a new round of protests from immigrant-rights groups who said President Trump is breaking his own promises by trying to deport the young man. Daniel Ramirez, who was picked up by ICE agents late last week, was granted a temporary deportation amnesty by President Obama under his 2012 policy known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. But U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said he’s a “self-admitted gang member.” That puts him in violation of the DACA policy and would have made him a priority for deportation even under President Obama, much less Mr. Trump.
February 3: The Gateway Pundit: White House to file emergency stay request against Judge’s ruling on refugees
On Friday a federal judge who has been a supporter of the radical and violent Black Lives Matters group halted President Trump’s temporary suspension of immigration from seven countries that have a history of terrorism. In a matter of minutes the White House and Department of Justice responded to this latest development by saying that an emergency request is being filed to stop the judge’s nationwide halt of President Trump’s immigration order according to CNN.
January 31: The Houston Chronicle: Governor Abbott calls for an
emergency session to address sanctuary cities:
Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday declared a ban on so-called sanctuary cities and sweeping reforms in the state's troubled child-protection system as top priorities for emergency action this legislative session. "Elected officials do not to pick and chose which laws to enforce," Abbott said in his State of the State speech, insisting that state and local officials "must protect Texas" from deadly criminals.
To cheers and a standing ovation as he addressed a joint session of the Legislature, Abbott said elected officials should not have the option of whether to enforce state and federal laws on immigration -- an obvious reference to his ongoing fight with Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez.
January 31: Fox News: Acting Attorney General fired for refusing to do her duty
“Sally Yates deserved to get canned. Now, the bar association should consider yanking her license to practice law,” says one critic. In defying President Trump’s executive order on immigration, the Acting Attorney General flouted the law and violated ethics that govern lawyers.
It is not the prerogative of the Attorney General to decide what laws are constitutional. That is the job of the courts. As the chief law enforcement officer, she does not get to pick and choose which laws to enforce and which ones to ignore. She is duty-bound to defend and enforce all laws, including presidential executive orders.
January 30: CBS News Los Angeles: California to Consider Enactment of Statewide Sanctuary
California may prohibit local law enforcement from cooperating with federal immigration authorities, creating a border-to-border sanctuary in one of the nation’s largest states as the Democrat-controlled California ramps up efforts to battle President Trump’s immigration policies. By taking this step California is risking the denial of all Federal funding for the state. It was San Francisco, remember, that had an illegal alien who had been deported five times shoot an unsuspecting visitor on a local wharf.
January 28: The New York Times: Federal Judge Blocks part of Trump’s Executive Order on Immigration
A federal judge blocked part of President Trump’s executive order on immigration on Saturday evening, ordering that refugees and others trapped at airports across the United States should not be sent back to their home countries. But the judge stopped short of letting them into the country or issuing a broader ruling on the constitutionality of Mr. Trump’s actions.
Lawyers who sued the government to block the White House order said the decision, which came after an emergency hearing in a New York City courtroom, could affect an estimated 100 to 200 people who were detained upon arrival at American airports in the wake of the order that Mr. Trump signed on Friday afternoon, a week into his presidency.
January 27: The White House: Trump places temporary hold on immigration from
possible terrorist connected nations:
Today the President issued an Executive Order placing a temporary hold on immigration from nations believed to a threat to the United States. The hold will last for ninety days while a review of appropriate procedures is being conducted within the administration.
January 25: The White House: Trump Issues an Executive Order on Sanctuary
Jurisdictions Don’t Receive Federal Funding:
A Executive Order issued today says it is the policy of the U.S. government to deny – except as mandated by law – federal funding for jurisdictions that fail to comply with applicable federal immigration laws. It also calls for the prompt removal of those order to be deported and sets a policy of supporting victims and families of victims of crimes committed by removable illegal aliens.
January 25: The White House: President Issues an Executive Order on Immigration:
The President’s Executive Order directs that:
(1) a border wall will be constructed along the southern border of the U.S., monitored and supported by adequate personnel to prevent illegal immigration, drug and human trafficking, and acts of terrorism;
(2) individuals apprehended on suspicion of violating Federal or State law will be held pending proceedings regarding those alleged violations;
(3) determination of individuals’ claims of eligibility to remain in country will be expedited;
(4) individuals whose claims have been rejected will be promptly removed after civil or criminal sanctions have been imposed; and
(5) the Federal government will cooperate with state and local law enforcement to enforce Federal immigration priorities.
January 13: CBS News: Paul Ryan: Trump mass deportations "not happening"
Congressional Republicans are working with the Trump transition team on a solution for immigrants brought illegally to this country as kids, House Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday. Hundreds of thousands of these immigrants gained temporary protections and work permits from President Obama. While campaigning for president, Donald Trump promised to undo those protections, putting the immigrants at risk of deportation, although he said last month he hoped to “work something out” to help them.
Ryan didn’t detail what Congress and Mr. Trump would do about the program, called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. But when questioned on a CNN town hall by a woman who identified herself as a DACA recipient with a young daughter, Ryan told her he did not want to see her deported. “I can see you love your daughter, you are a nice person who has a great future ahead of you, and I hope your future is here,” Ryan said.
January 6: The Washington Post: Hill Republicans willing to fund a southern border wall, despite the cost:
Republicans on Capitol Hill say they don’t need to wait for Mexico to make good on President-elect Donald Trump’s central campaign promise: building a southern border wall. In fact, they are happy to underwrite the wall themselves, at a potential cost of many billions of dollars. The GOP’s willingness to fund Trump’s border wall with taxpayer money could put the party’s deeply held desire to rein in government spending in conflict with its long-standing goal of cracking down on illegal immigration and toughening border security. Nonetheless, many Republicans do not see an inherent conflict.
“It would be a proposal that would cost billions of dollars to get done, but if it’s an appropriate priority for our country, it’s worth spending that kind of money,” said Rep. Luke Messer (R-IN), chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee.
January 3: Reuters News Service: Trump team seeks agency records on border barriers, surveillance
In a wide-ranging request for documents and analysis, President-elect Donald Trump's transition team asked the Department of Homeland Security last month to assess all assets available for border wall and barrier construction. The team also asked about the department's capacity for expanding immigrant detention and about an aerial surveillance program that was scaled back by the Obama administration but remains popular with immigration hardliners. And it asked whether federal workers have altered biographic information kept by the department about immigrants out of concern for their civil liberties.
The requests were made in a Dec. 5 meeting between Trump's transition team and Department of Homeland Security officials, according to an internal agency memo reviewed by Reuters. The document offers a glimpse into the president-elect's strategy for securing the U.S. borders and reversing polices put in place by the Obama administration.
December 28: The San Jose Mercury-News: California DMV licensed 800.000 undocumented
immigrants: Impact on voting?
On the day that California officials implemented a controversial law that allows undocumented residents to obtain driver’s licenses, DMV offices throughout the state were packed with immigrants looking to take advantage of the opportunity. Two years after the implementation of AB 60 on Jan. 1, 2015, an estimated 806,000 undocumented residents have received driver’s licenses, according to Department of Motor Vehicles statistics this month. About 14,000 of these licenses were issued in November alone, the DMV said.
Critics of the law point to another state “motor-voter” law, AB 1461, that starting in 2017 will automatically register most licensed California drivers to vote, arguing it could lead to election fraud if non-citizens barred from voting in federal elections become registered. State officials said there are safeguards in the system to prevent undocumented licensees from being registered to vote.
December 15: The Washington Times: Illegal migration levels hit new high
More than 15,000 illegal immigrants traveling as families were nabbed at the U.S.-Mexico border in November — a massive increase that marks the worst November on record, and the second-worst overall, according to new statistics released Thursday by Homeland Security. The number of children traveling without parents also ticked up, topping 7,000 for the month, but it’s the surge of families that’s straining the Border Patrol and testing the Obama administration’s resolve.
Combined, the children and families fleeing Central America for the U.S. have reshaped the challenges of the illegal migration problem, sending the overall level of illegal immigration back to levels that haven’t been seen in years. November’s 47,214 illegal immigrants caught is 44 percent than the level in 2015, and is the worst November in years.
December 9: The Daily Signal: How Trump can put an end to sanctuary cities:
Just a few weeks ago, President-elect Donald Trump said, “Cities that refuse to cooperate with federal authorities will not receive taxpayer dollars.” During the Obama administration’s tenure, over 300 cities—including Houston and New Orleans—have provided safe haven for illegal immigrants, and over 170,000 convicted criminal illegal immigrants who have been ordered to be deported remain at-large. But now there is optimism that something may finally be done to address this issue.
Ending these policies is not so much about imposing new and burdensome immigration laws, as about simple enforcement of our current laws and ensuring local law enforcement jurisdictions work collaboratively with federal immigration authorities when they come across criminal illegal immigrants.
December 8: The Sun (of London): 1,500 highly-trained ISIS terrorists in Europe are ready to launch attacks
An estimated 5,000 European ISIS fanatics went to Syria and Iraq and 15 to 20 per cent of them died on the battlefield. Around 30 to 35 per cent have returned with “specific missions”, while the other half remained in the battle theatre – which amounted to between 2,000 and 2,500 Europeans. This means as many as 1,750 may have returned, based on the percentages listed in the report which EU counter-terrorism coordinator Gilles de Kerchove will present to EU interior ministers on Friday.
December 3: Fox News: Video: Krauthammer on “Fair” Immigration
Charles Krauthammer said on the O’Reily Factor the issue of illegal immigration falls into two categories. The first is to secure the border. If that is done, then there would be a rush by a majority of Americans to be generous and humane. But you need to demonstrate to the American people that you have, in fact, secured the border. You also need to go after those who overstay their visas and should be using e-verify so that those who come here will not be able to find work if they are not here legally. O’Reily suggested making ever alien register. Those who failed to do so would be guilty of a felony and immediately put in jail or deported.
November 30: The Daily Signal: Grounded Surveillance Operation has a record of effectiveness on the border.
While surveillance helicopters were grounded in Texas, the head of Customs and Border Protection called the flights critical to “countering illegal immigration” from Mexico. Records bear that out: A government report credited Operation Phalanx with apprehending 110,000 illegal border crossers.
CBP Commissioner Gil Kerlikowske stated in a Nov. 16 letter that Phalanx “provided tangible benefits to border security.” His letter to the Department of Defense was sent two days before it was revealed that CBP’s parent agency, the Department of Homeland Security, had quietly halted border surveillance flights in Texas’ Laredo district.
November 17: Breitbart News: Three Pakistani men apprehended illegally entering the U.S. through Arizona
Three Pakistani men were apprehended after crossing into the U.S. from Mexico in the Tucson Sector. A combination of sources — including official confirmation from Customs and Border Protection (CBP) — revealed the men were in fact apprehended and are currently in U.S. federal custody. “One of the men had his hair dyed blonde to disguise his appearance and all of the men spoke perfect English.”
November 16: The American Mirror: Rio Grande Sector: Border Patrol Nabs 500 Illegals a day!
A recent Fox 7 feature is exposing the work life of U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to Texas’ Rio Grande Valley sector, a 1,254 mile stretch where they’re nabbing about 500 illegal immigrants flooding into the country each day. Supervisory Border Patrol Agent Marlene Castro told the news site the traffic crossing the Rio Grande River from Mexico is unrelenting and impossible to contain, despite the fact that most border jumpers willingly comply with officers. “McAllen station is actually the busiest station in the whole country for illegal entries,” Castro said. “It’s been a group, and then five minutes later another group, and then half an hour later you’ll see another one.”
November 13: CBS News: Trump Outlines How Many illegal aliens may be deported:
President-elect Donald Trump’s hard-line immigration stance was a central part of his campaign message in 2016 -- and he said in an interview airing Sunday that he plans to immediately deport approximately two to three million undocumented immigrants. “What we are going to do is get the people that are criminals and have criminal records, gang members, drug dealers, where a lot of these people, probably two million, it could be even three million, we are getting them out of our country or we are going to incarcerate,” Trump said in an interview with CBS’ “60 Minutes.” “But we’re getting them out of our country, they’re here illegally.” He continued by saying that after the border is “secure,” immigration officials will begin to make a “determination” about the remaining undocumented immigrants in the U.S.
November 11: The Star-Telegram: Officials: 150 Border Patrol Agents being sent to the Rio Grande Valley:
About 150 Border Patrol agents will be deployed to South Texas from Arizona, California and elsewhere to help process a spike in immigrants who have been apprehended after illegally entering the U.S., federal officials announced Saturday. Agents from Tucson, Arizona, and San Diego will be temporarily reassigned to the Rio Grande Valley, and agents working another portion of the Texas border will join them, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a statement.
The additional agents will assist with screening and processing immigrants taken into custody along the border, many of whom are unaccompanied children and families. Hundreds of thousands of people have sought asylum along the U.S.-Mexico border in the last two years, and the majority are Central American families who often turn themselves in as opposed to mostly Mexican men trying to evade capture, according to a federal report obtained last month by The Associated Press.
November 11: Washington Examiner: 1.4 Million Obama Amnesty Applicants on deportation list
Some 1.4 million illegals who followed Obama's request to sign up for two controversial amnesty programs could be among the first to face deportation under the new administration. The reason: In exchange for getting into the two programs, they handed over their identities, home addresses, and admitted to being in the United States illegally, making them the easiest to find and legally deport.
— 1 million are from Mexico.
— 119,788 are from the three countries from which thousands of youths fled in the last three years, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.
— Over half, 607,000 live in California and Texas.
November 11: The Los Angeles Times: California and Trump on a collision course
over immigrants here illegally:
California is quickly becoming a battleground for immigration policy as a cross-section of leaders across the state vowed to fight any plans by President-elect Trump to deport thousands of people in the U.S. illegally. Trump said during the presidential campaign that he’ll build a wall along the US/Mexico border and deport people in the country illegally. He is expected to unwind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, an initiative by President Obama that protects immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children.
California has some of the nation’s most liberal policies when it comes to handling immigrants here illegally. The state has allowed them to get driver’s licenses, health coverage for children and in-state tuition. Institutions like churches also support immigrants. But the Golden State could be on a collision course with Trump if he pushes hard-line immigration policies enthusiastically backed by many of his supporters.
November 9: Bloomberg: Immigration Lawyers Fear Anxious Clients after Trump victory:
Maggie Dunsmuir, an immigration lawyer in Newark, N.J., started getting emails from clients on Tuesday night, around the time the West Coast polls were closing. These aren't the much-hyped liberals vowing to decamp for Canada. She walked into her office on Wednesday to a steady stream of phone calls from people anxious about the status of their cases after the election of Donald Trump—and the suddenly pressing possibility of deportation.
Marilyn Orbach-Rosenberg, who runs a single-attorney firm in the heavily immigrant neighborhood of Jackson Heights, Queens, was planning to take the day off but woke up to about 50 client emails and a note from her assistant suggesting she come to the office to field walk-in and telephone queries.
October 6: Associated Press: Barely Half of Illegal Border Crossers are caught
Immigration authorities caught barely half of the people who illegally entered the U.S. from Mexico last year, according to an internal Department of Homeland Security report that offers one of the most detailed assessments of border security ever compiled. The report found that 54 percent of people who entered illegally between border crossings got caught in the 2015 fiscal year. That's much lower than the 81 percent success rate that Homeland Security cited publicly using a different counting method.
September 18: Fox News Video: Minnesota Reeling over
Terrorist Attack – Questioning Policies to bring Muslims to
the state, no questions asked
Fox News contributor Pete Hegseth said up to ten to fifteen percent of the Minnesota population are Muslim immigrants and many have not assimilated into the overall population. The purpose of the immigration policy was “open arms no matter what. It was open borders. It was the view of the world that the left has,” Hegseth contended. “Nobody ever voted on bring these people here,” he continued. They are not placing them in the backyards of the elites! Donald Trump’s suggestion to push the pause button until they these immigrants can be thoroughly vetted is connecting with many Minnesotans.
September 16: The Daily Caller: Twice Arrested Illegal Alien Kills Sheriff’s Deputy in DUI
A twice-arrested illegal immigrant killed a Kansas sheriff’s deputy on Sunday, a source with knowledge of the case told The Daily Caller. Adrian Espinosa-Flores, 38, was charged Monday with involuntary manslaughter after he allegedly was driving drunk and crashed his pickup truck into a patrol car stopped on the side of the road. The crash killed Johnson County (Kansas) Sheriff’s Department Master Deputy Brandon Collins, 45.
September 6: Judicial Watch: Obama Spends another $10 Million to Register new immigrant voters
Months after the Obama administration spent $19 million to register new immigrant voters that will likely support Democrats in November, it’s dedicating an additional $10 million in a final push as the presidential election approaches. The money is distributed by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the Homeland Security agency that oversees lawful immigration, to organizations that help enhance pathways to naturalization by offering immigrants free citizenship instruction, English, U.S. history and civics courses. Officially, they’re known as “citizenship integration grants.”
Since 2009 USCIS has doled out $63 million in these grants to prepare more than 156,000 resident immigrants in dozens of states for U.S. citizenship, according to the agency’s figures. Besides the free classes, Uncle Sam also offers immigrants free “naturalization legal services,” the latest USCIS grant announcement states. “Recipient organizations serve both traditional immigrant destinations and new immigrant getaway cities in 21 states,” the USCIS document reads. The latest $10 million investment will prepare approximately 25,000 residents from more than 50 countries. More than a dozen states—including California, New York, Florida, Washington and Ohio—with large resident immigrant populations are being targeted as well as cities with huge immigrant populations such as Miami, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco and Washington D.C.
September 1: Lifezette.com: Trump mulls over using seized-cartel assets to pay for the wall
To fund construction of a new U.S. border wall, Donald Trump and senior advisers are considering various ideas, including the use of assets seized from drug cartels and others in the illicit drug trade. Apparently the Trump camp is looking for innovative ways to pay for the construction of the border wall that both countries can support.
Advocates of the “make the cartels pay” plan believe it has the added benefit of punishing the “worst of the worst who bring violence to our streets and prey on innocent Mexicans and Americans,” while giving political cover to both leaders to accomplish their objectives. Sources close to both the Mexican government and the Trump campaign have confirmed that this proposal exists, but wish to remain anonymous given the preliminary nature of the discussions.
August 27: Breitbart News: Trump Promises to “Swiftly” Remove Criminal Illegal Immigrants:
In Des Moines, IA, at an event with Senator Joni Ernst,Trump promises to start “removing criminal illegal immigrants” on day one. That would include”… removing the hundreds of thousands of criminal illegal immigrants that have been released into U.S. communities under the Obama-Clinton Administration,” he stated. “In this task, we will always err on the side of protecting the American people – we will use immigration law to prevent crimes, and will not wait until some innocent American has been harmed or killed before taking action,” Trump said while embracing the establishment of an entrance-exit tracking system to deal with visa holders who overstay their authorized entry into the country.
August 18: Fusion.Net: Whole Families Fleeing El Salvador and Heading for the US
In 2014, a wave of unaccompanied kids from Central America caught the U.S. government off-guard when they flooded into Texas in record numbers, triggering what President Obama called an “urgent humanitarian situation.” Two years later, a silent swell of a different type is starting to emerge on the U.S. southern border. And it could be a harbinger of another immigration crisis in the making.
Salvadorans are fleeing to the United States in massive numbers, and now they’re bringing the whole family along. Though the number of unaccompanied Salvadoran minors crossing the border has not returned to the surge numbers seen in 2014, the number of Salvadoran family units apprehended on the southern border has increased by a whopping 96% over the past year.
August 16: Pew Research Center: Nearly half of refugees entering the U.S. this year are Muslim
The U.S. has received 28,957 Muslim refugees so far in fiscal year 2016, or nearly half (46%) of the more than 63,000 refugees who have entered the country since the fiscal year began Oct. 1, 2015, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of data from the State Department’s Refugee Processing Center. That means that already this year the U.S. has admitted the highest number of Muslim refugees of any year since 2002.
Christians are the second-largest group of refugees to the U.S. so far this fiscal year; 27,556 Christian refugees have entered the country, nearly as many as the number of Muslim refugees. A slightly lower share of 2016’s refugees were Christian (44%) than Muslim, the first time that has happened since fiscal 2006, when a large number of Somali refugees entered the U.S.
August 10: Breitbart News: Sen. Sessions talks about 20 Vetted Terrorist Refugees
The Obama Administration’s ongoing effort to admit tens of thousands of refugees from Syria and other hotbeds of terrorism endangers the safety of the United States and has already had dire domestic consequences, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest warns. “Despite a clear nexus between immigration and terrorism, and warnings from top officials in his own Administration about their inability to properly vet refugees, President Obama remains in denial about the dangers that his policies pose to the United States,” Sessions said in a statement Wednesday.
According to Sessions, the administration should be seeking out locations of refuge for displaced migrants close to their homelands so that they might be able to return once the conflict is over. Instead, however, the Obama Administration has pursued a plan of further displacement, promising to bring at least 10,000 Syria refugees to U.S. shores by the end of this fiscal year — as Sessions noted, a nearly 500 percent increase over FY 2015 when just 1,600 Syrian refugees were admitted to the U.S. “This radical increase places the safety and security of the American people at risk, there will surely be consequences,” Sessions said.
August 4: Washington Examiner: ICE (Homeland Security) union demands
Speaker Ryan help end National Crisis on the Border
The national union that represents 7,000 U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers claims that House Speaker Paul Ryan is playing a role in the national immigration crisis by not voicing strong support for law enforcement's war on the administration's open-border practices. In a stinging letter to Ryan, the president of the National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council charged that Ryan's legislative moves and rhetoric have led to more illegals entering the country with the belief they can stay.
August 4: Associated Press: US Poised to Hit Obama’s Target of 10,000 Syrian Refugees
After a slow start, it appears increasingly likely that the Obama administration will hit its goal of admitting 10,000 Syrian refugees into the United States before the end of September. State Department totals show that 2,340 Syrian refugees arrived last month in the United States.
That's more than what occurred during the entire seven months after President Barack Obama directed his team to prepare for 10,000 admissions from the war-torn country. Total admissions for the current budget year now come to about 7,900, and the vast majority of them are Sunni Muslims, records show.
July 30: The Daily Mail: German Chancellor Merkel on the ropes as thousands protest her open-door immigration policy in the light of terrorist attacks:
Merkel's premiership is hanging by a thread today as thousands gathered to call for her resignation while a key political ally dramatically withdrew his support over immigration policy. More than 5,000 protested in Berlin and thousands more throughout Germany over the 'open-door' policy that many have blamed for four brutal terrorist attacks that left 13 dead over the last month.
The Chancellor faced a fresh wave of fury after it emerged that two recent terror attacks and a third killing were carried out by men who entered the country as refugees. Horst Seehofer, the conservative premier of Bavaria, said he did not share Merkel's 'we can do it' credo on accommodating the almost 1.1 million migrants and refugees who arrived in 2015.
July 29: Fox News: California risks $135 Million in grants over sanctuary cities
California state and local law enforcement agencies may have to choose between more than $100 million in federal aid and the “sanctuary city” immigration policies that supporters say are humane, but critics say fuel crime.
The policies, whether in writing or just in practice, preclude local law enforcement from working with federal authorities when they catch an illegal immigrant who by law faces deportation. The laws have sparked a national controversy in the wake of dozens of murders and other violent crimes committed by illegal immigrants who local law enforcement did not report to the Department of Homeland Security. Republicans in Congress, saying such non-cooperation is illegal, forced the Department of Justice to condition grants on compliance. For California, which enacted the California Trust Act, that could mean as much as $135 million in grants will be withheld.
July 18: The Washington Times: Victims of Illegal Immigrant Criminals
Plead for Border Security during Cleveland Convention
Often overlooked in the immigration debate, the families of victims of illegal immigrant criminals got their biggest stage yet with prime-time speaking roles Monday at the Republican National Convention, where they pleaded for a firmer hand in the White House to keep the country safe. “Only one candidate is serious about border security: Donald Trump,” said Kent Terry, brother of slain Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. “He will give our heroic Border Patrol agents the resources and support needed to do their jobs. President Trump will make America’s borders secure again.” Mr. Terry was joined on stage by two mothers and one father whose children were slain by illegal immigrants and who said it’s time their side of the immigration debate receives more attention.
July 13: The Wall Street Journal: Settlement of Syrian Refugees in the U.S. Accelerates
After a slow start, the influx of Syrians to the U.S. has accelerated in recent months, and annual arrivals are likely to reach 10,000 by the end of September, the amount that was promised by the Obama administration. Last year, the U.S. pledge to resettle 85,000 refugees from all over the world in the fiscal year that began on Oct. 1, including at least 10,000 Syrian refugees. By March 31, halfway through the fiscal year, only 1,285 Syrians had arrived, according to official data. By June 30, the Syrian number had jumped to 5,211. Overall refugee admissions had reached 49,791.
June 18: Breitbart News: Texas: No Refugees who have not been vetted:
Texas officials responded to a notice from the federal government saying 25 percent more refugees would be placed in Texas than had originally been planned. The number of refugees would be increased to 11,020. Texas leaders also said the state will only accept refugees who have been fully vetted.
Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Charles Smith sent the letter on Friday to the U.S. Department of State concerning refugee resettlement in Texas. His letter sets out in very clear terms for the federal government that Texas will not agree to increase the number of refugees coming into the state. Moreover, guidelines have been written to ensure that Texas only accepts refugees who do not pose a danger to Texans. The intent of the “2017 State Plan for the Refugee Program” is to ensure that Texas only accepts refugees who are fully vetted and do not present a security threat.
June 18: Valley Central: Border Agents see increase in border crossing:
Despite sweltering temperatures, Border Patrol has seen an increase in undocumented immigrants crossing the border. Hundreds of immigrants continue to risk their lives attempting to cross the border, looking for work and a better opportunity. Two years ago, things were a lot worse when the Border Patrol saw a surge of unaccompanied minors and families illegally crossing the border mostly from Central America. Border Patrol says they've seen a 25% increase this fiscal year.
"We learned a lot of things with the surge in 2014. So we're actually better prepared, we've expanded the detention center. It's not something that will overwhelm us, we're prepared," said Marlene Castro, spokesperson for the Border Patrol Rio Grande Valley Sector.
June 14: The Washington Times: 480,000 Illegal immigrants overstay visas
– Most not a priority for deportation
Immigration agents catch an abysmally small percentage of the illegal immigrants who arrived on visas but overstayed their welcome, authorities admitted to Congress Tuesday, describing a loophole that those around the globe are increasingly using to gain a foothold in the U.S. At least 480,000 people overstayed their visas last year, adding to a backlog that’s reached some 5 million total, members of Congress said. But immigration agents launched investigations into just 10,000 of them, or about 0.2 percent, and arrested fewer than 2,000, less than 0.04 percent, saying the others don’t rise to the level of being priority targets.
June 8: The Washington Examiner: Feds spend $20,000 to Settle each Refuge
Federal taxpayers are on the hook for nearly $20,000 just to settle each refugee and asylum seeker, who are then immediately eligible for cash welfare, food stamps, housing and medical aid, according to a new report on the "refugee industry." The report provided federal budget figures showing that the government spends $19,884 on each refugee the U.S. takes in. And that number is set to jump if President Obama gets his way and brings in an additional 10,000 Syrian refugees in this year. The report from the Negative Population Growth, Inc. said that the U.S. is currently accepting about 95,000 refugees and asylees. That is in addition to the over 500,000 legal and illegal immigrants coming to the U.S.
June 3: Judicial Watch: DHS Moving Van Loads of Illegal Aliens Away from the Border
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is quietly transporting illegal immigrants from the Mexican border to Phoenix and releasing them without proper processing or issuing court appearance documents, Border Patrol sources tell Judicial Watch. The government classifies them as Other Than Mexican (OTM) and this week around 35 were transferred 116 miles north from Tucson to a Phoenix bus station where they went their separate way. Judicial Watch was present when one of the white vans carrying a group of OTMs arrived at the Phoenix Greyhound station on Buckeye Road.
The OTMs are from Honduras, Colombia, El Salvador and Guatemala and Border Patrol officials say this week’s batch was in custody for a couple of days and ordered to call family members in the U.S. so they could purchase a bus ticket for their upcoming trip from Phoenix. Authorities didn’t bother checking the identity of the U.S. relatives or if they’re in the country legally, according to a Border Patrol official directly involved in the matter.
May 19: The Washington Examiner: Judge orders ethics classes for “deceptive” DOJ attorneys:
A federal judge has ordered annual ethics classes for Justice Department attorneys as a punishment for being "intentionally deceptive" during litigation over President Obama's executive immigration orders. "Such conduct is certainly not worthy of any department whose name includes the word 'Justice,'" U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen wrote in a withering order released on Thursday. Justice Department attorneys misled the court about when the Department of Homeland Security would begin implementing President Obama's executive order granting "deferred action" to illegal immigrants whose children are citizens. In doing so, they tricked the 26 states who filed a lawsuit into "foregoing a request for a temporary restraining order," according to the judge.
May 4: The Hill: Illegal immigrant numbers skyrocket at Mexican border:
Child migration is surging again. The number of families and unaccompanied children apprehended on the southern border has skyrocketed this year, according to new figures from the Obama administration. The numbers, compiled by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), reveal that child migration is on par with 2014 levels, when a wave of kids –– thousands of them unaccompanied –– arrived at the southern border.
The surge of illegal immigration – a 78% jump in unaccompanied minors and 131% in families over 2015 levels -- quickly swamped border authorities, immigration courts and health and humanitarian workers, while sparking a political battle on Capitol Hill over the cause and proper response to the crisis.
April 21: The Daily Signal: Abbott: The best we can hope for on the president’s unconstitutional
immigration plan is a tie vote in the Supreme Court
The governor of the state leading the legal fight against President Barack Obama’s executive actions protecting illegal immigrants from deportation predicted today that “the best we can hope for” is a deadlocked decision by the Supreme Court. That’s the difference the vacancy on the court left by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia makes, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said during a briefing for reporters.
“Certainly before Justice Scalia passed away, I felt our chances were good; if the court were to rule solely on basis of the law, it should be an 8-0 decision,” Abbott said of the opposition’s chances, adding: “Because politics is being played on the U.S. Supreme Court, I think the best we can hope for is a 4-4 split decision, the consequences of which will mean we will win—but it won’t be a broad-based application around the United States affirming that the president doesn’t have authority to do this.”
April 16: The Hill: Obama Immigration Actions Face Critical Day in the High Court:
Monday marks a critical day for President Obama’s executive actions on immigration, as his legal team makes arguments to the Supreme Court to allow them to go forward. In oral arguments, the Obama administration will ask the justices to lift a lower court injunction that blocked the implementation of the programs, which would allow millions of undocumented immigrants to live and work in the U.S. without fear of deportation. A group of 26 states, led by Texas, will argue the injunction should be kept in place because Obama overstepped his authority and the programs would pose high costs on their governments. A tie vote in the Supreme Court would leave the lower court injunction in place.
“The 500-pound gorilla is the empty chair of Justice [Antonin] Scalia,” said Josh Blackman, a constitutional law professor at the South Texas College of Law, who helped file a legal brief backing the lawsuit against Obama’s programs. “It has a significant impact on the outcome of the case. Because we’re down to only eight justices, there is a distinct possibility of a tie.”
April 15: KESQ.Com (CBS News): Third Cross Border Tunnel Discovered in the Calexico Region:
A Border Patrol agent found a cross-border tunnel in Calexico while working along the International Border with Mexico on Thursday morning. Authorities with El Centro Sector Border Patrol said it's the third such tunnel discovered in Calexico in the past year, with the most recent being found three weeks prior. The agent noticed a depression in the soil along the banks of the All-American Canal, and when he approached on foot, the soil began to give way, exposing a hole that was 18 inches in diameter. The agent then noticed lumber and electrical wiring inside.
"This is exactly what our Border Patrol agents are on patrol for," said El Centro Sector Chief Rodney Scott. "They are on the lookout for anything out of the ordinary along our vast Southwest border. This agent saw something that didn't look quite right and it turned out to be a tunnel," Scott said. Agents described the tunnel as being about three-feet by three-feet wide and about 142 feet long. Its point of origin began about 60 feet south of the International Border in Mexico, while the rest of the tunnel extended into the United States.
April 5: KRGV ABC News: Border Patrol Detains 102 People
More than 100 people are currently in custody. Border Patrol agents said they are suspected of crossing the border illegally near Fronton, Texas. That’s just west of Roma. Agents were called out to the scene on Tuesday morning. They said more than 80 people were seen crossing the Rio Grande in rafts. Then, another large group made their way over. In total, 102 people were caught. Border Patrol officials said 73 men, 12 women and 17 juveniles are in their custody.
March 1: KRGV ABC News: Fewer Agents Projected to Patrol Border
The federal government will have fewer agents patrolling the border by next fiscal year. It’s under the proposed budget released by the Department of Homeland Security. The agency is budgeting for 300 fewer agents in 2017 than they did for this fiscal year. Since September, Border Patrol agents have been catching more unaccompanied children and families at the border. For the 2017 fiscal year, Border Patrol plans to field a little more than 21,000 agents. By its projections, the agency pays $181,000 per year in operational costs for each agent.
February 26: KRVG ABC News: Border Residents Concerned with Spillover Gunfire:
A Starr County community said they are tired of gunfire spilling over from Mexico. Border Patrol reported shots fired on Friday morning. At around 8:30 a.m., neighbors in Refugio, a small community by Rio Grande City, said a dead-end street was full of Border Patrol agents and Department of Public Safety officials. Resident Rene Garza said his community has learned to live with all the violence. Garza said he grew up in the border community. “Before we wouldn't see shootings,” he said. “Now, if you stand here at night, you will hear shootings. It's normal.” Garza said many of his neighbors won’t talk about the illegal activity, because they fear retaliation. He said he’s tired of looking the other way.
February 12: The Statesman: Tensions Simmer as Cubans Breeze Across the Texas Border:
A fast-rising influx of Cubans are crossing the border into Texas by the hundreds each day, approved to enter the United States in a matter of hours. They walk out to a Laredo street and are greeted by volunteers from Cubanos en Libertad, or Cubans in Freedom, a nonprofit. The volunteers help them arrange travel to their U.S. destination — often Miami — and start applying for work permits and such federal benefits as food stamps and Medicaid, available by law to Cubans immediately after their arrival. “Right now I feel like the freest Cuban in the whole world,” said Rodny Nápoles, 39, a coach of the Cuban national women’s water polo team who crossed into Laredo this week.
January 24: The Washington Examiner: Immigration Prosecutions drop 36%
while detaining illegals in jail is down by 2/3rds
Criminal prosecution of immigration offenses over the past five years is down 36%, and the once-successful program of detaining illegal immigrants in state and local jails is in free fall, down by two-thirds, according reports from two federal agencies. Justice Department statistics show that criminal prosecutions for crimes such as unlawful re-entry by an illegal in November totaled 4,861, down 13.2 percent over the previous month. Over the past year, that number is down 22.3 percent. According to the Center for Immigration Studies which analyzed the data, that is a five year decline of criminal prosecutions.
December 31: KRGV TV News: Brownsville Resident Frustrated with Drug Runners
climbing his fence and entering the U.S.
One of Brownsville’s south most property owners said he is fed up with all the drugs crossing on his land. He said he is seeing an increase in activity from the river. He’s also getting more phone calls about the activity. “The amount of drugs that are coming through is phenomenal,” he said. His land is right on the river. The border fence is in his front yard. “They come over the fence; they climb over the fence,” he said. Earlier this week, a Border Patrol chase on his land ended with agents confiscating drugs and the driver escaping across the river.
December 17: The Daily Signal: Conservatives shocked at Immigration Slipped into Omnibus Spending Bill:
House conservatives are up in arms over a provision in the omnibus spending bill that could allow more than a quarter-million temporary guest workers into the U.S. As a significant change to immigration law, the measure stunned conservative lawmakers, Rep. Jim Jordan, (R-OH) said. “It came out of nowhere, completely out of nowhere,” Jordan, chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, said, “[and] everyone was shocked there was a change and no one had talked about it.” The provision is the most recent aspect of the $1.1-trillion package to rile conservatives.
In running for the Speakership Congressman Ryan (R-WI) said he would not push any immigration measures while a Democrat was in the White House. But in the omnibus spending bill is a provision that would increase the current federal caps on H-2B visas for low-skilled foreign workers seeking blue-collar jobs in the U.S. The provision would quadruple the number of foreign workers allowed annually from 66,000 to 264,000.
December 12: The Latin Post: The Government Tests facial and Eye Scans of
Foreigners entering the U.S. from Mexico:
In order to crack down on the number of immigrants who stay in the U.S. illegally on expired visas, the federal government is making some foreigners undergo facial and eye scans when they enter the U.S. According to a 2006 study by Pew Hispanic Center, between 40 to 50 percent of people in the country illegally are here because they overstayed their visas. As a result, authorities have no way to identify them due to the absence of a checkout system.
To change that, officials launched an ambitious effort to track people who enter the country on visas. Starting on Thursday, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection began a pilot program that captures information about foreigners entering the country at San Diego's Otay Mesa port of entry on foot. By February, the program will be expanded to foreigners walking into Mexico through the checkpoint, the Associated Press reports.
December 10: The Verge: Zuckerberg’s immigration reform group imagines what
Trump’s deportation plans would look like:
FWD.us, the political action committee launched by Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and other Silicon Valley executives, has launched a campaign against deporting undocumented immigrants by dramatizing what a world of mass deportations might look like. The video plays out an imaginary police state brought about by — it suggests — politicians like Donald Trump, who have made anti-immigrant rhetoric a central element of his campaign. It's supposed to be the first section of a six-part series, each of which "tackles the devastating effects on various sectors of society" and shares stories from undocumented immigrants.
November 30: Fox News: Illegal Immigration: Suit Filed in Oregon to force the issuing of Driver’s Licenses:
A group of illegal immigrants is suing the state of Oregon to overturn a voter-approved initiative that denied them driver’s licenses. The lawsuit, brought by five illegal immigrants, comes after Oregonians passed Measure 88 last year with a strong two-thirds majority. Thirty-five of Oregon’s 36 counties voted against licenses for undocumented residents, as did every congressional district in the state, most of which are represented by Democrats. But the lawsuit alleges Measure 88 is unconstitutional because it "arbitrarily" denies driving privileges based on membership in a "disfavored minority group." It alleges Oregon voters were motivated by "animus toward persons from Mexico and Central America." Gustavo Recarde, who has worked construction and odd jobs in Portland and several states since sneaking into the United States in 1988, said a driver's license would help him feel more comfortable here and open doors.
November 27: KRGV-TV News: Focus should be on Central America and not
Ranchland owners over Deaths of Illegal Aliens:
A Honduran woman was found dead on a privately owned ranch in Brooks County, TX. This is just one of hundreds who die in the brush as they attempt to enter the country illegally. Ranchers typically only allow law enforcement and the Border Patrol access to their ranches. They feel the focus on access to private ranch lands is misdirected and that those who truly want to help these people should redirect their attention on the conditions in Central America.
November 25: The Washington Examiner:
More Immigrants from Muslim Nations than the population of Washington, DC
President Obama's open-door immigration policy is set to accept more immigrants from Muslim nations over the next five years than the entire population of Washington, D.C., according to federal documents. Figures from the Department of Homeland Security show that the president has already issued 680,000 green cards to immigrants from Muslim nations over the past five years. Unless Congress changes his policy, that number will be repeated in the next five years. What's more, the president is also planning to add over 100,000 more with refugee status, many from Syria. Refugees can also petition the government for their relatives.
DHS data released by the Sen. Jeff Sessions' Judiciary subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest, noted that refugees, who must apply for a green card within one year, have instant access to federal welfare and entitlements, along with local benefits and education services; these costs are not offset and will be provided at taxpayer expense.
November 25: Yahoo News:
Canada Refugee Plan Revives Concerns about the U.S. Northern Border:
Standing two feet from Canada on windswept Montana prairie land, U.S. Border Patrol agent Andrew Herdina looks out over a line of crooked old fence posts with no wire between them -- the international border. "If somebody is set on doing it, there are plenty of opportunities to cross this border," said Herdina. Much of the America’s northern border is vast grass prairies or forested areas with fire breaks cut down the middle to delineate the border. There are few if any, border posts, or checkpoints, and no hot deserts to cross and any visible signs of security.
Montana, which shares a 500-mile border with Canada, border agents and some residents say they are concerned about Ottawa's (Canada’s) plan to bring in 25,000 Syrians by year-end, even though the government there insists its screening will be thorough and there are limited indications that militants may be seeking to use refugee status to cross borders. The world's longest shared land border attracts a fraction of the U.S. attention and security resources taken up by the much shorter southern border with Mexico, which is patrolled by 18,000 U.S. border agents compared to 2,200 in the north.
The National Border Patrol Council, the border patrol union, says at least another 2,000 agents are needed on the Canadian border, which runs 5,500 miles includes Alaska and from Washington State to Maine. Herdina says the most effective tool in tracking illegal border crossers is not the border agents or surveillance airplanes; it’s the roughly 100 ranchers who span Montana's border with Canada. "They are our best asset," said Herdina, who is vice-president of the Montana branch of the union.
November 21: The Hill: GOP Looks at tightening up Visa Program in Wake of Paris Attack
Congressional Republicans are eyeing changes to a decades-old visa waiver program amid growing concerns that a terrorist could use the lightened travel restrictions to enter the United States. The program has come under intense scrutiny after reports linked last week's Paris attacks — which killed 129 people — to suspected French and Belgian nationals. Under the current rules, individuals from nearly 40 countries can visit the United States without a visa for up to 90 days.
Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) said that there are up to 5,000 foreign fighters from countries that are part of the program. "It's a huge problem because those people can go back to their home country and then with much less of a screening come into this country because of the waiver of their visa," he said.
Meanwhile Senator Burr (R-NC) suggested that the visa waiver program could potentially be a larger threat than admitting Syrian refugees. “Were I in Europe already and I wanted to go to the United States… the likelihood is I’d use the visa waiver program before I would try to pawn myself off as a refugee," the Intelligence Committee Chairman Burr told reporters after a briefing with administration officials.
November 20: The Daily Caller: Dem. Rep. Explains Reason He Voted for Refugee Bill:
After listening to a briefing by Obama Administration officials, Democrat Congressman Gerry Connolly and others were not convinced that voting for the refugee bill would shut down the refugee resettlement plan. The Bill would require the heads of the FBI, DHS and the National Intelligence Agency to certify each refugee admitted from Iraq or Syria is not a risk to U.S. national security. So long as they provide that guarantee, the bill does nothing to limit the number of refugees admitted and no additional changes are required in the vetting process. Connolly was one of 47 Democrats who supported the Republican measure.
November 17: The Daily Caller: Whether States Can Restrict settlement of Refugees is in doubt
As dozens of governors voice opposition to resettling Syrian refugees into their states in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in Paris, there is pushback against the concept of states having a say in that process. But federal law does leave room for states to have input, in spite of what some are saying.
The liberal activist group ThinkProgress believes “President Obama has explicit statutory authorization to accept foreign refugees into the United States. Under the Refugee Act of 1980, the president may admit refugees who face ‘persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion’ into the United States.”
But the issue is not as cut and dry as progressives would make it seem. Section 412 (B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act states clearly, “With respect to the location of placement of refugees within a State, the Federal agency administering subsection (b)(1) shall, consistent with such policies and strategies and to the maximum extent possible, take into account recommendations of the State.”
November 10: New York Times: Obama to Appeal Immigration Decision to the Supreme Court
President Obama will ask the Supreme Court to clear the way for his far-reaching overhaul of the nation’s immigration system, administration lawyers said Tuesday, setting up a battle in the nation’s highest court over whether nearly five million undocumented immigrants can legally live and work in the United States. A year after the president asserted the power of his office to provide work permits and protection from deportation for those immigrants, his plan remains under assault by conservatives who have tied it up in legal limbo. On Monday, a federal appeals court said the president had exceeded his authority. If the Supreme Court agrees to hear the president’s case during the current term, a ruling could come by next summer, just days before the two political parties hold their nominating conventions for the 2016 presidential campaign. A June decision could ensure a fierce debate on an issue that is critical to partisans on both sides.
November 9: The Washington Times: Judges use Obama’s own words to halt deportation amnesty
A federal appeals court said President Obama’s own words claiming powers to “change the law” were part of the reason it struck down his deportation amnesty, in a ruling late Monday that reaffirmed the president must carry out laws and doesn’t have blanket powers to waive them. The 2-1 ruling by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals punctures Mr. Obama’s immigration plans and is the latest in a series of major court rulings putting limits on the president’s claims of expansive executive powers to enact his agenda without having to get congressional buy-in.
In an opinion full with meaning for the separation of powers battles, Judge Smith, writing for himself and Judge Elrod, singled out Mr. Obama’s own claim that he acted to rewrite the law because Congress wouldn’t pass the bill he wanted. This remark came in a Chicago speech given November 20, 2014.
October 15: The Daily Signal: There are now 340 Sanctuary Cities in the U.S. and that number is growing
Sanctuary cities are growing in the United States, leading to a spike of 340 jurisdictions that shield undocumented immigrants from federal immigration law. The Center for Immigration Studies published an interactive map showing the locations of the sanctuaries, revealing scattered pinpoints across the country.
Sanctuary policies vary from state to state, but they generally prevent local authorities from cooperating with federal immigration officers, allowing those localities to protect undocumented immigrants from deportation. Out of the 10 sanctuary jurisdictions that have released the greatest number of illegal immigrants against demands from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, seven fall in California. San Francisco is among those cities, discharging 252 detained undocumented immigrants in 2014 despite requests from ICE that local authorities hold them in custody. One of those enabled the release of seven-time convicted felon Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, who was previously deported to Mexico five times and went on to murder 32-year-old Kate Steinle on a San Francisco pier. How many preventable murders, rapes, robberies, and assaults have to occur before local officials reverse their reckless sanctuary policies? All they are doing is providing sanctuaries for criminals.
October 13: The Daily Signal: Does the 14th Amendment Require “Birthright” Citizenship?
The issue of birthright citizenship is not well understood by most people. But it has important consequences because, if those who are contending that just because a person is born in the U.S. – even of parents who are here illegally – is wrong then it would be simple for Congress to pass legislation declaring these children are not U.S. citizens. There is no question that the 14th Amendment was adopted to overturn the practice of treating slaves (in particular blacks) as property so they could never become citizens. But was it intended to go further? The amendment makes no mention of the alien status of the parents. At issue is whether U.S. citizenship is based upon where a person was born or upon blood (i.e., the citizenship of the parents). For example, if U.S. citizens give birth to a child while in German, is that child a German or U.S. citizen? Back in 1868, the children of Native Americans living on tribal lands were considered semi-sovereign people, but in 1924, Congress passed a law granting them full U.S. citizenship.
October 10: Breitbart News: Does Conservative Media Focus on Immigration Doom Ryan’s Speaker Chances?
Not everyone is jumping on the Ryan bandwagon. Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-GA), a Freedom Caucus member, said he remains more focused on process than personalities. “I want to see a change in the culture of Washington, D.C.,” he said. “Before we move ahead with a speaker vote, let’s address the process, let’s address the rules.” “It’s the what, not the who,” he added. Some conservative media outlets were also questioning Ryan’s position on immigration, because he spent much of 2013 working behind the scenes with Democrats on a potential massive overhaul of border and immigration laws. No legislation was ever produced or voted on, but some conservatives believe he was supportive of a path to citizenship for some of the 11 million illegal immigrants already in the country.
September 27: The Washington Post: US Catholics may not buy into Pope’s message on immigration
When Pope Francis addressed a Joint Session of Congress he devoted a particularly large amount of time to discussing the nation’s treatment of its 11 million undocumented immigrants. The pope strongly encouraged Americans to remember their immigrant roots, to feel empathy for the plight of the undocumented and to resist the urge to resolve immigration problems through deportation.
So does the pope actually have the power to persuade his parishioners on immigration? Our recent research into clergy leadership on immigration reform offers clues about the likely consequences of the pope’s comments on public opinion. Our findings suggest that Catholic leaders may actually struggle to persuade the public. Although Catholics have a well-documented history of following their clergy’s lead on political issues, a study on immigration found that Catholics, regardless of their religiosity, were largely unmoved.
September 22: Breitbart.com: Muslims have the fastest growing immigration rate in the US
Muslims are the fastest growing bloc of immigrants, according to new census data published by the Center for Immigration Studies. The report, which analyzes data from American Community Survey (ACS), finds that the foreign-born population in the U.S. hit a new record high 42.2 million in July 2014. The report details that some of “the sending countries with the largest percentage increases in the number of immigrants living in the United States since 2010 were Saudi Arabia Bangladesh; Iraq; Egypt; Pakistan, India, and Ethiopia; Nigeria and Ghana.” “In contrast to most sending regions and countries, the number of immigrants from Europe and Canada declined,” the report notes.
September 16: The Daily Caller: DHS Secretary Blasts San Francisco Sanctuary City Policy
Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson criticized sanctuary cities, saying, “it is counterproductive to public safety to have this level of resistance to working with our immigration enforcement personnel.” Johnson, in a speech at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, Tuesday argued that it is “not acceptable to have no policy of cooperation with immigration enforcement “It is counterproductive to public safety to have this level of resistance to working with our immigration enforcement personnel,” Johnson said. “It is simply, in my judgment, not acceptable to have no policy of cooperation with immigration enforcement. We’re all interested in getting criminals off the streets.”
September 16: Fox News: Elusive crime wave data shows toll of illegal immigrant-criminals
The federal government agencies that crunch crime numbers are utterly unable -- or unwilling -- to pinpoint for the public how many illegal immigrants are arrested within U.S. borders each year. In the absence of comprehensive data, a FoxNews.com investigation revealed a disproportionate number of murderers, rapists and drug dealers are crossing into the U.S. amid the wave of hard-working families seeking a better life. The explosive figures show illegal immigrants are three times as likely to be convicted of murder as members of the general population and account for far more crimes than their 3.5-percent share of the U.S. population would suggest. Critics say it is no accident that local, state and federal governments go to great lengths to keep the data under wraps.
September 3: The Daily Signal: Will Government Officials be held responsible for the Death of Kate Steinles?
In an attempt to hold government officials accountable for the shooting death of their 32-year-old daughter Kate, the Steinle family filed a lawsuit against three government agencies. The suit alleges that those agencies are in part responsible for Steinle’s death, but experts say the family has little chance at prevailing. “Unfortunately, prior lawsuits against cities over their sanctuary policies that were directly responsible for the murder of American citizens have been unsuccessful due to sovereign immunity,” Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal. Sovereign immunity is the legal principle that governments are immune to lawsuits except in cases where they waive their immunity and set some amount that they will be liable for if a government employee engages in negligent behavior.
August 14: Bretbart.com: Sheriff Arpaio We’re Going to the Supreme Court
Maricopa County, AZ Sheriff Joe Arpaio reacted to a federal appeals court thowing out his lawsuit against President Obama’s executive actions on immigration by vowing “we’re going to the Supreme Court” on Friday’s “Your World with Neil Cavuto” on the Fox News Channel. Arpaio said, “we’re going to Supreme Court. We knew it was a tough battle in that appellate court down in Washington, DC, but we’re way ahead of the judge in south Texas, when all those governors joined, and I guess the judge put that on hold. So, we’re already in the appellate court, and now going to Supreme Court on this very important issue.”
He added, “I think the Supreme Court may hear it, because you have different opinions from different district courts. Makes it ripe for the Supreme Court to look at it.” Arpaio also stated, “we have 5,000 people in jail on state charges that are here illegally, we turn them over to ICE, now last month, 40% keep coming back to the jails.” And “I think they’re letting these people out the back door, because if they’re not, we sure have a bad border down there. I think we agree with that. But, when they’ve keep coming back 20, 25 times, in my jail, there’s something wrong somewhere. So, something has to be done about it.”
July 27: The Washington Free Beacon: Outnumbered: Illegal Immigrants vs. Americans out of work!
The number of illegal immigrants in the United States totaled 11.3 million in 2014, outnumbering the 9.6 milllion Americans who were unemployed in the same year, according to data from Pew Research Center and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). “The new unauthorized immigrant total includes people who cross the border illegally as well as those who arrive with legal visas and remain in the U.S. after their visas expire.” Of those 11.3 illegal immigrants, 8.1 million are participating in the labor force. The BLS defines an unemployed individual as someone who did not have a job but actively sought one in the past four weeks. The executive action on immigration President Obama put in place in November of 2014 is set to help more illegal aliens become active in the labor force.
July 26: Fox News: Judge orders Obama to release illegal immigrants from “deplorable” facilities
A federal judge in California has ruled that hundreds of illegal immigrant women and children in U.S. holding facilities should be released, another apparent setback for President Obama’s immigration policy, according to the LA Times. U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee said Friday that the conditions in which the detainees are being held are “deplorable” and violate parts of an 18-year-old court settlement that put restrictions on the detention of migrant children. The ruling also raises questions about what the administration will do with the estimated 1,700 parents and children at three detention facilities, two in Texas and one in Pennsylvania.
July 22: The Hill: Dems Try to Embarrass Republicans for Sanctuary Cities Legislation
House Democratic leaders are slamming GOP legislation aimed at discouraging sanctuary cities. The proposal, which would withhold federal law enforcement funds for state or local governments that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration agents, comes in response to this month’s fatal shooting of Kathryn Steinle along the San Francisco waterfront, allegedly by an illegal immigrant with a long criminal history. San Francisco, a sanctuary city, is the home of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). The House vote on the Republicans’ sanctuary city bill is scheduled for Thursday, and it is expected to pass.
July 22: The Daily Signal: Cruz questions ICE Official on release of Illegal Alien Criminals
Sen. Ted Cruz questioned U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Sarah Saldaña during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing about illegal immigration on Tuesday. Cruz asked Saldaña how many “criminal illegal aliens” the Obama administration released in 2013. Saldaña responded with the 2014 figure: “a little over 30,000.”
Cruz pointed out her error. “When I asked you how many criminals ICE released in 2013, you were off by a factor of three,” Cruz said. “You said 30,000. The correct answer is 104,000.” Saldaña said that the number “went down from 2013.” “But you’re omitting the 68,000 criminal illegal aliens that ICE did not begin deportation proceedings against at all. You’ve got to add both of those together. It’s over 100,000,” Cruz responded. Cruz said that of the 104,000 immigrants in the country illegally who were released into the public in 2013, 193 had been convicted of homicide, 426 had been convicted of sexual assault and more than 16,000 had been convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol.
July 14: Breitbart News: Sheriff Joe: 2,000 out of 5,000 people turned over to ICE end up back in jail:
Maricopa County, AZ Sheriff Joe Arpaio said that out of the 5,000 people turned over the Immigrants and Customs Enforcement out of his jails, “2,000 have been coming back.” Arpaio, who in October 2014 said 36% out of “4,000 people in our jails for state crimes in the last eight months” keep coming back, stated, “I have ICE agents in our jail. We check everybody that comes in, then detainers are placed for those here illegally on state charges, turn them over to ICE, and guess what? Out of 5,000; 2,000 have been coming back to my jails, all serious types of crime. One guy came back 20 times. So, evidently they keep crossing the border, or the ICE is letting them out on the streets. That’s another problem.” He added that he would support cutting off federal funding to sanctuary cities.
July 14: Breitbart News: Illegal Immigrant who killed Chandra Levy may be released:
Attorneys for Ingmar Guandique, an illegal immigrant from El Salvador who murdered Washington intern Chandra Levy in 2001, will likely ask for Guandique to be released from jail while he awaits a retrial of his 2010 conviction. A hearing is scheduled for Tuesday. Gunadique’s attorneys requested a new trial, asserting that evidence from a key witness against Guandique was false or misleading and claming that a new trial would serve the “interests of justice.” In May, prosecutors agreed to a new trial despite the fact that they thought that Guandique’s conviction was justified. In June, a judge ruled that a new trial could be held; it is scheduled for 2016.
The Levy case created a national sensation. Congressman Gary A. Condit, who was having an affair with Levy, 24, was initially suspected of her murder, but he was cleared. It took a year after the murder for Levy’s remains to be discovered. Because of the lack of forensic evidence linking Guandique to the murder, he was not convicted until a former cellmate revealed Guandique’s confession in 2006. Guandique confessed he was high on drugs in Rock Creek Park when he saw Levy wearing a waist pouch, so he robbed her. Guandique told the cellmate, “You don’t understand. . . . Homeboy, I killed the [expletive], but I didn’t rape her.”
July 11: Fox News: Illegal Nabbed in California Cold Case Killing:
An illegal immigrant from Mexico doing time in a federal prison for unlawfully reentering this country is set to appear before a judge next week over his alleged involvement in the killing of a homeless woman 18 years ago in California. Linda Louise Archer, 43, was beaten to death Aug. 16, 1997, in her campsite off Highway 101 near Castillo Street. On Thursday, the Santa Barbara Police Department announced that the suspected killer, Manuel Salmeron Manzanares, 36, formerly of Santa Barbara, was arrested on suspicion of murder last month upon his release from federal custody.
The key to cracking what had been classified a cold case was DNA evidence submitted to the California Department of Justice Bureau of Forensic Services laboratory -- and on Feb. 4, 2013, DNA from the Archer case was found to match that of a profile in the FBI's Combined DNA Index System. "The matched profile was that of Manzanares, a federal inmate in custody for illegally re-entering the United States after previously being deported as a convicted felon," according to a statement from Santa Barbara Police Sgt. Riley Harwood. The convict was scheduled to be released and deported to Mexico this year.
July 10: The Hill: Obama Lawyers Press Appeals Court to Lift Order on Immigration Policy
The Obama administration on Friday asked a federal appeals court to lift an order blocking the president’s executive actions on immigration. A three-judge panel from the 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals heard arguments from lawyers representing the Justice Department and Texas in a case challenging Obama’s programs, which could shield millions of immigrants from deportation. The judges did not rule immediately on the administration’s request. With just 18 months left in President Obama’s term, the court battle has put his programs in peril. No matter how the court rules, the legal battle could stretch into next year. Whichever side loses could appeal the case to the full 5th Circuit or the Supreme Court, which could hand down a ruling as late as next June.
July 7: Breitbart.com: Murderer: I Chose San Francisco because it was a “Sanctuary City”
Five-time deportee, seven-time convicted felon Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez said in a new interview Sunday with a local ABC News affiliate that he came to San Francisco because he knew the sanctuary city would not hand him over to immigration officials. Lopez-Sanchez has confessed to shooting Kathryn Steinle last Wednesday at Pier 14. Had San Francisco police not refused a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainer request, Lopez-Sanchez may not have been in the United States and Steinle might still be alive.
San Francisco has a policy to deny ICE detainer requests. The ICE detainer request was denied, and on April 15, 2015 Lopez-Sanchez was released. Two and a half months later Kate Steinle was killed. The 2013 “Trust Act,” signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, gave California cities like San Francisco more leeway in deciding whether to comply with immigration authorities. “Sanchez said he knew San Francisco was a sanctuary city where he would not be pursued by immigration officials,” he told the local ABC affiliate.
July 6: The Hill: White House Defends Immigration Policies after San Francisco Killing:
The White House on Monday defended its immigration policies and attempted to shift blame upon the Republicans following the murder of a San Francisco woman — by an illegal immigrant. When asked if the case was a failure of the administration’s enforcement policies, White House press secretary Earnest chided Republicans for blocking a bipartisan immigration bill that would have boosted funding for border security.
Federal authorities have suggested San Francisco – the home of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelsi – bares responsibility for the fact that Lopez-Sanchez was still on the street. U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement (ICE) turned him over to San Francisco authorities in March on a drug warrant. But he was released in April after the charges were dropped, and local law enforcement did not honor federal officials’ request to be notified when he was freed. “We're not asking local law enforcement to do our job,” ICE spokeswoman Gillian Christensen said, “All we're asking is that they notify us when a serious foreign national criminal offender is being released to the street so we can arrange to take custody.” San Francisco is a “sanctuary city” that does not cooperate with federal authorities in enforcing immigration laws.
June 23: Fox News: Most Illegal Aliens Skip Court Dates after Release:
Tens of thousands of illegal immigrant women and children streamed across the U.S. border last year seeking asylum and protected status, claiming a "credible fear" of going home to the violence in Central America. President Obama addressed the crisis through what he termed increased border enforcement, more detention beds, more immigration judges and pressure on political leaders in their home countries. But a year later, new data obtained exclusively by Fox News shows the policy isn't stopping the influx. Not only are illegal immigrant women and children continuing to cross the border in large numbers, but the majority charged with crimes aren't even showing up for court.
"That strategy is obviously a complete failure because such a high percentage of these people who were not detained have simply melted into the larger illegal population and have no fear of immigration enforcement," said Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies for the Center for Immigration Studies. Statistics released by the Department of Justice Executive Office of Immigration Review show 84 percent of those adults with children who were allowed to remain free pending trial absconded, and fewer than 4 percent deported themselves voluntarily. "These figures are very strong evidence that the Border Patrol was right all along, that these people were coming because they knew they would be allowed to stay, that they were not planning to make some kind of plea for humanitarian status such as asylum," said Vaughan.
June 19: McClatchydc News: Court orders Feds to find and deport mother and daughter to Guatemala:
A U.S. Court of Appeals judge has ordered U.S. officials to intercept a mother and her 12-year-old daughter on plane Friday being deported to Guatemala and immediately return them to the United States. The 34-year-old mother, Ana, and her daughter were woken up at and pulled from their rooms at a Pennsylvania family detention center, where they had been living for over a year, said her attorney, Bridget Cambria. By 10 a.m., the two were placed on a plane flying to Panama City, where they would catch a second flight to Guatemala City. In a rare move that will likely draw more attention to the controversial practice of family detention, Chief Judge Theodore A. McKee of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals ordered U.S. officials to stop Ana and her daughter when they arrive in Guatemala City and immediately return them to the United States.
June 15: Fox News: Federal Appeals Courts have Authority to Decide Extension of Deportation Deadlines:
The Supreme Court says federal appeals courts have authority to decide whether people facing deportation should be able to extend the deadlines in immigration proceedings. The justices ruled Monday in favor of Noel Reyes Mata, a Mexican citizen who had lived in the United States for nearly 15 years. The government began deportation proceedings after he pleaded guilty to an assault charge. An immigration judge ordered him deported. Mata appealed to the 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, but the court said it had no authority to order a deadline extension. The Supreme Court said the court did have such authority.
June 11: The Daily Caller: DHS Agent: Stripped of Gun, Nearly Lost Daughter
after she blew the whistle on the Immigration Visa Program
A Department of Homeland Security agent testified Thursday that she nearly lost custody of her 1-year-old adopted daughter and was told that she could not own a personal firearm after she voiced concerns about a little known federal program that grants green cards to foreign investors. Taylor Johnson, a senior special agent with a division of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), testified at a Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs hearing alongside several other whistleblowers who claim they’ve faced retaliation for reporting wrongdoing in their agencies.
Johnson, an 11-year veteran of ICE, said she began investigating a U.S. Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) program called EB-5. The program grants green cards to foreigners who invest at least $500,000 in U.S. companies. Johnson testified that during her investigation she uncovered and disclosed gross mismanagement and public corruption that posed “national security risks” and threatened public safety.
June 8: Breitbart News: NBPC: The Border Crisis is Re-Emerging with 70 women/children in one hour!
In the past few weeks, the numbers of unaccompanied minors and incomplete family units have begun soaring again, according to the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC), the organization that represents nearly 17,000 U.S. Border Patrol agents. “This is starting to resemble the summer border surge of 2014,” said Border Patrol agent Chris Cabrera. He spoke to Breitbart Texas in his role as a NBPC spokesperson and representative.
“We are not nearly at the numbers we were last year, but it looks like we are in the opening stages. We had two groups equal a little over 70 in one hour today. These were women and children,” said Agent Cabrera. “We’ve also seen a lot of children traveling alone.” Agent Cabrera said that many of these children and women are simply turning themselves in again. He said they were seeking out Border Patrol agents instead of trying to avoid or elude them. “This is really the mark that indicates a coming crisis,” said Cabrera. “When the women and children start seeking out agents, we know there is word spreading in their home countries that they can come and be set free.”
May 27: The Hill: Legal Setback Clouds Fate of Obama Immigration Actions
The fate of President Obama’s controversial deportation-relief program has been thrown into question following a legal setback that has pro-immigration groups increasingly nervous. In a split decision earlier this week, a three-judge panel from the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals handed a victory to Obama’s opponents when it refused to lift a hold on his executive actions, which could allow millions of immigrants in the country illegally to live and work in the U.S. without fear of deportation. The decision made it more likely the court battle will spill into 2016, the final year of Obama’s presidency.
In a sign that the administration is now resigned to a lengthy legal battle, the Justice Department announced Wednesday it would not make an emergency request to the Supreme Court to lift the hold on his order. The DOJ is instead choosing to focus on its appeal of the injunction itself, a proceeding not expected at the 5th Circuit until July.
May 27: New York Times: Obama Immigration Executive Action on Hold?
President Obama’s overhaul of the nation’s immigration system, which he announced in a prime-time speech to the nation last November, may remain under a cloud of legal uncertainty until months before he leaves office in 2017, legal experts and administration officials said Wednesday. Officials from the Justice Department said in a statement that they wouldn’t ask the Supreme Court for permission to carry out the president’s immigration programs — which seek to provide work permits and deportation protection to millions of undocumented immigrants — while a fight over presidential authority plays out in the lower courts.
In a statement, officials from the Justice Department said they disagreed with a decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit that continues to block the president’s immigration actions. But they said the government will fight on the merits of the program, rather than push for permission to carry it out immediately.
May 7: Associated Press: Hillary on Immigration: Obama on Steroids!
President Barack Obama says his executive actions blocking the deportation of millions living illegally in the U.S. go as far as the law allows. But Hillary Rodham Clinton says that if she becomes president, she would go even further. Clinton's aggressive stance reinvigorates the debate over the scope of presidential powers, which has become a flashpoint in Washington's politically fraught immigration fight. It also raises questions about the legality of Clinton's proposals and sets up a potential conflict between the Democratic front-runner and the Obama White House.
The president unveiled executive measures last fall that spare up to 5 million people, mostly parents and the young, from deportation. The administration also set new enforcement priorities that could make it easier for many more people in the U.S. illegally to stay in the country. "We've expanded my authorities under executive action and prosecutorial discretion as far as we can legally under the existing statute, the existing law," Obama said earlier this year. The president's actions are largely on hold amid a court challenge filed by Texas and 25 other states. The states say Obama's action would force local governments to invest more in law enforcement, health care and education. Clinton, speaking to young immigrants in Nevada on Tuesday, vowed to protect Obama's actions, which could also be voided by future presidents. In a surprise to many supporters, Clinton added that she would move unilaterally to let even more people stay in the country if Congress didn't act on broad legislation.
May 6: The Hill: The White House: Obama has done all it can on immigration
President Obama has done all that he can to change immigration policy through executive action, the White House said Wednesday in response to questions about Hillary Clinton’s pledge to go even further. Clinton on Tuesday backed Obama’s executive actions and said she would be willing to expand them to provide deportation relief to parents of young immigrants who brought to the U.S. illegally, known as “Dreamers,” if Congress does not pass a bill.
Obama’s 2014 executive actions provided benefits to parents of U.S. citizens and expanded eligibility for a deferred deportation program for Dreamers. But a legal memo from the White House said it did not have the authority to grant relief to the parents of Dreamers. “The president’s views on this have not changed,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Wednesday. When asked if it would be illegal to expand on Obama’s executive actions, Earnest said, “That will be something for future president and future courts to decide.” The president’s 2014 executive actions have been frozen by a lawsuit pending in federal court.
April 22: The Washington Examiner: Census Records show by 2023 --
51 million immigrants in 8 years; 82% of U.S. growth
Legal and illegal immigrants will hit a record high of 51 million in just eight years and eventually account for an astounding 82 percent of all population growth in America, according to new U.S. Census figures. A report from the Center for Immigration Studies that analyzed the statistics said that by 2023, one in seven U.S. residents will be an immigrant, rising to one in five by 2060 when the immigrant population totals 78 million. The report was provided released Wednesday evening.
The surge in immigrant population, both legal and illegal, threatens to slam into the presidential campaign as GOP candidates move to figure out what their position is and the president tries to use executive powers to exempt some 5 million illegals from deportation. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker disrupted the debate this week when he said that legal immigration also needs to be reformed to make sure Americans don't suffer by losing jobs to new citizens. But even more, the CIS report said that the surge in mostly legal immigrants will have a huge impact on the nation and taxpayers.
April 19: ABC News: Senator McCaskill Takes on Rubio, saying he folded on Immigration
Coming to the defense of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill took aim at recently declared Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio, saying the Florida senator folded on immigration reform after coming under pressure from the conservative wing of his party. "If you look at Marco Rubio's record, he took a principled, courageous stand on immigration reform and we passed a comprehensive bill in the Senate," she said. "Then, the minute his party's base started chewing on him about it, the minute Rush Limbaugh criticized him, he folded like a cheap shotgun." The scathing critique came in response to Rubio’s dismissal of Clinton as "a leader from yesterday ... promising to take us back to yesterday."
April 9: The Daily Signal: Ken Paxton: If the Law Matters, The Courts will
Side with the States on President’s Unilateral Immigration Actions
As a federal appeals court considers whether to keep or rescind a hold on Obama’s immigration program, the attorney general of the state (Texas) leading the charge against the president’s executive actions “is very confident” the plaintiffs will win out. “All I can tell you is, based on the law, I feel very confident,” said Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in an interview with The Daily Signal. “I am very confident we are right on the law. And if the law matters, we will do very well.” The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit is scheduled to hear oral arguments on April 17 about whether to uphold or remove an injunction on Obama’s 2014 immigration actions. Judge Andrew S. Hanen of the Federal District Court in Brownsville, Texas put a hold on those actions on Feb. 16, preventing the immigration initiatives from going into effect.
April 8: The Washington Examiner: Federal Judge Slams Obama Lawyers in Immigration Case:
A federal judge has issued a scathing rebuke to lawyers for the Obama administration in a case involving the president's unilateral immigration action. In an order issued Tuesday night, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen, who had put a temporary hold on the action, not only refused to lift the hold — he also came very near to accusing administration lawyers of flat-out lying to him. The administration's assertions in the immigration case have been "misleading," "troublesome," and "belied by the facts," Hanen wrote. "Any number of federal judges, given this misconduct, would consider striking the government's pleadings." Doing so would effectively end the case altogether, and Hanen wrote that he had decided not to take that action because the issues at stake are of great national importance.
The case was brought by the attorneys general of 26 states seeking to stop the president's decision to grant quasi-legal status and work permits to millions of illegal immigrants. The controversy that angered Judge Hanen involved the timing of the president's new measures. Administration lawyers told the court that the first part of the president's action, expansion of DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, was scheduled to begin Feb. 18, 2015. The second part, known as DAPA, or Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, was scheduled to go into effect in mid-May.
The judge was stunned when, on March 3, administration lawyers filed a "Defendant's Advisory" admitting that the administration had begun implementing the expanded DACA program back in November, and had in fact granted new protections and work permits to "approximately 100,000 people" by the time administration lawyers told the judge nothing was happening. An angry Hanen ordered the government to explain why he should not punish the administration for misleading him. The two sides argued the issue in a hearing last month, and now Hanen has issued an order refusing to lift the stay and declaring the administration's actions "misleading." In the order, Hanen quotes extensively from the January hearing in which administration lawyers told him the Department of Homeland Security had not yet begun to implement DACA — only to file a "clarification" with the court weeks later. Hanen's unhappiness is obvious.
April 8: The New York Times: Judge Refuses to allow Administration’s Unilateral Immigration Actions
A federal judge in Texas on Tuesday angrily denied the federal government’s request to allow President Obama’s immigration executive actions to proceed, even as an appeals court signaled that it might disagree with the judge when it takes up the issue next week. Judge Andrew S. Hanen of Federal District Court for the Southern District of Texas, in Brownsville, refused late Tuesday night to lift the injunction he had placed in February on the president’s program, saying that to do so would cause irreparable harm. The judge concluded that he “remained convinced” that the president had exceeded his authority by seeking to allow millions of undocumented immigrants to stay in the country legally and obtain work permits. He said the actions violated administrative procedures for creating new programs and should not be allowed to go forward while courts consider their legality.
He also chided Justice Department lawyers, accusing them of lying to him about whether any part of the president’s executive actions were already being carried out. He wrote that the lawyers had assured him that the program was not yet active, even though some immigrants were already receiving longer renewals of their protected status under the new executive actions.
April 7: KTAR News/Associated Press: Man Arrested in Arizona High Speed Chase has
been deported Twenty Times
Authorities say a man arrested after a high-speed chase in Pinal County is a native of Mexico who has been deported 20 times. County Sheriff's officials say 26-year-old Genaro Cisneros-Delgado is being held on a $50,000 bond on suspicion of felony flight and endangerment. They say Cisneros-Delgado took a sheriff's deputy on a 30-mile chase on Interstate 10 last Friday night and speeds reached more than 100 mph. Authorities say Cisneros-Delgado crashed through a locked gate outside a Sun Lakes retirement community before stopping the vehicle and fleeing with three passengers. Sheriff's officials say Cisneros-Delgado and the other three are in the country illegally and he was smuggling them into the U.S. Cisneros-Delgado was jailed and the other three have been turned over to the U.S. Border Patrol for processing.
April 6: The Washington Times: Influx of Children at the Border reaches last year’s levels
The second wave of unaccompanied illegal immigrant children has begun, with more than 3,000 of them surging across the Mexican border into the U.S. last month — the highest rate since the peak of last summer’s crisis and a warning that another rough season could be ahead. Immigration officials warned that they expected another surge as the weather improved. Although the numbers are down some 40 percent compared with last year’s frenetic pace that sparked a political crisis for the Obama Administration, fiscal year 2015 is shaping up to mark the second-biggest surge on record.
April 3: The Daily Caller: Obama Administration Welcomes Central American Immigrants with new program
The Obama administration is moving forward with a little-known program that will bring the families of legal immigrants from Central America to the United States. The Obama administration launched the program, the Central American Minors Refugee/Parole Program, in December, minus any legislation from Congress, but hasn’t widely advertised it yet. The joint program between the State Department and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is bringing in primarily children (under 21) and in certain cases, grandchildren and spouses of immigrants who are from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.
Immigrants eligible for the program can qualify for refugee status — which allows them to eventually receive green cards and ultimately citizenship. Those who don’t meet refugee requirements can become eligible for parole, which is applied in urgent humanitarian cases, according to USCIS. State Department officials say they’ve received 329 applications so far, but haven’t approved any.
March 23: The Washington Examiner: Over 12,500 illegal kids start second wave of illegal immigrants:
The next explosion of illegal teen border crossing is in full swing, but just one-in-six are being sent home, with most of the rest settled in the United States, according to new government figures. The U.S. Border Patrol agency reported that they have seized 12,509 illlegals under age 18 since October, making it the second biggest surge in history after last year's unprecedented movement of unaccompanied youths across the nation's southern border. However, when compared to the numbers of illegal kids turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, it is clear that most are being "booked in" to U.S. facilities and then released — not sent home.
March 21: USA Today: Local Police Departments Turning to Immigrants to Fill Vacant Positions:
Law enforcement agencies struggling to fill their ranks or connect with their increasingly diverse populations are turning to immigrants to fill the gap. Most agencies in the country require officers or deputies to be U.S. citizens, but some are allowing immigrants who are legally in the country to wear the badge. From Hawaii to Vermont, agencies are allowing green-card holders and legal immigrants with work permits to join their ranks.
At a time when 25,000 non-U.S. citizens are serving in the U.S. military, some feel it's time for more police and sheriff departments to do the same. That's why the Nashville Police Department is joining other departments to push the state legislature to change a law that bars non-citizens from becoming law enforcement officers.
March 20: KRGV.com(ABC News): Undocumented Immigrants the fail to appear at hearings Jumps by 150%
The federal government said the number of undocumented immigrants failing to appear at deportation hearings is on the rise. According to the Executive Office of Immigration Review, the number of people who did not show after being released on bond or on their own recognizance grew by 153 percent in the last four years. Immigration judges ordered deportations for those no-shows.
About 30 to 40 percent of undocumented immigrants failed to appear at their hearings last year. The statistics also show that judges grant asylum less than 50-percent of the time while immigrants from Central American countries get asylum an average of 2-percent of the time.
March 20: Yahoo News: Federal Judge Warns Justice Department of Possible Sanctions
over Actions in Obama’s Immigration Lawsuit
A federal judge who has blocked President Barack Obama's immigration executive action suggested on Thursday that he could order sanctions against the Justice Department if he rules it misled him about when exactly the administration began implementing one of the measures. During a sometimes testy court hearing, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen went back and forth with the Justice Department attorney over whether it had mislead him.
In fact, federal officials had given more than 108,000 people three-year reprieves from deportation before that date and granted them work permits under a program that protects young immigrants from deportation if they were brought to the U.S. illegally as children.
Hanen chided DOJ attorney Kathleen Hartnett on Thursday for telling him at a January hearing before the injunction was issued that nothing would be happening with regard to an expansion of the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA, until Feb. 18. "Like an idiot I believed that," Hanen said. A flustered Hartnett repeatedly apologized for any confusion related to how the reprieves and work permits were granted.
Hartnett continued to insist that the 108,081 reprieves had been granted under 2012 guidelines, which were not stopped by the injunction, and that government attorneys hadn't properly explained this because they had been focused on other parts of the proposed action. But Hanen pointed out that the 2012 guidelines only granted two-year reprieves and that three-year reprieves are being proposed under the program now on hold. "Can I trust what the president says? That's a yes or no question," Hanen asked. "Yes your honor," Hartnett replied.
March 12: Fox News: Obama Administration asks judge to life freeze on immigration actions:
The U.S. government on Thursday asked an appeals court to lift a temporary hold on President Obama's executive action to shield millions of immigrants from deportation, arguing it can't wait for the judge who blocked the action to make a ruling on a similar request. Justice Department attorneys filed an emergency motion with the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans to lift a preliminary injunction issued last month by U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen in Brownsville, Texas.
The injunction had been issued on the request of a coalition of 26 states that filed a lawsuit to overturn Obama's immigration plan. The states, led by Texas, argue that Obama's action was unconstitutional and would force them to invest more in law enforcement, health care and education. The injunction was intended to stall Obama's actions -- which would spare from deportation as many as 5 million people who are in the U.S. illegally -- while the lawsuit progresses through the courts.
Many Republicans in Congress and states led by Republicans oppose the action, saying Obama overstepped his authority as president. Obama said he had to act because Congress has failed to pass comprehensive immigration reform. The Justice Department had asked Hanen to lift the injunction while the case was appealed to the 5th Circuit. But Hanen put that request on hold pending a hearing on March 19 to review allegations the government misled him about the implementation of part of the immigration plan.
In their 21-page motion, Justice Department attorneys called the injunction "unprecedented and wrong" and argued lifting it was crucial as the order "irreparably interferes with (the Homeland Security Department's) ability to protect the Homeland and secure our borders." Justice Department attorneys said that if the injunction is not lifted, it should at least apply either only to Texas or to the 26 states that sued. "President Obama's unconstitutional use of executive power to accomplish what he couldn't do in Congress sets a dangerous precedent that threatens the fabric of our Republic ... The state of Texas and a bipartisan coalition of 25 other states will continue to oppose the President's unilateral and lawless actions," Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a statement responding to the Justice Department's emergency motion.
March 8: The Daily Caller: New Zealander: Amnesty is Obama’s Trump Card to Transform America:
New Zealander Trevor Loudon, author and founder of a popular website, is spending a lot of time lately telling Americans that “amnesty is the trump card” for President Obama to permanently transform America. Citing a 2010 speech by White House consultant and radical leftist, Eliseo Medina, Loudon implores Americans to wake up before it is too late in this video interview. He says, with Mitt Romney losing to Obama in 2012 by 2 and ½ million votes, if Obama can succeed in legalizing “10, 15 or 20 million more votes, almost all of whom will vote Democrat,” Obama can lock in progressive electoral victories for the foreseeable future and “make it practically impossible for the Republicans to ever elect another president.” Asking why new Latinos would be of higher value to Karl Rove and the political consultants than the 20 million conservative Christians currently not registered to vote, Loudon says Rove is demonstrating a “lack of understanding of political realities in his own country.” Deriding those Republicans or conservatives who still write off President Obama as “incompetent,” he says this is a “power play for control with no viable opposition” reminiscent of what happened in South Africa, Venezuela and Czechoslovakia, with public deception covering up the true nature of regime change.
February 27: United Press International: Congress passes last-minute one week DHS funding bill:
The U.S. Congress passed legislation late Friday to fund the Department of Homeland Security for an additional week -- a move to give lawmakers more time to find a long-term solution and avoid a partial shutdown of one of the nation's most vital national security agencies. The Senate earlier Friday approved $40 billion to fund the Department of Homeland Security through September, but the House of Representatives ignored it because it did nothing to nullify the President’s immigration directives. In the meantime Congress passed a week-long extension while the House is asking the Senate to form a conference committee to work out the differences, thereby avoiding a shutdown in the short term. Earlier the House attempted to pass its own bill, funding DHS through March 19th, but the measure suffered a humiliating defeat 203-224, defeated in part because of a lack of support by conservative Republicans. The week long extension passed by a vote of 357-60.
February 23: CNSNews: Gov. Abbott: 20,000 illegals have crossed the border in the last 60 days:
"We all saw what happened on the Texas border last summer, but we need to understand that the problem is not going away," Texas Gov. Greg Abbott told CBS's "Face the Nation" with Bob Schieffer on Sunday. "Already this calendar year, since January 1, we have had more than 20,000 people come across the border, apprehended, unauthorized. And so we have an ongoing problem on the border that Congress must step up and solve." All told in fiscal year 2014, U.S immigration officials removed 213,719 individuals apprehended while attempting to unlawfully enter the United States. When asked what should be done about the 800,000 illegal aliens living in Texas, the Governor said: "Well, two things, One is, the president himself said as these people were coming across the border that he would repatriate them as soon as possible. So, we need to see whether or not the president himself is going to live up to the commitment that he made." Abbott said the second thing is to let Congress -- not the president -- decide how to deal with the millions of people who are in the United States illegally: "And so we need Congress to have the latitude to fulfill its responsibility to solve the problem."
February 21: The Hill:
DHS may shutdown next weekend if Senate Democrats Don’t Lift Threat of Filibuster
The fight over funding for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will dominate the Sunday talk shows, as DHS Secretary Johnson makes the rounds to press for lawmakers to act. The department will shut down on Feb. 28 if Congress does not pass new funding. At the center of the fight are President Obama's executive actions on immigration. Republicans are looking to tie measures halting the moves to the new funding, while Democrats insist on a "clean" bill. With the two sides at an impasse, there is no clear path forward as Senate Democrats repeatedly blocked votes on the House funding measure.
Johnson will appear on five different Sunday shows to argue that DHS funding is too important to put at the center of a fight over immigration. "This is not a situation to make light of," Johnson said earlier this month on CNN's "State of the Union." "In these challenging times, we need a fully funded Department of Homeland Security." A ruling by a federal judge in Texas earlier this week against Obama's immigration actions has thrown an added twist into the negotiations. The administration announced Friday that it will seek a court order staying the ruling to allow the moves to go forward.
February 19: Investors Business Daily: Muslim immigration A Threat to U.S. Security?
France, Belgium and now even liberal Denmark regret letting in so many immigrants from Muslim countries. Their swelling Islamic communities have become breeding grounds for terrorists. So why is the U.S. opening the floodgates to foreign Muslims? The threat Muslim immigrants pose to homeland security was not addressed during the White House's three-day summit on terrorism. Instead, Vice President Joe Biden assured Muslim groups gathered during one session that the "wave" of Muslim immigration is "not going to stop."
Wave? More like a tsunami. Between 2010 and 2013, the Obama administration imported almost 300,000 new immigrants from Muslim nations — more immigrants than the U.S. let in from Central America and Mexico combined over that period. This is a sea change in immigration flows, and it threatens national security. Many of the recent Muslim immigrants are from terrorist hot spots like Iraq, where the Islamic State operates. From 2010-2013, Obama ushered in 41,094 Iraqi nationals from there. Now the State Department says it will quadruple the number of refugees brought here from Syria, where ISIS is headquartered.
February 18: Yahoo News: Texas judge’s Immigration Rebuke May be hard to Challenge
President Obama's administration faces a difficult and possibly lengthy legal battle to overturn a Texas court ruling that blocked his landmark immigration overhaul, since the judge based his decision on an obscure and unsettled area of administrative law, lawyers said. In his ruling on Monday that upended plans to shield millions of aliens from deportation, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen avoided diving into sweeping constitutional questions or tackling presidential powers head-on. Instead, he faulted Obama for not giving public notice of his plans. The failure to do so, Hanen wrote, was a violation of the 1946 Administrative Procedure Act, which requires notice in the Federal Register as well as an opportunity for people to submit views in writing. The ruling, however narrow, marked an initial victory for 26 states that brought the case alleging Obama had exceeded his powers with executive orders that would let up to 4.7 million illegal immigrants stay without threat of deportation.
There was no consensus among lawyers with expertise in administrative law and immigration law on whether Hanen would be reversed on appeal. But they said the judge was wise to focus on an area of administrative law where legal precedent is sometimes fuzzy. In the near term, the narrow approach allowed Hanen to issue a temporary injunction barring federal agencies from putting Obama's plans into place. Hanen had previously criticized U.S. immigration enforcement as too lax. For Hanen, the pivotal question became whether the new rules, such as granting work permits to potentially millions of illegal immigrants, was binding on federal agents or merely general guidance. He ruled that they were binding, and that Obama should have allowed for notice and comment.
February 17: The Daily Caller: Judge Napolitano: Obama Amnesty is Absolutely Dead
Reacting on “The Kelly File” Tuesday to a federal judge’s blocking of President Obama’s executive action on immigration, which was set to award work permits to four million illegals, Judge Andrew Napolitano called the court’s decision “devastating” for the Obama administration’s agenda. Napolitano also told Fox News’ Megyn Kelly that “the Obama amnesty plan is dead,” explaining that he does not believe that the conservative Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals will interfere with the federal judge’s decision. The Fox News judicial analyst added that the Supreme Court will probably not take up the case.
“This is devastating for the administration,” Napolitano said. “This is a preliminary injunction which means the court viewed the court’s documents and challenger’s documents…and he made two conclusions. 1) At the end of the case, the challengers will probably prevail, meaning the president probably overstepped his bounds and he has ordered the Department of Homeland Security to create new law. “And 2) if he does not impose the temporary restraints that he imposed last night, actually, irreparable harm will be visited upon the 26 states,” Napolitano explained. “In my opinion, the Obama amnesty plan is dead. Absolutely dead,” Napolitano told Kelly. “I don’t think the appeals court will interfere with this decision, And I think it will take this trial judge for the duration of President Obama’s term to rule on this with finality.”
February 17: Yahoo News: Federal Judge Stalls Obama’s Action on Immigration
The White House promised an appeal Tuesday after a federal judge in Texas temporarily blocked President Obama's executive action on immigration and gave a coalition of 26 states time to pursue a lawsuit aiming to permanently stop the orders. U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen's decision late Monday puts on hold Obama's orders that could spare from deportation as many as 5 million people who are in the U.S. illegally. In response, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said it would halt preparations for a program to protect parents of U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents until further notice.
In a memorandum accompanying his order, Hanen said the lawsuit should go forward and that the states would "suffer irreparable harm in this case" without a preliminary injunction. "The genie would be impossible to put back into the bottle," he wrote, adding that he agreed that legalizing the presence of millions of people is a "virtually irreversible" action.
February 17: Fox News: Related Story on Federal Judge’s Order Re: Obama’s Unilateral Immigration Policy
House and Senate Republican leaders pointed to the judge's decision on temporarily blocking the Administrations unilateral immigration policy in amplifying calls to advance a stalled bill that would both fund the Homeland Security department and undo Obama's immigration plan. The bill passed the House, but is stuck in the Senate. "This ruling underscores what the President has already acknowledged publicly 22 times: He doesn't have the authority to take the kinds of actions he once referred to as 'ignoring the law' and 'unwise and unfair,'" Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said in a statement. "Senate Democrats -- especially those who've voiced opposition to the President's executive overreach -- should end their partisan filibuster of Department of Homeland Security funding."
February 14: Valley Central News: Border Patrol apprehends Middle Eastern man crossing the border:
Border Patrol agents Thursday took a Middle Eastern man into custody. The unauthorized immigrant was caught south of Pharr, according to Border Patrol. An order for expedited removal back to his country of origin is being processed. Middle Eastern countries are not part of the statistical breakdown of U.S. Border Patrol apprehensions by country of nationality, based on the DHS from fiscal years 2005 through 2010. It classifies apprehensions of unauthorized immigrants from the Middle East into an "all other countries" category, which make up fewer than 1 percent of apprehensions on average.
February 13: The Daily Caller: Caucus Member Didn’t Know Illegal Aliens will Get a Tax Break
Illinois Congressman Luis Gutierrez said Friday that he didn’t know that illegal immigrants are eligible for tax refunds — even if they haven’t paid taxes. IRS Commissioner John Koskinen told members of Congress Wednesday that illegal immigrants who did not pay taxes will be able to claim back-refunds once they are issued social security numbers. “I know nothing of the sort,” Gutierrez snapped at a Daily Caller reporter Friday when asked about Koskinen’s testimony. “Of course it would be like you to raise that sort of question,” the Democrat continued. “Why don’t you ask the commissioner of the IRS?”
The commissioner, of course, had already been asked about it. “Under the new program,” Koskinen told members of the House oversight committee Wednesday, “if you get a Social Security number and you work, you’ll be eligible to apply for the Earned Income Tax Credit.” “If you are an individual working and applying for the Earned Income Tax Credit, the maximum you can get is in the range of 500 to 600 dollars.” But that is apparently for just one year and could be applied retroactively for up to four years or a maximum of $24,000.
February 12: The Washington Times: Loophole in Obama’s Amnesty Actions May allow Illegal Aliens to Vote
President Obama’s temporary deportation amnesty will make it easier for illegal immigrants to improperly register and vote in elections, state elections officials testified to Congress on Thursday, saying that the driver’s licenses and Social Security numbers they will be granted create a major voting loophole. While stressing that it remains illegal for noncitizens to vote, secretaries of state from Ohio and Kansas said they won’t have the tools to sniff out illegal immigrants who register anyway, ignoring stiff penalties to fill out the registration forms that are easily available at shopping malls, motor vehicle bureaus and in curbside registration drives. And after all they entered the country illegally. What is to stop them from also registering to vote illegally? Democrats disputed that it was an issue at all, saying Mr. Obama’s new policy, which could apply to more than 4 million illegal immigrants, doesn’t change anything in state or federal law.
February 10: The Washington Examiner: Illegal Immigrants Squeeze School Budgets
Recent reports show Washington-area schools are facing budget crises as a result of an influx of immigrant students. Since the 2005-06 school year, the percent of students enrolled in English proficiency classes in the D.C. area has increased by an average of nearly 70 percent across seven school districts in the metro area, according to a report by the advocacy group, Federation for American Immigration Reform, which promotes tighter border security, an end to illegal immigration and reduced levels of legal immigration. Those classes cost an average of about one quarter of each district’s budget, and the chunk is getting larger as new students, many of them illegal immigrants or children of illegal immigrants, enroll in English-as-a-second-language classes. “Education programs are being cut,” said the report’s author, Eric Ruark. “We’re not saying that [English proficiency classes] are the cause, but it’s certainly taking money away from them.” However, a policy analyst at the Migration Policy Institute, an independent think tank that tracks international migration and refugee trends, maintains that such a correlation just isn’t that clear.
February 4: CNN News: Jeb Bush Comments on Immigration Shock Conservative Voters:
During a "Family Reunion" conference hosted by the Hispanic Leadership Network in April 2013, Jeb Bush spoke freely on the promise immigrants hold for America and his views on reform. He said, during a discussion with Univision, that it was "ridiculous" to think that DREAMers, children brought to the U.S. by their parents illegally, shouldn’t have an “accelerated path” to citizenship. Then, the former Florida governor was speaking to a friendly audience of establishment Republicans, after re-inserting himself in the immigration reform with the release of a controversial book on the issue a month prior. But as he moves towards a probable presidential run, and the far less friendly terrain of the GOP primary fight, the comments, which were shared with CNN are certain to deepen already developing headaches for him — on both the left and especially the right, as conservatives react in a mixture of bewilderment and eye-rolling when confronted with some of Bush's resurfaced lines on immigration.
"I've never felt like the sins of the parents should be ascribed to the children, you know," Bush said in 2013. "If your children always have to pay the price for adults decisions they make — how fair is that? For people who have no country to go back to — which are many of the DREAMers — it's ridiculous to think that there shouldn't be some accelerated path to citizenship." Bush's spokeswoman, Kristy Campbell, said the comments didn't mark a departure from Bush's previously-stated positions on immigration reform. Bush wasn't suggesting, she said, that border security isn't an important aspect of reform.
February 4: Computer World:
California Utility Company forcing IT workers to train emigrants from India who will replace them:
Information technology workers at Southern California Edison (SCE) are being laid off and replaced by workers from India. Some employees are training their H-1B visa holding replacements, and many have already lost their jobs. The employees are upset and say they can't understand how H-1B guest workers can be used to replace them. The immigration laws clearly state that people are not to be allowed to emigrate if by doing so it will adversely impact American jobs. But that is exactly what seems to be happening under this current administration. In this instance, the IT organization's "transition effort" is expected to result in about 400 layoffs, with "another 100 or so employees leaving voluntarily," SCE said in a statement. The "transition," which began in August, will be completed by the end of March, the company said.
The IT employees at SCE are "beyond furious," said a current SCE IT worker. The H-1B program "was supposed to be for projects and jobs that American workers could not fill," this worker said. "But we're doing our job. It's not like they are bringing in these guys for new positions that nobody can fill. "Not one of these jobs being filled by India was a job that an Edison employee wasn't already performing," he said.
February 2: National Review:
Over 5.5 Million Work Permits Issued to Foreign Nationals since President took office – Impact on U.S. citizens seeking employment?
More than 5.46 million foreign nationals have received work permits from the federal government since 2009, according to a new report from the Center for Immigration Studies. Data uncovered from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agency reveal that approximately 982,000 work permits were given to illegal immigrants and other foreign nationals unqualified for admission, most of whom crossed the border without inspection. USCIS is the DHS agency responsible for issuing work permits and processing applications related to President Obama’s executive action on immigration. On Tuesday, the Senate is scheduled to vote on a bill that funds DHS, while blocking funding that would allow USCIS to implement the president’s executive action.
The remarkable number of work permits granted by the federal government to law-breaking aliens better explains how all net jobs growth since 2007 has gone to immigrants. The government issued approximately 1.7 million work permits since 2009 to aliens whose status was not known, not recorded, or not disclosed by USCIS, according to the report. The report says employment is not authorized by law for approximately 1.2 million immigrants who collected work permits while having a temporary visa status. And the data show that approximately 1,200 new work permits went to unlawful entrants who were denied asylum, were suspected of using fraudulent documentation, were stowaways, or were refused at a port of entry.
Related Story: February 2: The Daily Caller: President Barack Obama has quietly handed out an extra 5.46 million work permits for non-immigrant foreigners who arrived as tourists, students, illegal immigrants or other types of migrants since 2009, according to federal documents released by a Freedom of Information Act request. “The executive branch is operating a huge parallel work-authorization system outside the bounds of the [immigration] laws and limits written by Congress [and which] inevitably reduces job opportunities for Americans,” said Jessica Vaughan, the policy director at the Center for Immigration Studies. “The true magnitude of how often he has evaded the limits set by Congress on foreign workers has never been known until now,” she told The Daily Caller. “If Congress wants to take back control of our immigration system, it needs to control the issuance of work permits, which have been the vehicle for Obama to get around the [legal] limits on immigration and work visas imposed by Congress,” she said.
January 29: The Hill: Obama looks for leverage on the DHS/Immigration Debate:
President Obama on Thursday will call on congressional Republicans to approve a “clean” funding bill for the Department of Homeland Security that preserves his executive actions on limiting deportations. During a visit to the House Democratic retreat, the president is expected to seize on a suggestion from some Republicans that they allow funding for the department to lapse if they are unable to secure concessions. “The president will join the Democrats in Congress in vehemently opposing that dangerous view and calling for a clean funding bill to ensure we are funding our national security priorities in the face of cybersecurity and security threats abroad,” a White House official said. But while the White House is amplifying its call for a clean bill, it isn’t ruling out accepting provisions that would make the legislation more appealing to House Republicans, provided that Obama’s executive actions remain untouched.
January 24: Fox News: Christie on Immigration: Hey Don’t they know I’m from New Jersey?
Two pro-immigration reform protesters were arrested Saturday after they interrupted speeches by Texas Gov. Rick Perry and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at the Iowa Freedom Summit. The summit was a gathering of high-profile conservatives in Des Moines, many of them weighing a 2016 presidential bid. While Perry did not acknowledge any of the protesters, Christie wisecracked back. “Don’t they know I am from New Jersey? This stuff doesn’t bother me one bit,” he said.
January 22: MCR Television: Head of Immigration Officer’s Union Blast Amnesty and Immigration bill
“We admit individuals who have no business being admitted,” the head of the immigration officers’ union said today, blasting both Obama’s amnesty and the new border bill. Kenneth Palinkas, President of the National Citizenship and Immigration Services Council representing 12,000 United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) adjudicators and personnel, says the immigration legislation scheduled to be considered by the House of Representatives next week puts officers’ mission “in grave peril.” “Where is the outrage from Congress?,” he asks. After the House passed its legislation to reverse the amnesty, all I hear is silence in the Senate. It seems Congressional leaders will not rise to defend the laws of the United States, but are giving in to the ‘imperial presidency,’Palinkas says.
The new “border security” bill is “a global joke,” Palinkas says: “H.R. 399 – Chairman McCaul’s legislation – does nothing to preclude anyone in the world from turning themselves in at the US border and obtaining automatic entry and federal benefits. Almost anyone at all can call themselves an asylum-seeker and get in; it’s a global joke. It's not border security if anyone can recite the magic words and get waved right on in. Those who arrived in the 2014 border run are still here, often living on US support and even applying for US jobs. The bill also delays by years the implementation of biometric exit-entry to police the rising overstay catastrophe.”
January 15: National Journal: McConnell: Senate will try to pass the House Immigration Bill:
After hearing a week's worth of complaints from his conservative members, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday that the Senate will attempt to approve a House-passed bill that guts President Obama's executive actions on immigration. Months after the president announced his executive action to protect millions of illegal immigrants within U.S. borders, Senate Republican leaders have been cagey about how they will respond, raising concerns among border hawks within the conference. But McConnell affirmed at a joint House and Senate Republican retreat in Hershey, Pa., that he will work to get the House's bill—which passed that chamber Wednesday—to the president's desk. "We're going to try to pass it," he told reporters Thursday.
The House bill appears very unlikely to pass the Senate, where McConnell will need to attract at least six Democrats to reach the 60-vote threshold to end debate. Although conservatives have called on McConnell to bring the bill to the floor immediately, he did not offer a timeline for consideration on Thursday. Funding for the Department of Homeland Security expires at the end of February. McConnell did not provide a path forward Thursday in the likely case that the House bill fails. Passing the House bill would "be our first choice," McConnell said. "If we're not able to do that, then we'll let you know what's next."
January 15: Breitbart.com: Congressman Denham says GOP is quietly crafting an immigration bill:
The GOP’s most outspoken proponent of comprehensive immigration reform let loose in an interview with reporters here, detailing quiet efforts to draft far-reaching legislation, saying House leadership is “committed” to bringing the hot-button topics on the floor and criticizing President Obama for carrying out too many deportations. “We’re the party of deportation? Look at this president’s numbers!” Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA) said. He is part of a working group laying the ground work to bring forward comprehensive immigration reform, and that top-ranking Republicans are supportive of addressing the full gamut of immigration topics in legislation in 2015. “I think leadership’s commitment is not only to bring up immigration reform, but to bring it up in multiple different bills. The question is the timing of that and the sequence of those bills,” Denham said. Privately, some Republicans say the remarks were bluster for the camera, and even this week Boehner announced to members the House would soon be considering a border security bill, perhaps the first in a series of stand-alone measures.
January 13: McClatchy DC News: GOP and White House Set Stage for Immigration Debate:
Congress and the White House are heading toward a high-stakes showdown over immigration, with financing for the crucial Department of Homeland Security at stake at the very moment that terrorist attacks in Paris last week have Americans on edge. The House is expected to vote Wednesday on a $39.7 billion bill to keep the department open after money runs out Feb 28, but with language attached that would aggressively roll back several of President Barack Obama’s immigration actions. Obama says he wants to sign a bill to keep funding the department but that he’ll veto it if takes on his immigration orders. Republicans intend to add amendments to the funding bill to reverse several of Obama’s immigration moves, including last year’s action to shield from deportation some 5 million people who are living in the country illegally and the 2012 executive order that protected many young immigrants. The bill faces fierce opposition from congressional Democrats and the White House. They say linking immigration and homeland security funding is a dangerous precedent.
January 5: ABC News: Cuban Human Rights: Dissident Detentions on the Rise:
The detentions can last for a few hours or a few days, but do not lead to prison time. Some people have been detained several times in a month, so the total number of people detained is lower. Sanchez said his group counts about 90 people held in prison for political reasons ? less than half the figure five years ago. A U.S. official said on condition of anonymity Monday that some of the 53 had been released but efforts to secure the release of the dissidents was a "work in progress." The official said the release of all the dissidents wasn't a prerequisite for planned talks in Cuba between the Obama administration and Cuban officials later this month
The Cuban government carried out a record number of detentions of dissidents and political activists last year, an independent Cuban human rights group said Monday. The Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation recorded 8,899 short-term detentions of dissidents and activists in 2014. That was about 2,000 more than the previous year and four times as many as in 2010, said the group's head, Elizardo Sanchez.
December 26: Valley Central: Mexican Drug Cartel Claims it has Kidnapped a Border Patrolman
A person claiming to be a member of a cartel said they have kidnapped a border agent and threatened the agent's life, according to police. Border Patrol is making contact with all personnel in the Rio Grande Valley sector at this time. They have now confirmed that all agents working the day of the threat have been accounted for. Now, they are working to verify all those off-duty at the time of the threat are safe.
The caller dialed 9-1-1 yesterday and said they have kidnapped a Border Patrol agent, La Joya Police Chief Geovanni Hernandez confirms. The La Joya Police Department contacted Border Patrol and the FBI, Hernandez said. A Border Patrol spokesperson did not confirm the threat, but they did confirm the agency is doing an accountability check of all agents stationed in the RGV sector. Right now there are more than 3,000 Border Patrol Agents stationed in the Rio Grande Valley. Omar Zamora with Border Patrol said 100 percent of our agents in RGV Sector have been located and accounted for.
December 24: The Tucson Sentinel: Immigrants still surging into Texas shelters
After a brief lull, the surge of undocumented families passing through a temporary shelter set up by Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley seems to be rising again. The spotlight may have turned away, but if the sense of crisis is gone, the people have not stopped coming. “The numbers increased a lot this past month, almost to 100 every day [last week],” said Sister Norma Pimentel, executive director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley. “We have seen some that have already been caught and tried again. They have hope that they have a chance at a better life here.” After Christmas, she said, the charity will begin searching for a facility to turn what began as a temporary shelter into a permanent offering.
The number of unaccompanied minors apprehended, or who have surrendered, has gone down from about 5,460 in October and November of 2013 to about 3,220 during the same months this year. But the number of parents with one or more minor children has stayed about the same: 3,430 in October and November of last year compared with 3,360 this year. So it doesn’t seem like this is going to end anytime soon.
December 23: Yahoo News:
Sheriff Joe’s Suit against Obama immigration thrown out for lack of “standing”
A federal judge on Tuesday threw out a lawsuit brought against Barack Obama by an Arizona police chief who called the U.S. president's sweeping immigration reforms unconstitutional, saying the plaintiff lacked legal standing in the case. Judge Beryl Howell of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia denied the demand by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio for a preliminary injunction to halt the policies. The Sheriff says he filed the case because the President has overstepped his powers by bypassing Congress and ordering the changes himself.
Arpaio's lawsuit said the reforms, which eased the threat of deportation for about 4.7 million undocumented immigrants, amounted to an amnesty and would encourage more people to cross the border illegally. Beryl's 33-page decision said Arpaio did not meet the legal requirements to qualify as a person of standing to be able to bring a case on constitutional grounds.
December 19: Fox News: The Fight against Obama’s Lawlessness is just beginning:
The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) Tuesday joined with 27 members of Congress and more than 60,000 Americans to file an amicus brief in the leading lawsuit against the President’s immigration actions. They joined 24 states in challenging the president, expressing their arguments. The Constitution clearly vests in Congress the exclusive authority to make law and set immigration policies. Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution declares that Congress has the power to “establish a uniform Rule of Naturalization” -- not the president.
And Congress has acted in accordance with that authority, drafting statute after statute regulating immigration and creating a truly comprehensive legal scheme. Under the Constitution, when Congress has spoken this clearly, a president has little standing to draft executive orders that in any way contradict this Congressional intent, even if he disagrees with the Congress. But that is exactly what the President has done. See a video clip from CSpan where the President says “I took action to change the Law”. This is different from prosecutorial discretion that typically involves a case-by-case analysis, setting enforcement priorities consistent with available resources and policy priorities. Instead the President is creating a sweeping, class-based program that would provide automatic benefits to any person meeting the criteria. That’s not prosecutorial discretion, that’s a new law and unconstitutional.
December 11: The Daily Caller: President's Immigration Executive Actions: Survey Responses
In a recent poll sixty percent said they “disapprove of Obama bypassing Congress to make the changes” immigration law, while 38 percent approved. When asked about the Obama’s impact on the constitution, 68% agreed that “Obama’s use of executive orders and acting without Congressional approval may be permanently altering our country’s system of checks and balances.” Only 20 percent dismissed that concern. When asked about the threat of more migrations if the amnesty is adopted, 74 percent of respondents said that “easing the immigration laws in this way will result in more people entering the United States illegally.” Only nine percent dismissed that worry.
December 10: The Daily Caller: The President certainly knows his Bible!
“A watched pot never boils.” “Don’t take any wooden nickels.” “A stitch in time saves nine.” We all remember those powerful words from the Bible, don’t we? Well, at least the President does; and none of these appear anywhere in the Bible! The President made these statements in Nashville yesterday, while ineptly defending his completely unconstitutional executive amnesty.
“I used to think he said this kind of stuff to gaslight us, to make us question our very perceptions of reality. But that’s not it. He’s just a liar, and he’s not particularly good at it,” says Jason Howerton of the Daily Caller. “The only people he ever manages to fool are leftists and the media.”
December 9: WND News: Did Obama Actually sign the Immigration Executive Order?
Press reports say President Obama signed an executive order directing the Department of Homeland Security to forgive millions of illegal aliens for their past violations of immigration law. Did he actually do it? The answer is apparently not. Today the National Archives and Records Administration, responsible for maintaining such filings, said no such executive order was ever signed or filed, A National Archives librarian, Jeffrey Hartley, made the confirmation in an email saying “As I indicated, it would appear that there is not an Executive Order stemming from the President’s remarks on November 20 on immigration.”
The two documents Hartley referenced were the two executive orders Obama signed in Las Vegas Nov. 21. One was a Presidential proclamation creating a White House Task Force on New Americans [Link] and the other a Presidential Memorandum [Link] instructing the secretaries of State and Homeland Security to consult with various governmental and non-governmental entities to reduce costs and improve service in issuing immigrant and non-immigrant visas.
Apparently the only Obama administration document relevant to the plan Obama announced Nov. 20 is a DNS memorandum entitled “Exercising Prosecutorial Discretion with Respect to Individuals Who Came to the U.S. as Children...” [Link]. Governor-elect Abbott has complained that the only basis for the DHS memo directing the change in the operation of the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals program was not a presidential executive order but a legal opinion written by the principal deputy assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Counsel, Karl R. Thompson, to advise Johnson and White House counsel.
December 3: Fox News:
Texas Leads Coalition of 17 States in Lawsuit Against Presidential Executive Immigration Actions:
Texas Gov.-elect Greg Abbott announced Wednesday that Texas is leading a 17-state coalition suing the Obama administration over the president's executive actions on immigration. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Texas on Wednesday, and names the heads of the top immigration enforcement agencies as defendants. Abbott, in a news conference in Austin, said the "broken" immigration system should be fixed by Congress, not by "presidential fiat."
He said President Obama's recently announced executive actions -- a move designed to spare as many as 5 million people living illegally in the United States from deportation -- "directly violate the fundamental promise to the American people" by running afoul of the Constitution. "The ability of the president to dispense with laws was specifically considered and unanimously rejected at the Constitutional Convention," he said. Abbott specifically cited Article 2, Section 3 of the Constitution which states the president "shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed." He said the lawsuit asks the court to require Obama to go through Congress before enforcing laws, "rather than making them up himself."
December 2: USA Today: Congressional Options for Undoing Executive Immigration Actions
Congressional Republicans acknowledged Tuesday that the party has limited immediate options to curtail President Obama's executive actions on immigration, but they vowed to continue their efforts next year when the GOP will take full control of Congress. "We're looking at a variety of options, both for right now and when Republicans control both houses of the Congress next year," said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, "Frankly, we have limited options and limited abilities to deal with it directly." Some Republicans want to use a must-pass government funding bill as a vehicle to respond to the president, but a showdown threatens the risk of another partial government shutdown, which the House leadership has signaled is not an option. The stopgap bill currently funding the government runs out Dec. 11.
One proposal being considered would be to fund eleven of the twelve appropriation measures through the end of the fiscal year, and granting only a short term extension for the Department of Homeland Security, thereby giving the new Congress the ability to defund money for enforcing the President’s immigration executive actions. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has indicated such a bill could pass the Senate. The downside to doing this is that it would fully fund Obamacare through September 2015.
November 24: The Washington Post: Obama’s Go It Alone Immigration Policy is not about Immigration
President Obama’s immigration address was profoundly moving and deeply cynical. Obama spoke of the plight of illegal immigrants who struggle in the shadows to build a better life for their kids and of his desire to “work with both parties” to find a solution. If Obama really believed a single word of that, he would not have taken unconstitutional executive action that he knows will kill any chances for reform, The Washington Post reports. Obama is not acting to help illegal immigrants. He is acting to provoke the GOP. The giveaway moment in his address was when he told Republicans that “Americans are tired of gridlock” and urged them not to “let a disagreement over a single issue be a deal breaker on every issue. That’s not how our democracy works, and Congress certainly shouldn’t shut down our government again just because we disagree on this.”
That is exactly what Obama is hoping Republicans will do. His whole speech was a calculated effort to elicit a self-destructive response from the GOP. Obama wants Republicans to shut down the government. He wants them to introduce articles of impeachment. He wants them to rail against illegal immigrants — to declare, as Congresswoman Bachman (R-MN), that his actions will result in “millions of unskilled, illiterate, foreign nationals coming into the United States who can’t speak the English language.”
November 14: The Washington Post: GOP Short Term Funding Bills face Obama if he stonewalls them
Congressional Republicans said Friday that they might create a series of showdowns over funding the government to try to force President Obama to back down on his expected plans to overhaul the nation’s immigration system. Instead of passing a spending bill in the coming days that would fund the government through the end of the fiscal year, Republicans are considering a short-term measure that would expire early next year, according to more than a dozen top lawmakers and their aides who spoke on the condition of anonymity.Republicans also are planning to file a lawsuit against the president over his use of executive authority, according to the lawmakers and aides.
November 12: The Daily Caller: Report: Obama Executive Amnesty could come next week!
President Obama is preparing to announce a 10-part plan next week to redo the immigration system, which would include the suspension of deportations for millions of immigrants residing in the nation illegally and boost border security, according to a Fox News report Wednesday night. Among the most contentious items on the agenda is the administration’s plan to extend “deferred action” to millions of young people.
According to the report, the plan calls for amnesty for those illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as child. However, it also extends the same provisions for the parents of U.S. citizens and “legal permanent residents.” Also in the proposed plan is an agenda to expand the number of young people allowed to remain in the U.S.
The report indicates this will allow about 300,000 illegals to remain legally. Among the less-contentious points of the administration’s plan include increased border security, higher pay for immigration officers, getting rid of the “Secure Communities” program, and changing the “removal priorities” to target serious criminals for deportation.
November 7: Breitbart News: GOP Leaders Urge Obama to Drop Executive Amnesty:
Congressional GOP leaders urged the President to drop plans to issue an executive order that would convey amnesty. A senior GOP aide with knowledge of the meeting's events said Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy's message on the issue was "very forceful" -- and that Obama seemed taken aback by it. The intense “brushback” spawned 30 minutes of Obama defending himself on the issue and was a dominant issue in the meeting, the source said. A second GOP source described Boehner's message as that not only would executive amnesty erase the possibility of immigration reform, but that it would also likely poison the well for other bipartisan accomplishment. Democrats in the meeting "did not react well" and the subject dominated the meeting after it was broached, the source said.
October 30: The Hill: As Democrats lose Latinos, the Senate could follow:
Democrats have lost their grip on Hispanic voters heading into Election Day—and in turn could lose the Senate because of them. Even though Latinos split heavily for their party in 2012, mounting evidence suggests Hispanics could sit the midterms out after immigration reform has fallen from the White House agenda. "There's no question it's going to affect Democrats in this midterm. There's no one to blame but Democrats themselves," said Arturo Carmona, executive director of Hispanic engagement group Presente Action.
A Pew poll out Wednesday revealed Democrats suffered an eight-point drop in support from Hispanic voters nationwide since 2010, down to 57 percent. Meanwhile, Republicans gained six points over the past four years, with 28 percent now saying they support a generic Republican House candidate. The new survey provided hard numbers for the anecdotal evidence that President Obama's delay of executive action to halt deportations of illegal immigrants is coming back to haunt Democrats.
October 21: Breitbart News: Brown Nails Shaheen on Immigration: “I want to fight for New Hampshire job over jobs for illegal aliens”
Former Senator Scott Brown opened up the economic battlefield on immigration on Tuesday night with help from NBC’s Meet the Press host. “When you’re looking at that bill, what it also does is it immediately gives an opportunity for the president to authorize upwards of 11 million people to get jobs,” Brown said when talking about the Senate-passed “Gang of Eight” immigration bill. “I want to fight for jobs for New Hampshire. Here’s another thing about immigration. I voted to secure the border on two occasions. I voted to send troops to the border. We need to absolutely secure the border. What the president, through his executive order, is proposing to do is to actively expand the definition of refugee to somebody who’s here [illegally] to work.” Brown’s answer on this came after Shaheen dodged a question from the debate’s moderator, on the economic effects of a massive increase in immigration and amnesty for illegal immigrants.
October 19: Breitbart News: Obama Admin Quietly Prepares “Surge” of Millions of New Immigrant IDs
Despite no official action from the President ahead of the election, the Obama Administration has quietly begun preparing to issue millions of work authorization permits, suggesting the implementation of a large-scale executive amnesty may have already begun. Unnoticed until now, a draft solicitation for bids issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Oct. 6 says potential vendors must be capable of handling a “surge” scenario of 9 million id cards in one year “to support possible future immigration reform initiative requirements.” The request for proposals says the agency will need a minimum of four million cards per year. In the “surge,” scenario in 2016, the agency would need an additional five million cards – more than double the baseline annual amount for a total of 9 million. “The guaranteed minimum for each ordering period is 4,000,000 cards. The estimated maximum for the entire contract is 34,000,000 cards,” the document says.
October 10: BreitBart News: Mexican Govt. Paying to help shield Illegals from deportion:
According to a report from National Public Radio, the Mexican government through its 50 consulates around the United States has been helping to fund low-income illegal immigrants to apply for President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA — which shields illegal immigrants from deportation and allows them to work in the U.S. NPR’s report details the story of Tania Guzman, an illegal immigrant who said the cost of applying for DACA worried her, but she was able to afford it after her pro-bono lawyer from Public Counsel told her she could access financial help from the Mexican Consulate in Los Angeles. Mexico paid for all Guzman’s attorney fees and application fees, according to NPR. In the end Guzman told NPR she paid just $50. The report explains that since 2012, the year DACA began, the Mexican Consulate in Los Angeles has assisted more than 260 Mexican illegal immigrants apply for protections under DACA.
September 25: USA Today: U.S. Military to all Illegals to serve
A small number of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. will have an opportunity to join the military for the first time in decades under a new Department of Defense policy unveiled Thursday. The new rules will expand an existing program allowing recruiters to target foreign nationals with high-demand skills, mostly rare foreign language expertise or specialized health care training. For the first time, the program — known as Military Accessions in the National Interest, or MAVNI — will be open to immigrants without a proper visa if they came to the U.S. with their parents before age 16. More specifically, they must be approved under a 2012 Obama administration policy known as Deferred Action for Child Arrivals, or DACA.
The new Pentagon policy may be the first phase of a broader government-wide effort to ease pressure on immigrants and create new paths to citizenship. President Barack Obama, frustrated with the failure of Congress to pass any substantial immigration reform, has vowed to aggressively use his presidential authority to change the way immigration policies are carried out. The Pentagon program is capped at 1,500 recruits per year. Officials say it's unclear how many of those might be unlawful DACA status immigrants as opposed to others who are also eligible for military service under MAVNI, including those with legal, nonpermanent visas such as students or tourists.
September 19: Associated Press: Feds are Mum on Prosecution of Illegal Border Crossers:
The federal government refuses to say whether prosecutors in Yuma, Arizona, have scaled back a years-old program that guarantees jail time for most immigrants caught crossing the border illegally and which law enforcement officials say is crucial to public safety. Reports that federal prosecutors have stopped some prosecutions under Operation Streamline surfaced nearly two weeks ago when Arizona Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake wrote a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder seeking information on the status of the zero-tolerance program that circumvents the civil immigration system and lumps together months' worth of criminal proceedings into one day for immigrants caught crossing the border illegally.
Yuma County Sheriff Leon Wilmot said in a letter to the senators that he had been informed that federal prosecutors in Yuma are no longer going after first offenders. But the government has been completely silent on the issue. Public affairs officials from the Department of Homeland Security, Justice Department and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection have all refused to answer questions about whether the program has been scaled back. Brett Worsencroft, president of the Border Patrol union for Yuma Sector border agents, said the U.S. Attorney's Office has in fact ended prosecutions of first-time offenders.
September 9: The Daily Caller: Justice Dept. Plans to End successful Border Control Program:
According to the sheriff of Yuma County, Arizona, the Department of Justice is set to end a program called “Operation Streamline” which prosecutes first-time illegal border crossers, and U.S. Sens. Jeff Flake and John McCain are wondering why. Sheriff Leon Wilmot brought the DOJ’s plan to Flake’s attention noting the success of a program which implemented a zero-tolerance policy against illegal immigration. But the DOJ is ending the successful program and bringing Yuma County’s policies in line with other sectors that have had trouble keeping a lid on illegal immigration.
“I have been informed that the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona will no longer be prosecuting first time undocumented aliens (UDAs),” Wilmot wrote. Only UDAs with “adverse immigration history” or “criminal conviction of any kind” or who pose a public threat would be prosecuted under the new guidelines. “This new guidance is of great concern because it undermines the mission of local law enforcement agencies throughout Yuma County for 100% prosecution of those entering the United States illegally in order to curb reentries,” Wilmot wrote, explaining that Yuma County will be “scaled back” to be more in line with the Tuscon Sector, where first-time offenders are not prosecuted at all.
September 7: The Daily Caller: President Blames the “Children” for Hostility to His Amnesty Plan:
President Obama is trying to blame migrant Central American “children” for the public’s lopsided rejection of his wage-cutting immigration policies. “This problem with unaccompanied children that we saw a couple weeks ago, where you had, from Central America, a surge of kids who were showing up at the border, got a lot of attention,” the President told NBC news. “And a lot of Americans started thinking, ‘We’ve got this immigration crisis on our hands, so the politics did shift midsummer because of that problem.”
“No one believes that,” said a tweet from Mark Krikorian, director of the Center for Immigration Studies, who has long argued that Obama’s plans are unpopular because they’re so disadvantageous to Americans.
Obama said the draft plan is on his desk. It is reportedly going to allow many new foreign professionals plus many existing illegals — “the millions of people who are here, in many cases, for a decade or more” — to stay in the United States. But the question remains: “Why would you want to bring more people into a job market where there is already a glut of people seeking work? “ Unless, of course, you are looking for cheap labor.
September 6: The New York Times: It’s All About the Midterm Election: President Delays going it alone on Immigration:
President Obama will delay taking executive action on immigration until after the midterm elections, bowing to pressure from fellow Democrats who feared that acting now could doom his party’s chances this fall, White House officials said on Saturday. Immigration reform advocates responded that they had been betrayed and that the President had not lived up to the promises made June 30 in a Rose Garden address. The decision is a reversal of the President’s vow to issue broad directives to overhaul the immigration system soon after summer’s end.
Related: It is interesting that the normally conservative U.S. Chamber of Commerce has been a big supporter of comprehensive immigration reform in the mold of what the Senate passed – considered by some to be amnesty. They have poured big bucks into campaigns of House and Senate candidates who will support their view. This all raises the question “Is this support about cheap labor for businesses?”
September 3: The Hill: Immigration advocates to Obama: Don’t let Democrats stand in the way of action on immigration:
Immigration rights advocates are pushing President Obama to brush aside calls from fellow Democrats to delay executive action on deportations until after the election. "I say to the Democrats: Stand aside," Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-IL) said during a press call Wednesday. "Let the President make a decision; let him announce it; and stop this stopping the progress of our community towards justice."
"The president said that he was ready to take bold action, and a few Democrats should not stand in the way," said Clarissa Martínez-De-Castro, deputy vice president of policy at the National Council of La Raza.
In June, Obama warned GOP leaders that, in the absence of congressional action on immigration reform, he would consider unilateral policy changes recommended by top administration officials "before the end of the summer" and adopt them "without further delay." But a number of Senate Democrats facing tough reelection bids have pushed back against that plan, wary that new executive actions will energize GOP voters who oppose immigration reform and feel Obama is prone to abusing his powers.
September 3: Breitbart News: Attkisson: Obama Administration Refusing to Tell Congress Where Illegal Children Went:
Wednesday on Newsmax TV's "The Steve Malzberg Show," former CBS News correspondent Sharyl Attkisson said the Obama administration is refusing to tell Congress where the tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors who crossed the U.S.-Mexican Border this summer were sent after they were processed though holding centers along the border.
Attkisson said the Obama administration seems to be intentionally stonewalling by not answering letters from members of Congress or reporters’ questions. She added the only recourse is a FOIA lawsuit that will take years to go though the system.
August 31: The Hill: Cruz dismisses talk of Government shutdown over immigration:
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) late Saturday shrugged off the idea that Republicans would shut down the federal government if President Obama took executive action on immigration reform.“There is one person and one person only talking about shutting down the government, and that is the White House,” he told the Washington Post after offering a blistering critique of the administration’s policies at the Americans For Prosperity conference in Dallas.
The president is reportedly weighing circumventing congressional lawmakers, possibly before the end of the summer, to implement some measure of immigration reform. Speaking before the conference, Cruz told the crowd that Obama “has no authority to prospectively grant amnesty to anyone.” He warned if the president did move forward without Congress, doing so “would be utterly lawless.”
August 30: Fox News: Online posts show ISIS is eyeing the Mexican border:
Social media chatter shows Islamic State militants are keenly aware of the porous U.S.-Mexico border, and are “expressing an increased interest” in crossing over to carry out a terrorist attack, according to a Texas law enforcement bulletin sent out this week. “A review of ISIS social media messaging during the week ending August 26 shows that militants are expressing an increased interest in the notion that they could clandestinely infiltrate the southwest border of US, for terror attack,” warns the Texas Department of Public Safety "situational awareness" bulletin, obtained by FoxNews.com. The three-page bulletin, entitled “ISIS Interest on the US Southwest Border” and dated Aug. 28 was released to law enforcement on Thursday. “Social media account holders believed to be ISIS militants and propagandists have called for unspecified border operations, or they have sought to raise awareness that illegal entry through Mexico is a viable option,” states the law enforcement bulletin, which is not classified.
August 29: Roll Call: Top House and Senate Republicans question changes
made to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program
Top Republicans on the House and Senate Judiciary committees are asking the Obama administration to explain changes made this summer to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that they say loosen requirements and invite fraud. House Judiciary Chairman Goodlatte (R-VA) and Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Grassley (R-IA) sent Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson a list of 25 questions Friday on revisions to the 2012 executive order. “Since the initial announcement regarding DACA, we … have written several letters to your Department requesting data and general information about DACA,” they wrote to Johnson. “We have rarely received substantive responses. Congress is entitled to know how this administration is managing the program and to whom it is providing lawful status.”
August 29: Fox News: Mexican authorities start cracking down on freight train migrants:
The lumbering freight train known as "The Beast," a key part of the route for migrants heading north to the United States, rolled to an abrupt, unscheduled stop in the black of midnight. Mexican federal police and immigration agents had waited silently in the brush alongside for at least hour that night. As the train stopped, the area was suddenly flooded with spotlights as agents pounced from both sides of the track, scaling ladders to the tops of the freight cars and shouting: "Federal police! Give up! You're surrounded! Come down carefully!"
Fewer than 15 migrants were detained Friday on a train that once carried 600 to 1,000 migrants at a time. It seemed — at least temporarily — like the end of an era for the train the migrants dubbed "La Bestia" because of all the travelers who had been maimed or killed trying to hitch a ride. But the migrants, fleeing unemployment, violence and poverty in their home countries, have been only temporarily deterred by past strategies. Some already have devised ways to avoid capture under the new crackdown. One lone migrant escaped Friday's raid by lying flat on the roof of the last freight car and managing to stay aboard as the train pulled out. Police said the most experienced border crossers wait near the back of the 50-car train, where they have more time to react when it stops. They know it's hard for police to patrol the entire length of the train.
August 26: Breitbart News: Rubio smashes President’s planned executive amnesty,
Shifts from “Comprehensive” Immigration Reform:
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) partnered with Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to pass a comprehensive immigration bill that would grant citizenship to millions of illegal aliens. That was then – a little over a year ago. Today, in an interview with Breitbart News, the Florida Republican berated President Obama for considering unilateral amnesty, shifted cleanly against “comprehensive” reform, and said the U.S. shouldn't even debate citizenship for illegal aliens until the border is secure.
“I continue to believe our system needs to be reformed and I’ve learned in the last year that because of such an incredible distrust of the federal government no matter who’s in charge, the only way you’re going to be able to deal with this issue is by first securing the border and ensuring that illegal immigration is under control,” Rubio said. A likely candidate presidential candidate in 2016, Rubio sent Obama a letter Tuesday outlining his break from a comprehensive approach to the problem – pairing border security with a years-long path for illegal aliens to eventually obtain citizenship. He also told the president to back off from a rumored plan to expand unilateral amnesty, awarded in 2012 to individuals who came to the U.S. illegally as minors, to as many as five million people.
August 16: Fox News: Senate Dems and Obama Action on Immigration
Senate Democrats at risk of losing re-election in moderate or conservative-leaning states this fall are wary about President Obama using his executive powers to sidestep Congress and act alone on immigration reform. Their biggest concerns appear to be that Obama will expand his 2012 executive action that deferred deportation for young illegal immigrants by extending it to as many as 5 million more people living illegally in the United States.
"This is an issue that I believe should be addressed legislatively and not through executive order," said North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan, one of the most vulnerable Democrats in Republicans' bid to take control of the Senate.
August 13: National Review: Sen. Sessions Warns of Chilling Obama Immigration Plotting:
Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) called for Americans to pressure their senators to vote against President Obama’s expected executive orders on immigration, which he described as a “chilling” plot with activists to undermine national laws. “Recent developments suggest the president’s planned executive amnesty could be increasingly imminent and broad in scope. House Democrat Leader Pelosi — clearly one of the White House’s closest allies — has just urged the president to issue ‘the broadest possible’ executive actions,” Sessions said in a statement on Wednesday.
“Open-borders groups have grown bolder and louder in their unlawful demands, launching a campaign for the president to ‘go big,’ and demanding that he ‘stand up’ to Congress and ‘expand DACA,’” he added, citing an Associated Press report that administration officials were meeting with immigration activists and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “It is chilling to consider now that these groups, frustrated in their aims by our Constitutional system of government, are plotting with the Obama administration to collect their spoils through executive fiat,” he said.
August 13: The New York Post: Illegal immigrant children hit the jackpot as lenient NY judges start hearing cases
Thousands of kids who crossed illegally into the United States will hit the jackpot Wednesday, when their expedited cases begin coming before New York City immigration judges — who are the most lenient in the country. The first judge assigned to the so-called “surge docket” is Frank Loprest, an Obama administration pick who grants asylum in 88 percent of the cases before him. The national average is about 50 percent. Only five other judges in the nation have a more generous asylum record and they are all Loprest’s New York City colleagues, according to data from the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse of Syracuse University.
August 7: Yahoo News: Not Just Children coming into the U.S. Illegally -- Rwandan man accused of war crimes arrested
A Rwandan man accused of war crimes was arrested by the U.S. Border Patrol in northern Maine after a local citizen reported a "suspicious person" walking near the Canadian border, law enforcement officials said on Thursday. Jean Leonard Teganya, 42, a Rwandan who authorities said had violated international law and the Canadian Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act, walked across the border into the United States illegally on Sunday when he was spotted, according to a statement issued by the Department of Homeland Security. He was later detained and processed for removal from the United States, a spokeswoman said.
August 7: Breitbart News: DOJ: Most Crime in the U.S. is along the Mexican Border:
About half of the nation's federal criminal cases last year were filed in regions near the U.S.-Mexico border, according to an alarming annual report from the Obama Administration's Department of Justice (DOJ). During FY 2013, U.S. Attorney's offices filed a total of 61,529 criminal cases against defendants, according to the DOJ. Regions along the border each had more convictions than in any other district. 6,341 cases were filed in Western Texas, suggesting it is home to the country's most severe crime patterns. 6,130 cases were filed in Southern Texas; 4,848 were filed in Southern California; 3,889 were filed in New Mexico; and 3,538 were filed in Arizona.
August 5: Fox News: Suspects in murder of Border Patrol Agent were arrested and deported numerous times | Now face murder charges
Two illegal immigrants from Mexico who were charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of an off-duty U.S. Border Patrol agent in front of his family in Texas have been arrested and deported numerous times, police sources told FoxNews.com. One suspect has been arrested no fewer than four times for entering the U.S. illegally, according to federal court records. The other has been deported twice after entering the U.S. illegally, sources said.
The pair, who have been living in Texas illegally, confessed after being interviewed multiple times Monday to killing Border Patrol agent Javier Vega Jr. in front of his wife and two kids and his parents Sunday night while they were fishing in Santa Monica, Sheriff Larry Spence said. They finally confessed to the robbery and indicated they knew they had killed someone, but did not know it was an off-duty Border Patrol agent, Spence said in an interview in his office Tuesday morning. "They do now," he said.
August 1: Breitbart.com: House Passed Border Bill
The House of Representatives passed the border supplemental bill Friday night by a vote of 223 to 189 with 21 members not voting. Late-night meetings and tweaks to the original bills found members emerging from a Friday morning House GOP conference meeting expressing optimism about the prospects of passing a supplemental border bill to help alleviate the ongoing crisis of unaccompanied minors and family units illegally crossing the southern border. The GOP victory comes after conservative House members pressed hard for changes tightening up the initial bill that failed to come to the floor Thursday due to lack of support. According to Fox News four Republicans voted “no:” (Massie (R-KY), Fincher (R-TN), Jones (R-NC) and Broun (R-GA), and one Democrat voted “yes:” Cuellar (D-TX).
A bill targeting President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program is now set to be brought to the floor following the border supplement. Many Republicans have pointed to the presidents’ DACA program — which shields certain illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children from deportation — as inciting the flood of illegal immigration. Since October more than 57,000 unaccompanied minors — the vast majority of who are from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala — have been detained illegally crossing the southern border into the U.S. forcing the federal government to scramble for additional resources to cope with the influx.
July 31: Reuters: Conservatives Cause Speaker Boehner to pull his immigration/border-security funding bill
A bill to fund border security blew up in House Speaker John Boehner's face on Thursday, leaving Republicans struggling to reconcile conservative demands with the need to deal with a humanitarian crisis on the southwestern border with Mexico. Speaker Boehner (R-OH) withdrew the bill after failing to corral a sufficient number of Republican votes for passage. That left him in an all-too-familiar position of having to somehow pass legislation or risk damage to his party in the November congressional elections in which Republicans are trying to capture the Senate. A carefully crafted, $659 million bill to pay for more border security and help feed and house tens of thousands of Central American children arriving illegally in the United States unexpectedly collapsed on Thursday.
July 31: The Daily Caller: Conservatives Battle the GOP Leadership on Immigration Policy:
The GOP leadership’s new immigration bill shows that top Republicans won’t fight against the Democrats’ unpopular immigration policies, even when the public overwhelmingly agrees with the GOP, say several GOP-affiliated conservatives. The GOP leaders’ bill is so favorable to President Barack Obama that it is the political equivalent of “catching your opponent’s Hail Mary pass and running it into your own end zone for them,” said Daniel Horowitz, the policy director for the Madison Project. The leaders’ immigration bill will be voted on Thursday, and most rank-and-file legislators are expected to support the bill.
Conservatives say the Speaker’s bill would increase and accelerate low-skill migration from Latin American; create a new opportunity for Democrats and business lobbyists to revive the Senate’s 2013 immigration rewrite; do nothing to deter President Barack Obama from acting independently; and allow the Democrats to shift the increasingly painful blame for the arrival of 100,000-plus Central American migrants, away from the president. Conservatives contend The GOP leadership is granting these concessions to Obama, even though his immigration policies are wrecking his poll ratings and are prompting Americans to endorse conservative immigration policies.
July 31: Breitbart Texas: Meanwhile Polling Data Shows GOP Voters Think Standing Tough on Immigration is the most important issue facing Congress:
Polling data compiled by Tea Party Patriots shows that a majority of Republican voters think Republicans standing strong on immigration is more important than repealing Obamacare, getting to the bottom of the Benghazi or IRS scandals—or anything else for that matter. When asked by TPP’s pollster which issue they think is the important for Republicans in Congress to deal with, 34.6 percent of GOP voters said stopping the flow of illegal immigrants across our southern border. Stopping Obama’s “illegal overreach” with executive power came in a distant second with 24 percent of GOP voters saying that’s the most important, while 23 percent saying repealing Obamacare is the most important and just 7.2 percent say the IRS scandal is the most important issue and 2.8 percent say the Benghazi scandal is most important. A total of 8.4 percent of GOP voters said they don’t know or refused to answer. ines nationwide, with a margin of error of 3.2 percent.
July 30: The Hill: My Way or the Highway: Obama to House GOP – I will veto your border-immigration bill
The White House threatened Wednesday to veto the $659 million border bill crafted by House Republicans, calling it an insufficient bill that places “arbitrary and unrealistic demands” on the nation’s immigration system. In a statement of administration policy, the White House said advisers would recommend President Obama veto the bill if it reached his desk.
The veto threat came just hours before the House and Senate were set to hold dueling votes on competing border packages, on the next to last day of legislative work before a five-week August recess. In the Senate, Democrats are having a hard time mustering enough support to overcome an expected filibuster of their $3.5 billion spending bill, which includes $2.7 billion for the border and additional funds to address wildfires out West and to bolster Israel’s “Iron Dome” rocket defense. That bill cleared one procedural hurdle Wednesday, but is not expected to advance any further. The House Republican bill is much more limited, and does not provide funding for Israel or the $615 million requested by the president to fight wildfires, which the White House noted in its veto threat.
July 30: Fox News: Reports reveal trend of brazen attacks against border security by gangs & Drug Traffickers
A game warden hit in the head with a rock while trying to seize a raft. Police officers wounded in an hours-long standoff with a gang member wanted for murder. Criminals spewing obscenities and death threats at local cops before asking for – and receiving – medical treatment. And that was just last week! A weekly report from a state of Texas agency paints a grim picture of the Mexican border, where authorities regularly confront illegal immigrant gang members and draw automatic gunfire from across the Rio Grande, and where local, state and federal authorities fight a never-ending battle against drug smugglers.
The most recent Border Operations Sector Assessment report compiled by the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Border Security Operations Center details local and federal authorities encountering smugglers carrying millions of dollars’ worth of marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamine, some of which was found in vehicles filled with biblical passages and religious items; federal agents being assaulted and shot at; gang members brazenly approaching people in their homes; and ranch workers witnessing men crossing into the U.S. wearing camouflage and carrying long guns and automatic weapons.
July 30: The Daily Caller: MSNBC Host: Obama’s Possible Executive Order-Amnesty Could Doom Dems
Hard-left MSNBC host Ed Schulz is worried that Democrats will be hammered by voters if President Barack Obama uses his executive authority to distribute work-permits to millions of illegal immigrants. “Hold the phone — this would be a mistake if the president were to do this,” Schultz told his audience July 29. Politically, there is no way Democrats can go home and campaign on across-the-board amnesty for millions of undocumented workers… it could be an electoral death knell for the Democrats,” he said.
White House officials have repeatedly said that Obama will soon use his executive authority to give millions of illegals work-permits that would allow them to compete for good jobs against hard-pressed American workers, including African-American and Latino youths. But the White House may not be focused on the Senate’s elections this year. Instead, Obama may be using the pending amnesty to create a emotional wedge issue that helps the Democratic president candidate win Latino voters in 2016.
July 30: The Hill: Vulnerable Dems with Tight Races Balk at Obama’s Talk of Immigration Reform by Executive Actions
Democratic senators facing tough reelections want to put the brakes on President Obama’s plan to reform the nation’s immigration enforcement system through executive action. Two of the Senate’s most vulnerable incumbents, Sens. Mark Pryor (D-AR) and Kay Hagan (D-NC), say Obama should not act unilaterally to reduce deportations, arguing it’s Congress’s job to change the law. While the Democratic-led Senate has passed a bipartisan bill, the Republican-controlled House will not.
This poses a dilemma for Obama. Slowing or halting deportations of otherwise law-abiding residents who came to the country illegally could produce a backlash in red states where Obama has low approval numbers. Furthermore, the crisis at the southern U.S. border complicates any move to ease deportation laws. But not taking executive action could discourage Latino voters, who backed Obama and other Democratic candidates overwhelmingly in the 2012 elections and expect action on immigration reform.
July 28: The Telegraph: Prime Minster Cameron Announces Immigration Crackdown in Britian
David Cameron is to announce tough action on immigration that will halve the amount of time foreigners can claim benefits in the UK. The Coalition will introduce laws to ensure that European Union migrants can only claim out-of-work benefits for three months, Mr Cameron said. The Prime Minister also pledges to stop more than 500,000 British jobs being advertised across the EU and announces tough new curbs on colleges offering visas to “bogus” students.
The Government will make changes to the immigration system that put “Britain first” and ensure that the UK is “a country that is not a soft touch”, Mr Cameron said. “We changed the rules so that no one can come to this country and expect to get out-of-work benefits immediately; they must wait at least three months,” Mr Cameron added. “And we are announcing today that we are cutting the time people can claim these benefits for. It used to be that European jobseekers could claim Job Seeker’s Allowance or child benefit for a maximum of six months before their benefits would be cut off, unless they had very clear job prospects.
July 28: Fox News: Illegal immigrants protest outside White House – Little Fear of Arrest/Repercussions
Illegal immigrant demonstrators were protesting outside the White House on Monday – but don’t expect America’s immigration officers to intervene. An Immigration and Customs Enforcement [ICE] official indicated that even if the protesters end up getting arrested by D.C. police, they’d have to be serious criminals for ICE to get involved. “Unless the individuals meet ICE’s enforcement priorities, it’s unlikely that the agency would get involved in the case,” the official said. Under a policy that’s been in effect for several years, ICE focuses deportation mostly on serious criminals and – in some cases -- those caught in the act of crossing the border. The agency prioritizes deportation for felons, repeat offenders, gang members and others with a serious criminal record. But the agency largely gives a free pass to other undocumented residents.
July 27: Fox News: New House Whip vows to stay in Washington until Congress has immigration plan
Rep. Steve Scalise [R-LA], the incoming House Majority Whip, said Sunday he will stay in Washington until Congress agrees to an emergency spending plan for the border-immigration crisis, but declined to say whether he will cancel the lower chamber’s August recess. “I’m going to stay until it’s done,” the TEA Party-backed lawmaker said. In June Scalise became the No. 3 Republican in the GOP-led House after Majority Leader Eric Cantor lost his re-election bid.
Scalise also laid out House Republicans' legislative agenda before the November elections, including a vow to agree to a spending bill before the federal government runs out of money in October -- avoiding the possibility of a so-called government shutdown. He noted the Republicans want to keep the government funded at current levels. He also said the GOP will continue to address problems with ObamaCare that would include plans to repeal the law and find alternatives for consumers, including the possibility of allowing them to buy government-backed insurance across state lines, which could lower premium costs.
July 26: The Washington Times: Impeachment is not imminent, it’s a Cash Raising Scheme!
In a bid to bring in more campaign cash, House Democrats sent out a plea to donors to pitch in more funds to defend President Obama from a seemingly-imminent impeachment. In an email, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) solicited immediate donations citing House Speaker Boehner’s lawsuit against Mr. Obama. “The White House announced yesterday that Boehner’s lawsuit could lead to the impeachment of President Obama,” the email read. “Boehner’s lawsuit against the President is more than a political stunt. It’s a full on attack on President Obama’s agenda, his legitimacy, and the Democratic process that elected him twice,” the email states. The DCCC asked donors to reach into their pockets to smash their 100,000 donation goal saying, “We’ve had enough of it.” The latest public campaign filings show that House Democrats are already ahead of Republicans in the election cycle.
July 25: Christian Science Monitor: Obama will take executive action on immigration after summer White House says:
President Obama will go ahead with a “very significant” executive action on immigration after the summer – a move that may well trigger impeachment proceedings against him, senior Obama adviser Dan Pfeiffer told reporters Friday. “The president acting on immigration reform will certainly up the likelihood that [Republicans] would contemplate impeachment at some point,” said Mr. Pfeiffer, who has been at the Obama White House since its inception. A lot of people in Washington laughed off Sarah Palin’s call to impeach the president for executive overreach, Pfeiffer said, but “I would not discount that possibility.” Polling shows strong support for the idea among the GOP base, he said, adding that House Speaker Boehner (R-OH) has opened the door to the possibility with his lawsuit against Obama.
Speaker Boehner has flatly denied an interest in impeachment, saying, “I disagree” with those who support it. Next week, the GOP-controlled House is expected to pass a resolution to sue the president for executive overreach on the Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare.” “This is a fundraising exercise for Democrats,” said Boehner spokesman Michael Steel in an e-mail response to Pfeiffer’s impeachment comments. “It is telling, and sad, that a senior White House official is focused on political games, rather than helping these kids and securing the border."
July 25: Time: Meanwhile Time reports the President may be eyeing granting temporary legal status to undocumented residents:
When President Obama issues executive orders on immigration in coming weeks, pro-reform activists are expecting something dramatic: temporary relief from deportation and work authorization for perhaps several million undocumented immigrants. If the activists are right, the sweeping move would upend a contentious policy fight and carry broad political consequences. The activists met privately with the President and his aides June 30 at the White House, and say in that meeting Obama suggested he will act before the November midterm elections. They hope his decision will offer relief to a significant percentage of the estimated 11.7 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. “He seems resolute that he’s going to go big and go soon,” says Frank Sharry, executive director of the pro-reform group America’s Voice. Exactly what Obama plans to do is a closely held secret.
July 25: Breitbart News: Sessions: Melt Congressional Phone Lines, Stop Obama’s Planned Executive Amnesty:
Senate Budget Committee ranking member Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) is putting a call out to the American people: He needs help to kill President Barack Obama’s plans to grant executive amnesty to millions of illegal aliens. Sessions wants Americans to melt Congress’ phone lines, demanding their members make a precondition of any border crisis bill that Obama’s executive order amnesty via the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and any future plans be stopped. “The American people have begged and pleaded for years for our laws to be enforced,” Sessions said in his statement. “We have people in our own country living in violence, fear and poverty every single day. They have demanded an immigration policy that puts their jobs, wages and communities first. Every citizen should pick up the phone and ask of their congressional representative: where do you stand?” Sessions said that it would be wrong for any member of the House or Senate to support any border crisis bill that doesn’t end DACA and block the president from expanding it.
All of this is based upon what might be considered a false assumption. If we have a President who refuses to abide by and enforce the laws of the country, then what good does it do to pass any legislation? If the Congress continues to fail to stand up for its rights under the Constitution, then the President’s actions could ultimately succeed!
July 24: The New York Times: Administration Considering Granting Legal Status to Youth in Honduras Saving them a Dangerous Trip North:
Patrick also observed during his trips to the border and detention centers that many of the "young children" are teenagers and with parents and family members. He said there is a concern that some are "gang members" and that potential terrorists can exploit the porous border. In addition to the public safety threat, Patrick also discussed the strain on local schools and other public resources and accused the Obama administration of luring more illegal immigrants to the country after unilaterally enacting the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
Hoping to stem the recent surge of migrants at the Southwest border, the Obama administration is considering whether to allow hundreds of minors and young adults from Honduras into the United States without making the dangerous trek through Mexico, according to a draft of the proposal. If approved, the plan would direct the government to screen thousands of children and youths in Honduras to see if they can enter the United States as refugees or on emergency humanitarian grounds. It would be the first American refugee effort in a nation reachable by land to the United States, the White House said, putting the violence in Honduras on the level of humanitarian emergencies in Haiti and Vietnam, where such programs have been conducted in the past amid war and major crises.
Critics of the plan were quick to pounce, saying it appeared to redefine the legal definition of a refugee and would only increase the flow of migration to the United States. By moving decisions on refugee claims to Honduras, the plan is aimed at slowing the rush of minors crossing into the United States illegally from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, which has overwhelmed the Southwest border this year.
July 24: The Hill: House Republicans to Meet Friday to Discuss Immigration Legislation
House Republicans will huddle privately Friday morning in a pivotal meeting on tackling the border crisis. The members-only meeting comes as Republicans try to figure out what sort of a package they can support days before Congress breaks for a five-week recess. Conservative Republicans have aired concerns about passing any bill sending money to President Obama’s administration for border protection, suggesting it will be difficult for Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) to move a bill with just GOP votes.
Democrats have lined up in opposition to policy changes sought by Republicans, meaning Boehner can’t depend on support from the minority. Boehner on Thursday said leaders were continuing to talk to members about a potential proposal, but offered no details on timing or what it might look like. On Wednesday, a House GOP working group recommended changing a 2008 human trafficking law to a $1.5 billion spending package. The changes would make it easier for authorities to quickly send young immigrants from Central American countries back to their homelands. Republicans have been adamant that any new funding sent to address the influx of child migrants across the border must also be paired with policy changes that tighten border security and make it easier to quickly process and deport those people who came here illegally.
July 23: The Hill: Senator Cruz warns his House colleagues about Democrats fooling them:
Sen. Ted Cruz is urging House Republicans to reject legislation addressing the border crisis, arguing that passing a bill through the lower chamber would play into the hands of Senate Democrats. The Texas Republican’s move to sway GOP lawmakers will hamper any House effort to pass a border bill before Congress adjourns for its summer break at the end of next week. In a Wednesday morning meeting, Cruz told a group of more than 20 House conservatives that they would regret passing legislation addressing the Texas border crisis because Senate Democrats were likely to gut it and use it as a vehicle to pass other immigration legislation. Should the speaker and his confederates try to pass a border bill through the House soon they will need every vote they can get. Some House Republicans have signaled they won’t vote for any supplemental spending border bill and most Democrats are expected to oppose it.
July 23: The Daily Caller: White House to Boehner: Give us the $3.7 Billion then we’ll talk!
Speaking at an informal press gaggle on Air Force One on Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest indicated that the White House was uninterested in brokering a deal with Republicans over the immigration crisis. Earnest had been asked about House Speaker Boehner’s letter to the president in which he called on the administration to make changes to the 2008 immigration law that many say is a root cause of the current crisis. The White House is apparently more interested in getting the requested $3.7 billion in emergency funds to help overwhelmed departments manage the surge of migrants, and to fund programs in the home countries of immigrants that are designed to lower migration levels.
The House Appropriations Committee has yet to grant the requested funds, much to the consternation of the White House. “As I have said many times,” wrote Boehner, “the American people will not support providing additional money unless you work with both parties to address the causes of this tragedy.” Boehner called on the president to support changes to the 2008 law, which currently requires all minors not from Mexico or Canada to have an immigration hearing before being returned to their home country.
July 21: CBS News: Governor Perry Deploying up to a Thousand National Guard to the Border
Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) announced Monday that he is activating up to 1,000 National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border as he accuses the federal government of offering "lip service" on border security. The announcement comes as the Obama administration is still struggling to deal with the influx of more than 50,000 unaccompanied minors most from Central America, who have crossed into the United States in the past year. The additional resources [troops] are not aimed at the children themselves, Perry said, describing them instead as a "force multiplier" to help the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) "combat the brutal Mexican drug cartels that are preying upon our communities." "I will not stand idly by while our citizens are under assault and little children from Central America are detained in squalor. We are too good of a country [for that]," Perry said.
July 21: Breitbart News: TX State Senator: 100,000 Illegal Immigrant Gang Members in our State:
On Monday's Laura Ingraham Show, Texas State Senator Dan Patrick said from 2008 to 2012, 143,000 illegal immigrant criminals were arrested and jailed in Texas. He said these were "hardened criminals, gang members, and other criminals that we identified as being in Texas illegally." "We charged them with 447,000 crimes, a half-million crimes in four years, just in Texas, including over 5,000 rapes and 2,000 murders," Patrick said. "We estimate we have 100,000 gang members here illegally."
July 17: ABC News: Feds Struggling to Cope with Medical “Breakdown” at the Border
The federal government is so overwhelmed by the current tide of migrants crossing the border it can’t provide basic medical screening to all of the children before transporting them – often by air – to longer-term holding facilities across the country, ABC News has learned. The director of refugee health in HHS “has identified a breakdown of the medical screening processes at the Nogales, Arizona, facility,” according to an internal Department of Defense memo reviewed by ABC News. The “breakdown” a systemic failure of the handoff of these children between Customs/Border Patrol and HHS.
Government officials are sounding alarms, fearing that they and their teams who come in contact with the sick children face potential exposure to infectious diseases from chicken pox to influenza, including rare cases of H1N1, more commonly called swine flu. Reports show that two unaccompanied children were flown from Nogales to California despite having 101-degree fevers and flu-like symptoms. Those children had to be hospitalized. The memo said pointedly that officials in charge of moving the immigrants from Border Patrol processing centers to Health and Human Services facilities are “putting sick [fevers and coughing] unaccompanied children on airplanes inbound for [Naval Base Ventura County] in addition to the chicken pox and coxsackie virus cases.”
July 17: Real Clear Politics: Obama Said to Assure Hispanic Caucus on Limiting Deportations
President Obama reassured members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Wednesday that he will flex his executive muscle later this year to be "as great and big and bold as he can be" to reduce deportations of undocumented immigrant families who have lived and worked in the United States for years, one Democratic lawmaker said at the conclusion of the meeting. Obama tasked White House Counsel W. Neil Eggleston and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Johnson to meet this week with caucus members to continue examining powers the president can use to keep undocumented families together, Rep. Luis Gutierrez of Illinois told reporters.
July 17: The Daily Caller: Obama Promised to “Shortly” Grant Amnesty to Illegals
Lawmaker Tony Cardenas (D-CA) revealed that President Barack Obama promised the Congressional Hispanic Caucus on Wednesday he will “act shortly” to bypass Congress and grant some form of amnesty to many illegal immigrants. Cardenas spoke with MSNBC’s Jose Diaz-Balart on Thursday about a meeting the Hispanic Caucus had with the president on Wednesday concerning the growing border crisis and comprehensive immigration reform. The Congressman claimed that Obama committed to broad executive action on immigration reform — including granting legal status to hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants without congressional approval — and that such action will come “shortly.”
July 16: CNS News: Feds Drop “Unknown Number” of Illegal Kids in Suburban Washington, DC County Without Warning
Prince William County, Virginia has become well-known in recent years for its tough stance on illegal immigration. So you can imagine how upset some local lawmakers were when they learned that the federal government had contracted to house illegal alien children in their county without informing any county officials. MRCTV spoke to Prince William County Supervisor, Corey Stewart about the situation that was thrust upon his county by the Obama Administration. We then attended a council meeting where outraged citizens spoke out against the move and had some harsh words for both the council members and the federal government. Stewart claims that he has also heard rumors that the federal government plans to bring more of the minors to Prince William County. It is unclear what, if any, action local authorities can take to stop the continued influx of illegals into their community.
July 13: The Hill: Another Texas Democrat says Obama should have visited the Texas/Mexico Border
Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) on Sunday said he believes President Obama should have visited the U.S.-Mexico border when he was in Texas last week. “I wish he would have come to the border,” O’Rourke, whose district includes the border town of El Paso, said on CNN’s "State of the Union." The freshman lawmaker said he wanted the president to visit McAllen, Texas, which has become operational hub in the crisis to deal with thousands of children who have crossed the border illegally.
O’Rourke called the site “ground zero” for dealing with the situation and a visit there would have allowed Obama to meet with border patrol and immigration officer trying to handle the crisis. The president has come under harsh scrutiny from Republicans, and a number of Democrats, for visiting the state for fund raising events but not traveling to the holding facilities. A visit "would have sent an important message to the rest of the country about [how] seriously he views this situation,” according to O’Rourke.
July 11: Breitbart Texas: The TSA is allowing Illegals to Fly without Verificable IDs, Border Patrol Union says
Illegal aliens are being allowed to fly on commercial airliners without valid identification, according to the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC). “The aliens who are getting released on their own recognizance are being allowed to board and travel commercial airliners by simply showing their Notice to Appear forms,” NBPC’s Local 2455 Spokesman, Hector Garza, told Breitbart Texas.
“This is not the CBP [Customs and Border Protection] or another federal agency renting or leasing an aircraft, these are the same planes that the American public uses for domestic travel,” said Garza. “This just adds insult to injury. Not only are we releasing unknown illegal aliens onto American streets, but we are allowing them to travel commercially using paperwork that could easily be reproduced or manipulated on any home computer. The Notice to Appear form has no photo, anyone can make one and manipulate one. They do not have any security features, no watermark, nothing. They are simply printed on standard copy paper based on the information the illegal alien says is the truth.”
July 11: The Gateway Pundit: Joe Arpaio: My tents are Hilton Hotels compared to what is going on at illegal immigrant camps:
“As I mentioned we have four thousand illegal immigrants in the jails that I run, including a tent city jail. So why not put up tents, at least for those that 15, 16, 17 and put them all in tents. In fact when you look at how they are being incarcerated by the federal government my tents are Hilton hotels comparing to what they’re doing down there. But for six years the Department of Justice has been investigating me. They should be investigating what’s going on right now.”
July 10: Breitbart Texas: Border Patrol Agent asks “Why would anyone want to hire a smuggler when the United States Government is doing if for free?”
Border Patrol agent Hector Garza stated in an interview on the Thursday broadcast of Fox News Channel’s “Hannity” that the U.S. government is “completing the smuggling cycle” of unaccompanied minors into the United States, and asked “why would anyone want to hire a smuggler when the US government is actually doing it for free?” He stated that “we apprehend [unaccompanied minors] we process these illegals and then release them to their family members in the US we just completed that smuggling cycle.” He also stated the US is giving illegal immigrants from countries other than Mexico a “free pass.”
Garza added that the surge of unaccompanied minors and the violence directed at Border Patrol agents by cartels has placed a strain on the Border Patrol, and as a result “resources are running dry and morale is at a very low level,” but that despite this “agents come to work every day with their head up high.
July 10: Fox News: Perry: Illegal immigrant surge is a “humanitarian crisis” Obama can stop
Texas Gov. Rick Perry said Wednesday on “Hannity” that President Obama needs to act now to stop the surge in illegal immigrants flooding across his state’s border, calling it “a humanitarian crisis that he has the ability to stop.” The governor spoke out after meeting with Obama in Texas Wednesday afternoon. Both sides called the meeting “constructive” and said they agreed philosophically. However, Perry said he is concerned that Obama did not indicate he will take the immediate action he requested: to use his power as commander-in-chief to send the National Guard to secure the border.
Perry criticized the fact that Obama is not visiting the border on his trip to Texas so he can witness the crisis first-hand. Obama said in a press conference Wednesday that doing so would be engaging in political “theater” and not productive. However, some news analysts are saying the President wants to avoid having his policies being tied to the crisis on the border.
July 9: The Daily Caller: Senator DeMint: Obama trying to link border solutions to Congress not acting on supplemental appropriations – not his immigration policies:
During an interview following President Obama’s speech in Texas, former U.S senator and current President of the Heritage Foundation Jim DeMint stated that the White House is taking a dishonest, indirect approach towards immigration reform. “I found this statement extraordinarily dishonest,” DeMint said, “Illegal crossings had gone down until 2012, the year before, 6500 unaccompanied minors had been apprehended. But in 2012, the president did something extraordinary with this DACA executive order which basically said if you are from Central America and you are a minor you get here, you can you stay or at least the process to send you home.”
“What you see here is the president is trying to make this a fight between him and Congress,” DeMint said, “The only thing is for congress to give him more money when, in fact, he has a half trillion dollars in his budget for domestic security which includes border security and the congress now is considering appropriations for next year that began in October. He doesn’t need an emergency bill right now. He has got the flexibility to act in every area that he is talking about.”
July 8: National Review: Border Patrol Tells Agent: “You Must Cease and Desist” from Speaking with Media
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency has served one of its agents with a letter saying “you must immediately cease and desist” from issuing statements and press releases to the media with information that is “Law Enforcement sensitive,” according to the document obtained by National Review Online. Kathleen Scudder, assistant chief patrol agent of the San Diego Sector, sent the letter to agent Ron Zermeno, health and safety director of National Border Patrol Council Local 1613, notifying him of an investigation into his conduct and to “remind” him that no agent should make statements or issue press releases “without proper authorization.”
Zermeno confirmed the validity of the letter and said he thinks the order is retaliation for his actions as a whistleblower, which have involved exposing the public-health risks associated with the illegal immigrants transported to the San Diego Sector. “As a union officer, I feel it’s my job to expose when management is putting people at risk,” he says. “They violated their oath as Border Patrol agents.” Before receiving the cease-and-desist letter, Zermeno wrote Paul Beeson, the San Diego Sector’s chief patrol agent, to explain that two agents at the Brown Field Border Patrol Station contracted scabies after processing illegal immigrants transported from Texas last week.
July 8: The Daily Caller: Obama Wants You to Fund Lawyers for New Illegals
President Barack Obama is asking Congress to provide free lawyers to the illegal immigrants surging across the U.S. border from Central America. The request for $18 million of free legal services, which White House officials describe as an emergency, is included in White House request to Congress for $3.7 billion. Most of those funds are needed to process, care for and feed the growing flow of immigrants, which is already at 100,000 since last October, says the administration. If the GOP funds the request for lawyers, they will help many of the illegals win green cards, which will allow them permanent access to the nation’s generous social and welfare programs, including Obamacare.
Under normal practice, most border-crossers are sent home without any chance to get into a courtroom. Also, the federal government does not provide free immigration-lawyers to illegals. A 2008 law allows the federal government to fund lawyers for foreign children and youths seeking asylum, but does not say it is a right.
July 7: National Review: Administration Muzzles Media during Immigrant Housing Tour
Health and Human Services officials will allow reporters to visit a military facility housing some of the immigrant children who have arrived at the southern border in recent weeks, but only if the media promises not to record anything, not to ask any questions during the tour, and not to talk to any of the staff members or children.
“This violates the First Amendment,” Representative Jim Bridenstine (R-OK) who represents the congressional district containing the housing facility at Fort Sill, said of the HHS invitation to the media. “This is not transparent. HHS is trying to muzzle the media and hide the human tragedy that has resulted directly from the administration’s failure to enforce the law.”
July 6: The Hill: Democrat: Obama “One step behind on crisis”
The Obama administration has botched its response to the wave of migrants flooding the southern border, a Texas Democrat charged Sunday. Congressman Cuellar (D-TX), who represents a border district, said the administration simply failed to anticipate a predictable crisis and remains "one step behind" in addressing it. "We should have been ready for this surge, the administration should have been ready," Cuellar said on CNN's "State of the Union" program. "With all respect to the administration, they're one step behind. They should have seen this coming a long time ago … because we saw those numbers increasing."
In the month of May, law enforcers apprehended roughly 48,000 migrants along the Texas border alone, 9,700 of them children unaccompanied by an adult, Cuellar said. The wave has overwhelmed the law enforcers, courts, detention centers and healthcare agencies attempting to manage it. Republicans have blamed Obama for the spike in numbers, arguing that his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which provides temporary legal protection to some undocumented immigrants brought to the country as kids, has encouraged the influx.
July 6: Breitbart News: Feds to Bring in Riot Squads Against Illegal Immigration Protesters
As illegal immigrants continue to spill across the U.S.-Mexico border, federal authorities are attempting to relocate the migrants from South Texas to housing facilities in states across the nation. One such facility is located in Murrieta, California, where a large group of protesters recently blocked a bus full of migrants from arriving. The protesters remain there, adamant that illegal immigrants don't get dumped in their town. But soon the concerned citizens may be forced to step down--Breitbart Texas has learned that federal agents plan to arrive in Murrieta on Monday with riot gear to ensure that another busload makes it to the housing facility.
Jeremy Oliver, a resident of Temecula, California--a town that neighbors Murrieta--told Breitbart Texas that local police officers warned the protesters that "it's going to get ugly." Oliver said, "The feds are pissed that they haven't been able to use this facility. Officers out there warned people that federal agents will be in Murrieta on Monday--they are going to get the next bus through no matter what. Riot gear and shields will be used to push the crowd back."
July 5: The Daily Caller: Border Meltdown: Obama delivers 290,000 illegals to U.S. homes!
The vast majority of 50,000 unaccompanied youths and children who have illegally crossed the Texas border during the last few months have been successfully delivered by federal agencies to their relatives living in the United States, according to a New York Times article. A second NYT article reports revealed that officials have caught an additional 240,000 Central American migrants since April, and are transporting many of them to their destinations throughout the United States. The deluge of 290,000 illegals — so far — are exploiting legal loopholes that allow them to get temporary permits to stay in the United States.
Experts say that President Barack Obama’s administration has failed to close the loopholes and is unlikely to deport more than a small percentage of the illegals, despite the high unemployment rates among American Latino, African-American and white youths, and the strapped budgets of many cities and towns. The president’s policy has caused protests by frightened citizens in towns such as Murrieta. But Obama’s allies — such as La Raza, an ethnic lobby for Latinos — are eager to escalate the conflict and to paint the protestors as racists. Those protests may escalate before the November elections.
July 4: Fox News: ICE henceforth will not use “Alien” when referring to children entering the country illegally!
Immigration and Customs Enforcement [ICE] will no longer use the word “alien” in its references to illegal immigrant minors who have been apprehended without their parents at the U.S. border, according to an internal agency email. The children have commonly been referred to as “unaccompanied alien children,” or “UACs.” With the new directive, laid out in a June 4 email, both terms will be dropped and replaced with “unaccompanied children.” “This was briefed earlier today during he [sic] command and staff meeting,” reads the email, which was forwarded to reporters by the Center for Immigration Studies.
July 2: National Review:Congressman Barred from Visiting a Federal Detention Facility holding illegal immigrant children
A Health and Human Services [HHS] official refused to allow a member of Congress to enter a facility in his district where some of the unaccompanied immigrant children are being housed. Congressman Bridenstine (R=OK) was told he could schedule an appointment for July 21. “What are they trying to hide?” he said after the incident. “Do they not want the children to speak with Members of Congress? As a Navy pilot, I have been involved in operations countering illicit human trafficking. I would like to know to whom these children are being released.”
There are 1,200 immigrant children at the base. Bridenstine’s office explained that HHS releases the children to a “sponsor” in the United States. The Congressman said that a security guard at the Fort Sill, OK, facility refused to let him enter the barracks without HHS approval even though he is a member of Congress. “There is no excuse for denying a Federal Representative from Oklahoma access to a federal facility in Oklahoma where unaccompanied children are being held,” Bridenstine said in the press release. ”Any Member of Congress should have the legal authority to visit a federal youth detention facility without waiting three weeks.”
July 1: NBC News Los Angeles: Protesters Block Bus Carrying Illegal Immigrants
Buses carrying migrant families were rerouted to a U.S.-Mexican border station after being blocked by protesters waving American flags in a suburban Southern California city. Protesters, some yelling, "They're not born here!" and "Go back to Mexico!" stood in the street, blocking the buses as they were headed to the suburban border patrol station in Murrieta. The buses were coming to Murrieta to drop off 140 illegal immigrants, who crossed into the United States through Texas. They are the first wave of migrants who are supposed to be processed at that location, before being released to family or friends until they are called into immigration court.
July 1: Fox News: Medical staff warned to keep their mouths shut about illegal immigrants or face arrest
A government-contracted security force threatened to arrest doctors and nurses if they divulged any information about the contagion threat at a refugee camp housing illegal alien children at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, sources say. In spite of the threat, several former camp workers broke their confidentiality agreements and shared exclusive details with me about the dangerous conditions at the camp. They said taxpayers deserve to know about the contagious diseases and the risks the children pose to Americans. I have agreed to not to disclose their identities because they fear retaliation and prosecution.
She said the workers were stripped of their cellphones and other communication devices. Anyone caught with a phone was immediately fired. “Everyone was paranoid,” she said. “The children had more rights than the workers.” She said children in the camp had measles, scabies, chicken pox and strep throat as well as mental and emotional issues.
And who is to blame for this? The one who announced to the world that if you are in the U.S. illegally but you are under 16 you will not be deported. That person’s statement is what started the flood of children coming over our borders. That man is the President of the United
July 1: Real Clear Politics: Krauthammer: If fences don’t work why is there one around the White House?
You start with a fence. It's very simple. People say, 'Oh, fences don't work. You make a ladder.' Well, then you build two fences, triple strand fences. San Diego did that in the mid 90's and within a decade, the illegal immigration rate at that point was reduced by 90% and people ended up going through other places like Arizona.
If fences don't work, why is there one around the White House? If they don't work, why is it that the Israeli fence which separate Israel from the West Bank has cut down terror attacks within Israel by 99%. Fences work. Yes, there are parts of the border where you can't have a fence, fine. So you don't have it in those areas and you do heavy patrols. But there is no reason why a rich country like us cannot put a fence across -- a double fence, a triple fence and patrol it all the time. That would have a tremendous impact.
June 26: The Hill: Immigration Reform Advocates Arrested at California Congressman’s Office
Six immigration activists were arrested for protesting outside of Rep. Ed Royce's (R-CA) district office late Friday after they stopped traffic in the middle of a busy street near Los Angeles, according to reports. The protest, organized by the Service Employees International Union, was one of dozens held around the country Friday to mark the one-year anniversary of the Senate passing a sweeping immigration bill, which would pave the way for 11 million illegal immigrants to stay in the country. But House Republicans have refused to take up similar legislation, angering many immigration activists. On Friday, many of the protesters arrived on buses from outside the district.
“The bulk of the protestors were not Rep. Royce’s constituents and arrived on Chula Vista Tour buses organized by the SEIU. Our staff invited the small number of constituents among the group to sit down and further discuss their concerns on their next visit,” Royce's spokesperson Saat Alety told the OC Register. “Rep. Royce has and will continue to meet with constituents that want to have a constructive debate on the immigration issue. Unfortunately, the group today appeared more interested in noise and preplanned arrests meant to garner headlines than actually sitting down to discuss the issue,” Alety added.
June 26: KRGV.Com Brooks County Rancher fears for life as gang-member-illegal immigrant comes up on her porch
Vickers and her family own a 1,000 acre ranch on the border in Brooks County. She routinely reports incidents of illegal immigrants crossing her land to the Border Patrol. As of yesterday 196 have been reported with 136 being apprehended.” Some are helpless people,” she says, “Then there are some really bad ones.” Earlier this week she took a photo of one man on her porch with gang tatoos. Some of those arrested are wanted for murder and sex offenses in the Rio Grande Valley.
June 21: Breitbart.com: U.S. Media Restricted at Border, Safety Concerns cited
A remote section of the U.S.-Mexico border near the Anzalduas International Bridge is one of the few places where media can witness and record the mass crossings of minors coming from Central America. The U.S. Border Patrol is now restricting journalists' access to the area citing safety concerns. “You can’t be here," a Border Patrol agent said. After learning that he was speaking with Breitbart Texas, the agent repeated his assertion and stated, “It isn’t safe for you here.” The agent refused to give his name and then grabbed his phone, acting as though he had a phone call. He then raised his arm over his name badge. When a camera was put on him, he quickly sped off.
June 20: Arizona Central: Migrants amassing at the Rio Grande’s edge
Reynosa, Brayan from Honduras made it from a small Central American coastal city to the Texas-Mexican border but ran out of money to pay smugglers to take him across the Rio Grande. Now he, like many others following the hopes of making it into the U.S. and not being deported, is stuck in one of the most dangerous cities in the world, in shelters like Senda de Vida, which sits on a hill overlooking the Rio Grande in this border city.
Shelters are packed these days with migrants planning to cross the river and enter the United States illegally. They are part of an unprecedented tsunami of families and children traveling on their own from Central America trying to reach the United States through the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, where the Border Patrol has been overwhelmed by the surge.
June 18: My San Antonio: Texas Leaders OK millions for new border surge
Texas’ top three lawmakers agreed Wednesday to spend tens of millions dollars to fund a surge operation along the border to deal with the influx of Central American children pouring into Texas. Gov. Rick Perry, Lt. Gov David Dewhurst and House Speaker Joe Straus authorized a deal for emergency funding of $1.3 million per week for DPS surge operations that will run through at the least the end of the year. Some 60,000 unaccompanied children and teens are expected to cross into the Texas border this year — up from about 6,560 in 2011. The stream of unaccompanied children has already caused a crisis, overwhelming Border Patrol facilities and sparking debate in Washington over what’s causing the calamity and how to handle it.
“Texas can’t afford to wait for Washington to act on this crisis and we will not sit idly by while the safety and security of our citizens are threatened,” Perry said in a statement. “Until the federal government recognizes the danger it’s putting our citizens in by its inaction to secure the border, Texas law enforcement must do everything they can to keep our citizens and communities safe.”
June 13: National Review: Securing the Border vs. Free Access to Gangs
Border Patrol officials struggling to keep up with the increasing number of minors illegally crossing the Mexican border are not turning away persons with known gang affiliations. Chris Cabrera, vice president of the National Border Patrol Council Local 3307 in the Rio Grande Valley, explained that a Border Patrol agent he represents helped reunite a teenage gang member with his family in the United States. Cabrera notes the young member of Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13), a transnational criminal gang, had no criminal record in the U.S., but asks, “If he’s a confirmed gang member in his own country, why are we letting him in here?”
“I’ve heard people come in and say, ‘You’re going to let me go, just like you let my mother go, just like you let my sister go. You’re going to let me go as well, and the government’s going to take care of us,’” Cabrera says. “Until we start mandatory detentions, mandatory removals, I don’t think anything is going to change. As a matter of fact, I think it’s going to get worse.”
Art Del Cueto, president of the National Border Patrol Council Local 2544 in Tucson, says agents who recognize the gang-affiliated tattoos of minors crossing the border must treat them the same as anybody else. He says these people are afforded the same rights provided to anyone crossing the border. “It’s upsetting that a lot of them are 16 or 17 years old and a lot of them are not going to face deportation,” Cueto says. He has visited the Nogales station, which he estimates is holding 1,100 children who crossed the border. The children have been sent from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas and have also crossed the border near the Nogales station, he says.
June 11: WND News: Organization of Ex-Border Agents say the flood of
immigrants is “orchestrated”
An organization of former Border Patrol agents Wednesday charged that the federal government, under the administration of President Obama, is deliberately arranging for a flood of immigrant children to arrive in America for political purposes. “This is not a humanitarian crisis. It is a predictable, orchestrated and contrived assault on the compassionate side of Americans by her political leaders that knowingly puts minor illegal alien children at risk for purely political purposes,” said the statement released by officials with the National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers. “Certainly, we are not gullible enough to believe that thousands of unaccompanied minor Central American children came to America without the encouragement, aid and assistance of the United States government.
There have been hundreds, even thousands, of illegal aliens, including many children, reported along the nation’s southwestern border with Mexico recently. According to a Fox News report this week, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer calls the situation a “creation” of the federal government, and Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) assigned blame for the “calamity” to Obama. Fox said it had a memo from an official with Customs and Border Protection who said the current policies are serving as an incentive for illegal aliens to sneak into the U.S.
“If the U.S. government fails to deliver adequate consequences to deter aliens from attempting to illegally enter the U.S., the result will be an even greater increase in the rate of recidivism and first-time illicit entries,” said Ronald Vitiello, a deputy Border Patrol chief. Officials say among Obama’s policies that are attracting illegals is his instructions for “deferred action” for young illegals. Recently, the federal government said it was hunting for lawyers to provide legal help to children who are in the U.S. illegally. Meanwhile the White House is asking for $1.4 billion more for the illegal alien children, which by some estimates will grow to 150,000 next year.
June 10: Breitbart.com: Border children reportedly sickened by food in U.S. Facilities:
A tidal wave of illegal immigrants along the U.S.-Mexico border has caused federal housing and processing facilities to become overwhelmed and overcrowded. As a result, officials have resorted to a makeshift housing center in Nogales, Arizona, especially for the surge of thousands of children who were part of the influx. They are being transported there via plane. Many of the minors at one facility -- which only opened on Friday -- are reportedly being sickened by the food -- and throwing the food in the trash.
June 9: CBS Houston: Hundreds of Illegal Immigrant Minors sleeping on
Plastic Boards, Roatating Through four Showers at Shelter
About 700 unaccompanied minors mostly from Central America were sleeping on plastic boards at a Border Patrol warehouse in Nogales, Arizona, this weekend, the vast majority flown from South Texas. It is the latest illustration of how a wave of immigrants from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala has overwhelmed U.S. border authorities. President Barack Obama called the surge a crisis last week and appointed the Federal Emergency Management Agency to lead the government’s response. Here are some questions and answers.
Illegal border crossings soared for several years in South Texas, which recently surpassed Arizona as the busiest corridor. The Border Patrol’s Rio Grande Valley sector made 148,017 arrests from Oct. 1 to May 17, far higher than the 62,876 caught in Tucson, Arizona, which is the second-busiest crossing point.
The dramatic shift is taxing U.S. authorities because Hondurans, Salvadorans and Guatemalans make up about 75 percent of those caught in South Texas, the traditional entry point for Central Americans. For decades, the vast majority of people who crossed the border illegally were from neighboring Mexico and could be deported the same day on a short bus ride to the nearest crossing. Central Americans are sent home on U.S. government flights, a more daunting challenge.
June 6: The New York Times: U.S. Taxpayers to pay for Lawyers to Represent Children Facing deportation:
The Obama administration said Friday that it was starting a program to provide lawyers for children facing deportation as it scrambles to deal with the soaring number of unaccompanied minors illegally crossing the border from Mexico. Under the plan, the federal government will issue $2 million in grants to enroll about 100 lawyers and paralegals to represent immigrant children making their way through the immigration court system. “We’re taking a historic step to strengthen our justice system and protect the rights of the most vulnerable members of society,” Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said in a statement. “How we treat those in need, particularly young people who must appear in immigration proceedings — many of whom are fleeing violence, persecution, abuse or trafficking — goes to the core of who we are as a nation.”
June 4: Breitbart.Com: Diaz-Balart: House Immigration Reform Effort Gaining Momentum – Expect action by August:
In an interview with Roll Call published Wednesday, Florida Republican Congressman Diaz-Balart said his bipartisan immigration reform effort is gaining Republican supporters and that believes the House will pass something before the August recess. “Every day I’m getting more and more Republicans — conservatives — who are frankly approaching me saying, ‘How do we move forward?’ I feel very very confident that a majority — a strong majority — of Republicans want to finally tackle this system that everyone understands is broken — with some caveats,” he told CQ Roll Call. “Republicans are insisting that we take this step-by-step.”
Diaz-Balart has been an inveterate optimist on chances for legislative action on immigration since the issue gained currency following the 2012 elections. Still, with the Capitol abuzz with rumors about secretive immigration talks, his remarks are significant. According to him, he and others have not been deterred from their efforts by election year, anti-amnesty rhetoric from House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and a recent revelation from House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte that he is “not aware of any such decisions” to bring immigration reform to the floor before August recess.
June 2: The Daily Caller: Obama Offers “Mini-Amnesty” to 200,000 Kids by 2016:
White House officials said Monday that they are treating a wave of youthful illegal immigrants as an “humanitarian situation” that requires billions of dollars in aid for shelter, nutrition, healthcare and education. Officials are not treating the expected influx of 60,000 youths this year — and perhaps 130,000 in 2015 — as a wave of illegal immigrants that should rapidly be returned home. Instead, officials are spending taxpayer funds, and converting parts of at least two military facilities, to cater to the illegals and to transport them to their illegal-immigrant parents elsewhere in the United States. “In general, significant numbers do have family members in the United States” who can pick up their kids from the federal facilities, said Cecilia Munoz, President Barack Obama’s top domestic adviser. Officials expect the inflow to reach 130,000 in 2015, up more than 20-fold from the 2011 influx of 6,000 youth.
June 2: WOAI News: Flood of Illegal Immigrant Children into Texas is Costing U.S. Taxpayers Billions:
The surge of illegal immigrant minors rushing over the Rio Grande threatens to overwhelm the Texas Border Patrol, and new figures show the unexpected development will cost U.S. taxpayers more than $2 billion this year, 1200 WOAI news reports. More than 1,000 unaccompanied immigrant children are arriving in the U.S. each week, according to figures released by the Department of Homeland Security, and some 60,000 are expected to arrive in the U.S. this year. That is up ten times just since 2011.
U.S. Rep Henry Cuellar (D-Laredo), who represents a large portion of the border where the waves of unaccompanied children are arriving, says the situation is out of control. "The Border Patrol is telling me, we need diapers, we need baby seats, so we can transfer them," he said. Some of the unaccompanied children are as young as three years old. More than 1,000 have been sent to Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, and others are being sent to other locations far from the border because the flood has left Border Patrol housing facilities packed. Cuellar says the flood on unaccompanied minors is costing taxpayers $252 per day per child.
May 30: Latino Fox News:Officials Under Fire for Dumping Illegal Immigrants in the U.S.
Scores of illegal immigrants, caught by authorities in Texas trying to sneak into the country via the Rio Grande Valley, are being flown, bused and then abandoned out of state in places like Arizona, New York and Maryland. If the immigrants had been from Mexico, authorities would release them back across the border. But these would-be immigrants come from Central American countries, such as El Salvador and Guatemala, and trying to get them back to their country of origin has been a costly and largely unsuccessful endeavor.
“What is drawing them here?” Matt Patrick asked on KTRH Houston this morning. His guest said it is the promise of amnesty, the abandonment of immigration law enforcement and federal, state and local governments that are “sweetening the honey pot” by paying for food and health care for them.
May 29: Fox News:Chicago schools remove “incendiary” immigration query from test:
A Chicago Public Schools test question that had seventh-graders read anti-immigration commentary by a fictitious Bush administration official and conservative writer whose name sounds like controversial Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio has been scrubbed from the curriculum — and officials say the whole thing was a misunderstanding. The nation’s third-largest school district pulled the question from its online database earlier this month after a total of 32 seventh-graders from two classes took the Reach Performance tests, which are administered to measure student growth and teacher effectiveness. This particular version of the exam asked students to compare the authority of differing opinions on immigration, including one written by "Arie Payo."
“I think it’s best to keep America for Americans and those who know how to speak English properly,” it reads. “Save America for those of us who know how to behave in law-abiding ways.” Undocumented immigrants, according to the text, should “go back to where they came from,” continues the text by Payo, who is identified as a former aide to “President Bush’s Immigration Taskforce” and a contributor to the nonexistent “Conservative Journal.”
"Sounds like my name," the Maricopa County sheriff told FoxNews.com by phone. "Why didn't they have the guts to use my real name? If it is supposed to be me, why didn't they just use my name?" Arpaio, who began his career as a federal narcotics agent in Chicago, volunteered to visit students there to discuss the "very complex issue" of immigration, but questioned the effectiveness of introducing the issue in such a political way.
May 28: Reuters: Waves of immigrant minors presses crisis for Obama and Congress:
Tens of thousands of children unaccompanied by parents or relatives are flooding across the southern U.S. border illegally, forcing the Obama administration and Congress to grapple with both a humanitarian crisis and a budget dilemma. An estimated 60,000 such children will pour into the United States this year, according to the administration, up from about 6,000 in 2011. Now, Washington is trying to figure out how to pay for their food, housing and transportation once they are taken into custody. The flow is expected to grow. The number of unaccompanied, undocumented immigrants who are under 18 will likely double in 2015 to nearly 130,000 and cost U.S. taxpayers $2 billion, up from $868 million this year, according to administration estimates.
The shortage of housing for these children, some as young as 3, has already become so acute that an emergency shelter at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, has been opened and can accommodate 1,000 of them, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said in an interview with Reuters. The issue is an added source of tension between Democrats and Republicans, who disagree on how to rewrite immigration laws. With comprehensive legislation stalled, President Obama is looking at administrative steps he could take, which might be announced this summer. No details have been outlined but immigration groups are pressing him to take steps to keep families with children together.
The minors flooding over the border are often teenagers leaving behind poverty or violence in Mexico and other parts of Central America such as Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. They are sometimes seeking to reunite with a parent who is already in the United States, also without documentation.
May 28: The Daily Caller: Cantor not backing down on anti-amnesty Immigration proposals:
The campaign manager for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor isn’t backing down from their new campaign-trail flyer lauding Cantor for fighting against President Barack Obama’s amnesty bill. “He stopped the bill when it came out of the Senate,” Ray Allen, Cantor’s campaign manager, told The Daily Caller. The defender-against-amnesty claim appeared in flyers sent to GOP primary voters near Richmond, Va., two weeks before the vote on June 10. “Conservative Republican Eric Cantor is stopping the Obama [and Sen. Harry] Reid plan to give illegal aliens amnesty,” says one of the flyers.
May 23: Associated Press: Shift of Illegal Crossings Moves into Texas
A shift by immigrant smugglers to target the tough-to-defend U.S.-Mexico border in southernmost Texas has accelerated this year as the Border Patrol scrambles to shift its resources from states farther west, according to an internal agency report obtained by The Associated Press. From Oct. 1 through May 17, agents in the southernmost tip of Texas made more than 148,000 arrests, on pace to match last year's total in less than eight months, according to the intelligence report. That compares with nearly 63,000 arrests in the Tucson, Arizona, sector, which it surpassed for the first time just last year. The Rio Grande Valley sector averaged nearly 1,100 arrests per day from May 11-17, according to the document.
What these numbers look like on the ground is a near-constant flow of people across the Rio Grande. The arrests do not represent the full level of traffic, only those who are caught, but the report's hourly breakdowns showed the arrests never stopped. Heat maps illustrating concentrations of arrests glowed bright red along miles of the Rio Grande south of McAllen.
May 22: The Daily Caller: Tensions Rise in House Leadership Over Immigration
The immigration fight has moved inside the House of Representatives since the Senate’s comprehensive reform bill passed last summer, and it’s beginning to intensify in the dichotomy between the supporters of its two chief leaders, Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor. According to one source “Eric Cantor is the number one guy standing between the American people and immigration reform.” Reformers allege that future speakership ambitions and a tea party primary challenge on June 10 have pushed the Virginia Republican to stiffen, drag it out or not address immigration at all to appease tea party House members and voters. Those same factors have reportedly driven a wedge between the already divided top two tiers of the lower chamber’s leadership.
Boehner has criticized some of his colleagues for avoiding immigration reform. A Cantor spokesman challenged the assertions against Cantor, citing the majority leader’s announcement with Republican House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte last summer to propose legislation granting citizenship to undocumented immigrants brought into the U.S. as children illegally.
May 20: The Hill: House Leader Doesn’t Rule Out House Vote on Immigration
Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) on Tuesday held out the possibility that Congress could vote on a proposal to give green cards to young illegal immigrants who serve honorably in the U.S. military. Boehner is coming under pressure to allow a vote on the Defense authorization bill from a bipartisan group of lawmakers. But the Speaker is saying the Defense bill is the wrong spot for the vote, calling it "inappropriate," but he didn't rule out a vote on stand-alone bill. “There have been discussions about that, but no decisions,” he said.
May 19: Breitbart News: Republicans, Local Sheriff Warn Border Wilderness Zone Will Create Vast Drug Corridor
A pending proposal from President Obama to create a vast new wilderness area on the U.S.-Mexico border is drawing criticism from Republican lawmakers and local law enforcement officials who say it would significantly impede border security. The Obama administration is set to designate a 600,000 acre national monument in south-central New Mexico to be managed and controlled by the BLM, the same agency that intimidated a rancher in Nevada. The designated land will be called the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument, and environmentalists have long-sought the designation.
Rob Bishop (R-UT), the chairman of a key subcommittee, blasted the plan in a letter Monday, saying it would allow the region to become an unfettered drug corridor. "National Parks, monuments, and wilderness areas along our southern border have become prime drug-trafficking corridors for violent criminals and drug cartels. Restrictive environmental laws within these federal corridors limit Border Patrol access and, as a result, make it easier for drug smugglers and human traffickers to move their drugs and people in and out of the United States unnoticed," Bishop, who is chairman of the Public Lands and Environmental Regulation subcommittee on the House Natural Resources committee, wrote.
However, it looks like the President is planning to overlook the will of Congress and a committee with jurisdiction over this issue and to create the monument anyway. Zack Taylor, the Chairman of the National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers, told Breitbart News the creation of the National Monument "is the biggest breach of border security I have seen in the lat 20 years. The people don't want it, and the sheriff doesn't want it. It is an open invitation for the foreign drug cartels and transnational criminals to bring their illegal drugs and aliens into the U.S."
May 18: WND News: The Scramble to Defend the Release of Criminal Illegals:
Houston immigration attorney Raed Gonzalez claims the controversy surrounding the Obama administration’s release of tens of thousands of criminal illegal aliens is just a “publicity stunt” generated by the authors of a book documenting the case for impeaching Obama. Recently reported information about the Obama administration’s release in 2013 of 36,007 criminal illegal aliens does not come from Klein and Elliott’s book, which was published last August. That story originated with internal memos from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, or ICE, as cited in a report by the Center for Immigration Studies. Given the source of the information the suggestion that it’s a “publicity stunt” doesn’t seem to hold water.
May 14: Breitbart.com: ICE Ordered to stay silent on release of 36,000 criminal illegal immigrants
Breitbart Texas recently reported on the release of 36.000 illegal immigrants, including 200 murders, by U.S. immigration officials in 2013. In reaching out to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) offices around the country to learn more about this policy they would not comment. They additionally refused to answer general questions regarding detention and release policies. "We were given specific instructions not to comment on that report," said Greg Palmore, a Texas-based ICE spokesman, during a phone interview. Rather than comment, they all provided the same press release that was apparently drawn up by a press secretary in Washington, D.C.
The policy raised continued questions about the Obama Administration decisions about which laws they will and will not enforce and add credence to those who oppose overall immigration reform because they cannot trust the Administration to carry out laws they enact.
May 12: The Washington Times: Feds release hundreds of immigrant murders, drunk drivers, sex-crime convicts:
Immigration officials knowingly released dozens of murderers and thousands of drunken drivers back into the U.S. in 2013, according to Obama Administration statistics that could undercut the president’s argument that he is trying to focus on the most serious criminals in his immigration enforcement. Among the 36,000 immigrants whom U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement released from custody last year there were 116 with convictions for homicide, 43 for negligent manslaughter, 14 for voluntary manslaughter and one with a conviction classified by ICE as “homicide-willful kill-public official-gun.” The immigrants were in deportation proceedings, meaning ICE was trying to remove them from the country and could have held them in detention but released them anyway, according to the Center for Immigration Studies, which published the numbers Monday.
May 7: The Daily Caller:
Democrat Lawmaker: Obama Planning Broader, Bolder Action on Immigration if Republicans Don’t Act
Illinois Democratic congressman Luis Gutierrez warned that “unless Republicans act” on comprehensive immigration reform, President Obama will take “broader, bolder action” to curb the deportation of illegal immigrants without changing the law through Congress. Gutierrez spoke to MSNBC’s Ronan Farrow on Wednesday afternoon about their agreement that comprehensive immigration reform — which may or may not include amnesty for illegal immigrants — should make it through the U.S. Congress this summer. The Illinois congressman claimed that even with strong opposition from parts of the Republican Party, he’s confident reform will pass.
But even if it doesn’t, Gutierrez promised immigration activists they won’t be disappointed. The President told the Congressman, “Luis, I’m instructing Secretary Johnson . . . to look at how it is people are deported and to make the deportations much more humane. I think we’re going to have small, significant changes in how it is that are going to allow our committee to combat deportations” Gutierrez said. “But I gotta tell you something,” he warned, wagging his finger. “If the Republicans do not act — and they don’t act by the end of this summer — I think you’re going to see the President of the United States take broader, bolder actions to save millions of people from deportation.”
May 2: Breitbart.com: Chairman Goodlatte: There is a “grand bargain” on amnesty in the works:
House Judiciary Chair Goodlatte (R-VA) said there is a “grand bargain” in the works on amnesty. Goodlatte told ABC reporter Jon Karl at the event that he is “still searching for ‘grand bargain’ on status of undocumented immigrants,” and that Goodlatte does “believe it will happen.” Klein noted the comments came at the second annual “Creativity Conference,” an event hosted by the Motion Picture Association of America. The MPAA, which is run by former Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT), is hosting the event alongside Microsoft at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.
Microsoft has lobbied for amnesty, and endorsed the Senate’s “Gang of Eight” immigration bill last year. Its headquarters is in the district of House GOP conference chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, who recently suggested there is a plan to bring immigration bills to the floor by August that would provide “legal status” to millions of illegal aliens. Goodlatte’s role on immigration is crucial. His committee has jurisdiction over the matter.
Goodlatte, however, would not predict during the interview when such amnesty legislation would pass. "My job isn’t to predict when it’s going to happen. My job is to build the consensus that we need to have immigration reform,” Goodlatte said. Sen. David Vitter (R-LA), an opponent of amnesty aligned with Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Tweeted in response to Goodlatte that he was cutting a deal with President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. "A 'grand bargain' w/ Reid & WH = amnesty," Vitter Tweeted.
Apr. 26: The Washington Post: Why Immigration Reform is not the answer for Republicans!
How can the GOP start winning larger shares of non-white voters? Reforming the immigration system might not be the answer. Why not? Because reforming the nation's immigration laws could very well create a whole bunch of new Democrats, including in some key swing states. Census records show that in Texas the percent of Hispanics who turned out to vote in 2012 fell short of their voter registration levels. Voter registration among Hispanics in Texas reached 55 percent, but only 39 percent actually voted in the 2012 election. Simply rejecting immigration reforms aimed at a path to citizenship carry big political risks as well, including the possibility of reducing Republicans' already-weak standing with the Hispanic voters (and future voters).
The takeaway? Hispanic citizens' lower turnout and registration rates have so far limited their political impact. But if the significant share of Hispanic non-citizens gain a path to citizenship and actually start voting, the electoral map could change much more quickly than what the slowing changing demographics of the country suggest. And that would be a bad thing for Republicans.
Apr. 25: Roll Call: Immigration Overhaul is not Dead Yet – Something the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Supports:
A bipartisan overhaul of immigration, considered dead in the water just a few weeks ago, is not only alive, according to the House Republican leading efforts to broker a deal — it’s gaining steam. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, (R-FL) told CQ Roll Call that pro-rewrite calls earlier this week from two Illinois Republicans, Reps. Adam Kinzinger and Aaron Schock, recent comments from Speaker Boehner, combined with a rash of immigration rallies and protests across the nation in recent days, are indications that momentum has shifted back to those hoping to implement an overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws this year.
Diaz-Balart, is looking for a bill that could balance Republican demands for border security with Democratic calls for legal status for the undocumented. “I think we finally have the policy right,” he said in a phone interview. “I think we have figured out a way to secure, to have border and interior security, holding the administration accountable for the enforcement … forcing the administration to enforce the law whether they want to or not. And I think we figured out a way to deal with the folks that are here in a way that is fair — fair, by the way, to those in the legal system … who are doing everything legally, and also deals with the folks that are here in a way that is fair and reasonable. And adheres, strictly adheres, to the rule of law.”
Diaz-Balart said he thinks they’re close to a deal that can pass both chambers. “It is as close as we have ever been. It is still a big, big, heavy lift,” he said. “I think we’re going to get there.”
Apr. 17: The Wall Street Journal: House Leadership Says There will be an Immigration Bill this year – Speaker “Hell Bent” on getting this done!
Speaker Boehner and other senior House Republicans are telling donors and industry groups that they aim to pass immigration legislation this year, despite the reluctance of many Republicans to tackle the divisive issue before the November elections. Many lawmakers and activists have assumed the issue was off the table in an election year. But Mr. Boehner said at a Las Vegas fundraiser last month he was "hell-bent on getting this done this year," according to two people in the room. A spokesman for Mr. Boehner didn't dispute the account but said no action is possible until President Obama proves himself a trustworthy partner to Republicans.
Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, delivered an upbeat message about legislative prospects during a recent trip to Silicon Valley, said Carl Guardino, chief executive of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, who hosted his visit. He said Mr. Goodlatte told him action in 2014 was "entirely possible," likely in the form of votes this summer on five to seven immigration bills. A spokeswoman for Mr. Goodlatte declined to comment on the exchange.
Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-VA) also is drafting legislation that would give qualifying undocumented immigrants legal status and the chance to apply for citizenship through existing channels. The bill includes border-security measures and an effort to clear the backlog of applications for permanent legal status, known as green cards. House leaders have told Mr. Diaz-Balart to have the legislation ready to go for possible debate in June or July, an aide said.
Apr. 12: The Daily Caller: GOP Members press DHS on Agency’s release of illegal alien criminals
Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee are pushing the Department of Homeland Security for more information about the thousands of criminal aliens that the agency has captured and released back into the United States. The members’ request come on the heels of a report, based on internal data from ICE, that found they charged only 25 percent of the potentially 722,000 deportable aliens they encountered. The report further revealed that ICE released 68,000 convicted criminals during 2013. The Congressional Research Service reports that some of those who were released subsequently committed 59 murders, 21 attempted murders and 542 sex crimes
Texas Republican Lamar Smith had requested some of the information laid out in the CIS report after DHS Sec. Johnson testified before his committee in late February. DHS, however, failed to respond. In a follow up letter Friday, House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, Smith, and House Judiciary Republicans called on Johnson to provide the committee with the information Smith initially requested and more details.
Apr. 5: Roll Call: No pathway to legal status for undocumented immigrants who serve in U.S. Military
House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard “Buck” McKeon said Friday afternoon there will be no pathway to legal status for undocumented immigrants who serve in the military attached to this year’s defense spending bill. The decision poured cold water on a behind-the-scenes bipartisan effort, headed up by another Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA) to include such a provision in the fiscal 2015 National Defense Authorization Act.
Denham said he understands the chairman’s decision and predicted there will be opportunities to resurrect his bill, the ENLIST Act. McKeon, a co-sponsor of the Denham bill, said the timing wasn’t right. “I have reached this conclusion without regard to my views on the underlying policy, but because I do not believe the chairman’s mark should be the original venue for this debate,” McKeon said. “Over the past several days I have heard from members on and off the committee on both sides of the issues. They have made sound arguments and raised valid concerns.”
After it was reported Wednesday that the ENLIST Act might be added to the NDAA a controversy erupted, with conservatives — led by committee member Mo Brooks (R-AL) who threatened to derail the NDAA if the leadership allowed inclusion of the provision. “It may stop the passage of the NDAA by bringing in an extracurricular issue that is wholly unrelated to national defense and national security,” Brooks told reporters on Friday prior to McKeon’s announcement.
Apr. 3: Breitbart News: Border Patrol Chief: Obama’s Deportation Leniency Leading to Influx of Illegal Immigrant Children
The new head of Customs and Border Protection said on Wednesday that the Obama administration's leniency on deportations and deferred action programs have contributed to the increase in the number of illegal immigrant children crossing the country's southern border. Gil Kerlikowske told the House Appropriations Homeland Security Subcommittee that the agency's "facilities are not designed to hold these large numbers, nor are our ports of entry." Therefore, border patrol agents should not spend their time babysitting foreign children from south of the border. According to reports, the number of "immigrant children entering the United States has spiked from about 6,000 in fiscal 2011 to roughly 34,000 in fiscal 2013," and officials estimate that around 60,000 more "will have entered by the end of fiscal 2014."
Rep. John Carter (R-TX) said that though he recognizes and is sympathetic "to the humanitarian obligations we give these young victims,” Congress "cannot ignore that politics are creating a gravitational pull so strong that parents are willing to support vile criminal networks and to place their precious children in harm’s way.” In a year that many have said would be the last chance to pass immigration legislation, Democrats and pro-amnesty advocates are pressuring Obama to enact more executive orders--perhaps for illegal immigrants who serve in the military and the parents of DREAMers--to ease deportations.
Apr. 2: Breitbart News: House Republican Leadership may try an amnesty end-run:Some House Republicans are quietly working to insert immigration legislation into the text of the DOD authorization bill that would allow so-called “DREAMers” to obtain permanent legal residency by joining the military. Jeff Denham (R-CA) is leading the push to add the text of his “ENLIST Act” into the National Defense Authorization Act, which could come to the House floor as early as next month. The effort, which has not previously been reported, is fairly advanced, and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte – who killed the proposal as an amendment to last year's NDAA in a dramatic floor struggle – is weighing whether to approve the maneuver, which would circumvent his committee on one of its key matters of jurisdiction. Meanwhile, top immigration hawks ripped the proposal as ill-conceived and a clear effort to build momentum for a comprehensive immigration bill.
“If we're going to put out the bait, which is: come into the U.S., break in, so to speak, smuggle yourself into the military, put on the uniform of the United States, take an oath to uphold our Constitution, which may or may not mean anything to them, and now we're going to reward you with citizenship -- I think it's just a bizarre thing to do, to reward people for breaking our laws. That's what amnesty is,” said Steve King (R-IA).At the same time, though, GOP proponents of Gang of Eight-style legislation have recently begun to worry that the window for enacting immigration bills is rapidly closing, causing them to ramp up their behind-the-scenes efforts.
Apr. 1: The LA Times: High deportation figures are misleading:
Immigration activists have sharply criticized President Obama for a rising volume of deportations, labeling him the "deporter in chief" and staging large protests that have harmed his standing with some Latinos, a key group of voters for Democrats.
But the portrait of a steadily increasing number of deportations rests on statistics that conceal almost as much as they disclose. A closer examination shows that immigrants living illegally in most of the continental U.S. are less likely to be deported today than before Obama came to office, according to immigration data. Expulsions of people who are settled and working in the United States have fallen steadily since his first year in office, and are down more than 40% since 2009.
On the other side of the ledger, the number of people deported at or near the border has gone up — primarily as a result of changing who gets counted in the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency's deportation statistics. The vast majority of those border crossers would not have been treated as formal deportations under most previous administrations. If all removals were tallied, the total sent back to Mexico each year would have been far higher under those previous administrations than it is now. The shift in who gets tallied helped the administration look tough in its early years but now may be backfiring politically. Immigration advocates plan protests across the country this week around what they say will be the 2 millionth deportation under Obama — a mark expected to be hit in the next few days. And Democratic strategists fret about a decline in Latino voter turnout for this fall's election.
Until recent years, mostpeople caught illegally crossing the southern border were simply bused back into Mexico in what officials called "voluntary returns," but which critics derisively termed "catch and release." Those removals, which during the 1990s reached more 1 million a year, were not counted in Immigration and Customs Enforcement's deportation statistics. Now, the vast majority of border crossers who are apprehended get fingerprinted and formally deported. The change began during the George W. Bush administration and accelerated under Obama. The policy stemmed in part from a desire to ensure that people who had crossed into the country illegally would have formal charges on their records.
Mar. 25: Breitbart.com: Senator Sessions: Report Demolishes Obama “Deporter in Chief” Myth
Fully 98 percent of individuals deported from the United States in 2013 were either criminals, apprehended while illegally crossing the border, or had been previously deported, according to a new analysis from Senate Budget Committee ranking member Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL). The three-page document, labeled a “Critical Alert” by the senator’s office, found three executive actions by President Barack Obama providing amnesty to groups of illegal aliens meant that virtually no one who did not meet other criteria beyond simply being in the country illegal was deported.
“The evidence reveals that the Administration has carried out a dramatic nullification of federal law,” Sessions said in a statement to Breitbart News. “Under the guise of setting ‘priorities’, the Administration has determined that almost anyone in the world who can enter the United States is free to illegally live, work and claim benefits here as long as they are not caught committing a felony or other serious crime. Obama's well-known executive action granted virtual amnesty to so-called DREAMers – individuals who claim to have entered the country as minors under their parents' guidance.
In 2013, Sessions’ staff found, 98 percent of ICE’s removals of illegal aliens fit the agency’s “enforcement criteria.” There are four such criteria for illegal aliens to be considered deportation-worthy by ICE: a conviction of committing a serious criminal offense, an apprehension made while an individual is crossing the border, the resurfacing of someone previously deported, or someone having been a fugitive from the law. “Remarkably, the first two categories—border apprehensions and convicted criminals—account for 94% of the 368,000 removals (235,000 and 110,000, respectively),” Sessions’ staff wrote in the memo.
The findings stand in stark contrast to liberal calls on Obama to reduce deportations. Top Hispanic Democrats recently met with Obama at the White House recently about the issue, prompting an announcement about a review at the Department of Homeland Security about how to deport illegal aliens in a more “humane” fashion.
Mar. 21: The Daily Caller: Sheriff Arpaio: Obama’s Admin. Deportation numbers are Smoke and Mirrors:
Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio said the Obama administration’s statistics on the deportation of illegal immigrants are “smoke and mirrors,” claiming he sees the same criminals entering his jails “six, seven, eight times” and speculating that “they’re being let out the back door.” The Maricopa County sheriff spoke with Fox News’ Neil Cavuto on Friday about the Obama administration’s claim that they’ve deported 2 million illegal immigrants. Arpaio contended that the White House is “play[ing] around with statistics.”
“I always had a feeling that a lot of these people that we put on hold — [and] turn over to ICE — really were not being deported,” he said. “I did a survey in the last three months and found out that of the over 1,200 illegal aliens in our jails, one-third, or about 400, that were released in the past have criminal records. And they’re still being booked back into the jail!” he continued. “Six, seven, eight times. … [but they] keep coming back! How come they’re not being deported? That’s where they should be, they’re high-level violators.”
Mar. 8: The Daily Caller: DHS tells Border Patrol Agents: Run Away from Illegals throwing Rocks at them:
Top administration officials have directed 21,000 border patrol officers to retreat whenever illegal immigrants throw rocks at them, and to avoid getting in front of foreign drug-smugglers’ vehicles as they head north with their drug shipments. “Agents shall not discharge firearms in response to thrown or hurled projectiles… agents should obtain a tactical advantage in these situations, such as seeking cover or distancing themselves,” said the instructions, issued Mar. 7, under the signature of Michael Fisher, chief of U.S. Border Patrol.
Agents were also directed to keep their weapons holstered when drug smugglers drive by. Agents can’t use guns against “a moving vehicle merely fleeing from agents,” say the instructions.
Feb. 25: The Washington Times: Obama eases penalties on businesses hiring illegal immigrants – 40% decrease in fines belies rhetoric: Obama regularly cuts a break for businesses that hire illegal immigrants, reducing their fines by an average of 40 percent from what they should be, according to an audit released Tuesday that suggests the government could be doing more to go after unscrupulous employers. According to the audit, conducted by the Homeland Security inspector general, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement cut one business’s fine from $4.9 million to slightly more than $1 million — a 78 percent drop. Investigators said the reduction is legal, but it may be undercutting the administration’s goal of getting tough on businesses that hire illegal immigrants. “The knowledge that fines can be significantly reduced may diminish the effectiveness of fines as a deterrent to hiring unauthorized workers,” the inspector general said.
Feb. 22: The Hill: Obama under pressure to slow illegal immigrant deportations
President Obama is coming under fire to do more with his executive power to slow record-level deportations of illegal immigrants now that immigration reform legislation is almost certainly dead until after the election. But that’s a tough call for the president, since it would give ammunition to GOP critics who say they don’t trust he’ll enforce immigration laws.
Obama’s party benefitted handsomely in 2012 after Obama sidestepped Congress to halt deportations for some illegal immigrant youngsters. The move helped boost Hispanic turnout at the polls, and Obama carried more than 70 percent of the Hispanic vote, according to Pew Research exit polling. In a midterm election year where Obama isn’t on the ballot and turnout by Hispanic voters is expected to be lower, however, it’s not a sure thing the same kind of tactics will benefit Democrats this year. Calls for action are nonetheless taking place, with immigration reformers on and off Capitol Hill pressing Obama to expand the 2012 program targeting “Dreamers.”
Feb. 9: Fox News: GOP objects to Obama Administration easing immigration rules for terror supporters:
The Obama administration's use of an executive directive to ease the rules for people trying to enter the United States or stay in the country even though they have given “limited” support to terrorists or terror groups is causing problems for Republicans working on immigration reform. “President Obama should be protecting U.S. citizens rather than taking a chance on those who are aiding and abetting terrorist activity and putting Americans at greater risk," says Virginia GOP Rep. Robert Goodlatte, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and part of the GOP House leadership team working on immigration reform. He and other Republican lawmakers argued that the administration is relaxing rules designed by Congress to protect the country from terrorists.
The change is one of Obama's first actions on immigration since he pledged during his State of the Union address last month to use more executive directives. The Department of Homeland Security and the State Department now say that people considered to have provided "limited material support" to terrorists or terrorist groups are no longer automatically barred from the United States.
Feb. 5: The Hill: Senate Republicans cool to House Immigration Plan
Eyeing a new majority, Senate Republicans are seeking to trample the immigration reform blueprint crafted by their counterparts in the House. They are careful not to criticize the substance of the House GOP’s new set of principles by simply saying the chances of crafting a new immigration law this year are remote. Should the thorny debate continue in the months ahead, it could hurt the chances of GOP senators facing primaries and jeopardize the party’s chances of winning the majority in November.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (KY) said Tuesday that he doesn’t see any way the Democratic-controlled Senate and GOP-led House will agree on immigration reform legislation in 2014. “I think we have sort of an irresolvable conflict here,” he told reporters. “The Senate insists on comprehensive [legislation]. The House says it won’t go to conference with the Senate on the comprehensive bill and wants to look at [it] step by step.
Feb. 3: The Hill: GOP Leadership appears to tap immigration reform brakes:
Senior House Republicans appear to be tapping the brakes on their push for immigration reform after rank-and-file members raised questions about the wisdom of tackling the issue in an election year under President Obama.
In interviews and television appearances over the last several days, top GOP lawmakers have repeatedly refused to commit to moving legislation this year, and they have reported that widespread distrust of Obama by their members is a significant obstacle to an immigration overhaul. Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), appearing Sunday on CBS, said a lack of trust in the administration to implement a new law passed by Congress was “the takeaway” from an hour-long conference meeting on immigration at the House GOP retreat in Maryland, where the leadership presented its draft principles for reform.
Feb. 2: Yahoo News: Ryan: U.S. Immigration Reform clearly in Doubt
Republicans will be unlikely to compromise on immigration reform unless U.S. borders are first secured, and the possibility of a broad immigration bill reaching President Barack Obama's desk this year is "clearly in doubt," Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) said on Sunday. "Security first, no amnesty, then we might be able to get somewhere," Ryan said on ABC's "This Week."
Immigration reform legislation, which the Senate has already passed, has stalled in the Republican-controlled House. Ryan's comments follow a House document released last week that presents a path toward legal status for 11 million undocumented workers now in the United States. The plan, rolled out by House Republican leaders, outlines "principles" for immigration reform and embraces an agenda that gives their candidates a campaign message that goes beyond political attacks on Obama. Asked if Obama would get a bill to sign this year, Ryan replied: "I really don't know the answer to that question. That's clearly in doubt."
Jan 31: WND News: Texas Congressman: We can defeat amnesty executive orders:
The Democrat plan to give amnesty to millions of illegal aliens in the U.S. can be thwarted, despite apparent wavering by House Republican leadership, contends a Texas congressman. In an interview Rep. John Culberson, R-TX, insisted, furthermore, that if President Obama tries to advance amnesty or any other initiative through illegal executive orders, he can be stopped, because the House holds the purse strings and can cut off funding for actions that can’t be justified legally. “The power of the purse is the secret to this guy – the most illegal, unlawful president in American history,” said Culberson, who had just returned from a GOP retreat in Cambridge, MD, where House Speaker John Boehner, R-OH, distributed a two-page list of broad principles on immigration.
Seven months after the Senate passed a bill with a “path to citizenship,” House Republican leaders Thursday said for the first time they would be open to allowing illegal aliens to live and work legally in the U.S. but would not offer a “special path” to citizenship. Culberson emphasized that Boehner told his Republican colleagues in the House that he wouldn’t allow a bill go to the floor unless a majority of the Republican-controlled House is in favor.
Jan. 29: National Review: Buchanan: Boehner Will Lose Speakership if he pushes for immigration reform:
Pat Buchanan warns that an imminent Republican debate over immigration will play into the hands of the Democratic party. With the widespread unpopularity of Obamacare, Republicans should instead focus on the embattled health-care law ahead of the 2014 midterm election. By pivoting to the issue of immigration, Republicans are “walking right into the trap. You will have a war inside the Republican party — a Balkan war — this year, which will knock it off its present gain,” he said on Laura Ingraham’s radio show. Buchanan cautioned John Boehner against the pursuit of immigration reform, saying it would be his “last hurrah” and arguing that it would spell the end of his speakership. Boehner will end up “with a nice job at a trade association” as a reward from immigration-backers if he pushes for reforms, Buchanan said.
Recent reports indicate that House leadership plans to unveil a brief statement of immigration principles at their annual retreat that begins on Wednesday that includes a legal status, though not citizens, for undocumented immigrants. “It’s probably or almost certainly true that the Chamber of Commerce and the big-business folks want the immigration deal solved,” he added, but called on opponents of an amnesty measure to “rise up and stop it” before the push advances.
Jan. 28: The New York Times: Top Republicans want legal status for some immigrants:
The House Republican leadership’s broad framework for overhauling the nation’s immigration laws will call this week for a path to legal status — but not citizenship — for many of the 11 million adult immigrants who are in the country illegally, according to aides who have seen the party’s statement of principles. For immigrants brought to the United States illegally as young children, the Republicans would offer a path to citizenship.
But even before the document is unveiled later, some of the party’s leading strategists and conservative voices are urging that the immigration push be abandoned, or delayed until next year, to avoid an internal party rupture before the midterm elections. “It’s one of the few things that could actually disrupt what looks like a strong Republican year,” said William Kristol, editor of the conservative magazine The Weekly Standard, calling an immigration push “a recipe for disaster.
“Don’t Do It,” said the headline on a National Review editorial on Monday aimed at the House speaker, John A. Boehner of Ohio. “The last thing the party needs is a brutal intramural fight when it has been dealt a winning hand” — troubles with the president’s healthcare law — ahead of the elections, the editorial said.
Jan. 27: Fox News Latino: Immigration reform could hinge on a few quiet TEA party members:
They’re not the conservative faction that has been front and center in the opposition to giving undocumented immigrants a chance to legalize their status and stay and work in the United States.
The toughest stumbling block to a comprehensive immigration reform agreement in the House of Representatives, The Hill reports may well be a quiet group – a handful of TEA Party conservatives who aren’t the kind of fixtures in front of the camera that other immigration hardliners, such as Rep. Steve King (R-IA) and Rep. Louie Gomert (R-TX), have been on the emotionally-charged issue. According to The Hill those quiet critical few include Reps. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Trey Gowdy (R-SC), Justin Amash (R-MI), Renee Ellmers (R-NC) and Steve Scalise (R-LA).
Jan. 24: The Hill: Pro-Immigration Reform Republicans redouble efforts:
Republican and business advocates for immigration reform said Friday they were encouraged by signs that the House GOP plans to take up the issue after months of delay. But Gov. Rick Snyder (R-MI) and gun control advocate, former New York Mayor, Michael Bloomberg warned the party not to get bogged down by details or scared off by criticism from a minority of conservative opponents. A group of prominent members, are expected to call for a path to legalization for many of the nation’s estimated 11 million illegal immigrants, along with strengthened border and interior security, a guest-worker program, and an enhanced citizenship verification system for employers.
However, the GOP document is expected to stop short of endorsing the kind of path to full citizenship desired by Democrats and included in the comprehensive immigration bill passed by the Senate in June.
Jan. 17: Roll Call: GOP to Huddle on Immigration at Upcoming Retreat:
The annual House Republican retreat will feature an open session on an immigration rewrite, during which members will be allowed to freely speak about the contentious issue. The official schedule has yet to be released, but sources involved in planning the yearly getaway told Roll Call that the weekend event will feature a session dedicated solely to immigration policy changes.
The session will focus on the principles of an immigration rewrite that GOP leaders are working to compile, according to sources familiar with the event’s planning. Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio is expected to release the document to members ahead of or during the retreat, which begins Jan. 29 in Eastern Maryland. Leadership is hoping to reach some semblance of common ground among the conference, where the views on how to overhaul the nation’s immigration system have been sharply divided and the rhetoric consistently hot.
To that end, the session could be a dangerous proposition. Leadership hosted a similar meeting of the minds in the Capitol last summer and despite a lively discussion, ultimately emerged at a stalemate after failing to round up enough support within the conference to move ahead on legislation.
Jan. 16: Breitbart.com: Gallup: Only 3% of Americans Rank Immigration Reform as a Top Priority in 2014:
New polling data from Gallup shows that an overwhelming majority of Americans do not think handling immigration reform is even close to a top priority for 2014.
Immigration places well behind other issues like healthcare, jobs, the economy, dissatisfaction with Washington politicians, the debt and deficit, lack of money, ethics and moral issues, poverty, the gap between the rich and the poor, education, foreign aid and others. In fact, only three percent of Americans think the issue is a priority that must be dealt with this year.
“Americans start the new year with a variety of national concerns on their minds,” Gallup’s Lydia Saad wrote on Wednesday. “Although none is dominant, the government, at 21%, leads the list of what Americans consider the most important problem facing the country. The economy closely follows at 18%, and then unemployment/jobs and healthcare, each at 16%. No other issue is mentioned by as much as 10% of the public; however, the federal budget deficit or debt comes close, at 8%.”
In fact, immigration is so low among Americans’ priorities that Saad did not even mention it in her report on Gallup’s findings. It is, however, listed near the bottom of a chart of Americans’ priorities, slightly above welfare and “lack of respect for each other” as issues Americans think need to be dealt with.
Despite the fact that most Americans clearly do not think Congress or President Barack Obama should consider immigration issues a priority in 2014, House Speaker John Boehner and the rest of House GOP leadership are currently considering them a priority.
Jan. 10: National Review: Website of Top House Republican Drops Opposition to Amnesty
A key Republican player on immigration may be changing his tune on amnesty. In January 2012, the “Immigration Reform” page on the official House website of Representative Bob Goodlatte, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said: “In no event should we grant amnesty to those who have broken our laws and entered the country illegally. Doing so would simply invite more illegal immigration in the future.” Throughout 2012 and much of 2013, the Virginia Republican’s House “Immigration Reform” page denounced “amnesty.” As late as April 2013, it said “we must not grant amnesty to individuals who have broken our laws.”
Now, though, this prohibition has been scrubbed from his “Immigration Reform” page. Instead, the page now talks about how “we can all agree that our nation’s immigration system is broken” and the need to be thoughtful in remaking U.S. immigration policies. Earlier versions of this page had an almost single-minded focus on the need to enforce immigration laws. The notion that our immigration system is “broken” is often a key argument of allies of the White House’s immigration agenda.
Jan. 8: The Daily Caller: Limbaugh tells conservatives who oppose comprehensive immigration reform: You are about to get “Played!”
Talk radio host Rush Limbaugh has bad news for conservatives opposed to “comprehensive” immigration reform — you’re about to get played. The conservative radio host claimed on Wednesday that the silence of Republican leaders on immigration means they are planning to support amnesty. “[Republicans] are joining the Democrats because the Chamber of Commerce wants these workers and they’re heavy Republican donors, so both parties are making a move on this,” Limbaugh said.
So why isn’t Ohio Republican and House Speaker John Boehner being forthright about his party’s intentions? According to Linbaugh, their silence is a smokescreen designed to prevent primary challenges of establishment Republicans: ”Some Republicans and Democrats say that John Boehner could wait until after the filing deadlines for 2014 primary elections before announcing any of this. That would protect some incumbents from Tea Party challenges” — or other conservative challenges — “in the primaries.” And that would mean — if they do that, if they wait ’til after the filing deadline — that nothing happens on this until April.