President Obama has hinted that he intends to allow the passage of a Comprehensive Immigration Reform without waiting for the approval of Congress, despite the fact that earlier this fall, the President stated that he would wait to push forward an immigration policy. At that time he stated he felt it might interfere with the November mid-term elections. In early September, the President indicated that he didn’t want the Republican Party to work against any progress in the immigration policy he hoped to see enacted before he leaves office.
Recently, there have been two important signs that the White House is moving forward with an Immigration Reform sooner than had been expected. The first occurred on October 3, 2014, when the Federal Business Opportunities website announced that it was seeking merchants who could produce over four million lawful permanent resident and work authorization cards per year, with a possibility of producing over 34 million cards. These numbers are vastly higher than the amount of cases being approved currently. This need for additional card production clearly points to a gearing towards an increased number of approvals.
The second important signal was a Wall Street Journal report published on October 29, 2014 that mentions the White House is trying to determine how they will determine who will be accorded immigration benefits in the United States. The article mentions that two ideas are under consideration. The first is to base the determination on length of time in the United States and the second would have the benefit determination centered on family ties in the country. Depending on how these laws are put into effect, millions of undocumented individuals could be offered relief from potential deportation or removal.
The President recently spoke at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute’s 37th Annual Awards Gala on October 2, 2014, in Washington, D.C. At that time he stated that he intends to put forward immigration reform since it is his belief that Congress has not lived up to its responsibilities in solving the immigration problem. He further stated that he intends to act and fix as much of the problem as he can. He promised that it was not a question of whether he would accomplish this, but when he would be able to.
The White House administration has tried to keep the discussion surrounding immigration reform at a minimum, until the elections are over next Tuesday, November 11th. However, former Republican Florida governor, Jeb Bush, who has been named as a possible contender for the 2016 race for the presidency, has used the immigration reform as a negative factor in his recent opposition of a Democratic candidate. Bush stated that he supported the Republican candidate in the race since the Democratic candidate had not made a clear stand on immigration reform.
Bush went on to say that it was not the President’s job to make decisions on immigration reform, rather the constitution requires Congress to make these laws. President Obama’s promise to bring about a Comprehensive Immigration Reform without Congress’ approval clearly circumvents the separation of powers spelled out in the Constitution and appropriates the legislative powers granted only to Congress. Bush argued that even if the immigration reform is passed constitutionally, it does not mean it is necessarily beneficial for the nation.
There is an interesting similarity to what both Bush and President Obama have agreed on as evidenced through statements that both have made. They both agree that immigration in United States is a problem and that the system is broken. They also agree it must be repaired in order for the country to succeed.