Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Senate passes amended reform bill -- Obama and Bush (!) Push House to take up the Senate Bill

Immigration Texas has been on hiatus for the last month, but immigration legislation has moved forward, starting with the passage of the Senate bill, amended to appease Senators who felt the border security measures needed to be more stringent.  However, GOP members of the House of Representatives voiced their displeasure with the Senate bill, even before the final vote:
A group of immigrants and activists for immigration reform, led by Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and CASA, gather to march to urge congress to act on immigration reform, on Capitol Hill in Washington, June 26, 2013. REUTERS-Jonathan Ernst

Final passage came on June 27th with a vote of 68 to 32, with 14 Republicans backing the bill:
In the last few weeks, House Speaker John Boehner has repeatedly said that the House would not take up the Senate bill, and would come up with it's own, and today, GOP House members met to discuss how they would move forward. Some media outlets have gone so far as to say that immigration reform is dead in the House, but that seems to be hyperbole for now as argued by John Ward of the Huffington Post "Immigration Doom And Gloom Is Giving John Boehner Some Room To Operate ":

My own expectation is that the House will work towards passing legislation to give a path to citizenship for DREAMers, a STEM bill that will increase visas for skilled immigrants and allow those who earned advanced degrees to stay in the U.S., and of course, border security. Of course, the House has already voted to stop Obama's DACA executive order: and a DREAM act was supposed to be introduced by democrats in the House earlier this year: (apparently this did not happen) but this legislation would give House Republicans a way to deal with one of the more sympathetic groups of undocumented immigrants, without having to deal with a broader "amnesty."

In the meantime, President Obama is pushing the House to take up the Senate bill ("or similar legislation"):
and former President Bush called for a "positive resolution to the debate":

Monday, June 10, 2013

Discussion in Houston on immigration reform and Senator Cornyn pushes border security amendment

Zocalo Public Square held a discussion on the impact of immigration reform in Houston at Rice University last week:
Macarena Hernandez, Tony Payan, Angela Blanchard, Claudia Kolker

The wide-ranging discussion focused on the differences in the immigration debate between Texas and Washington, and that Texas has generally been welcoming to immigrants, despite being a conservative state.

As the Gang of Eight's immigration reform bill works its way through the Senate, Texas Senator John Cornyn has proposed an amendment (RESULTS) that would increase requirements for border security before granting a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.  In an editorial in USA Today, Cornyn emphasizes the need to guarantee a secure border:

Senate Majority Leader has called the amendment a "poison pill" and other Democratic senators have rejected the amendment, with Reid saying “We have a senator from Texas, Senator Cornyn who wants to change border security, a trigger, saying that it has to be a 100 percent border security, or [there will] be no bill. That’s a poison pill,” Reid said on Univision’s Al Punto."
Read more:

The Senate has scheduled a procedural vote on the immigration bill for Monday afternoon.

In the House, the issue of access to healthcare has created divisions in the set of negotiators who hope to complete a bill in the next week or two: 
"But there is a bloc of House GOP members -- including 2012 vice presidential candidate Rep Paul Ryan of Wisconsin -- that is pushing for a similar bipartisan approach that the Senate is taking up this week, which includes a path to citizenship. The group represents a minority within the House GOP conference.
That bipartisan effort suffered a significant setback last week. A working group, similar to the Senate's "Gang of Eight," has been on the verge of unveiling legislation for months, according to multiple sources. But Rep. Raul Labrador, one of the four GOP members in the group, abruptly dropped out. Like Rubio, who is needed to attract Republican votes in the Senate, reform backers hoped Labrador would play the same role in the House.
Labrador was frustrated he couldn't get support for his detailed proposal laying out how undocumented workers in the U.S. would be barred from any taxpayer-funded health care benefits."

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Immigration reform moves forward in the Senate and a discussion on the impact of immigration reform in Texas

The Senate immigration reform bill crafted by the "Gang of Eight" survived committee hearings mostly intact, with few amendments allowed to alter the carefully negotiated bill. Despite Senator Schumer's confidence that the bill will pass by July 4th, and Harry Reid's statements that the bill can avoid a filibuster, others, including Marco Rubio, are concerned that the bill doesn't have enough votes to make it to a floor vote.

Meanwhile, many Senators on both sides of the aisle are expressing concerns about the border security provisions in the bill and Texas' John Cornyn is preparing amendments to overhaul border security and other sections of the bill.
Zocalo Public Square is highlighting the issue of immigration reform in Texas today with a discussion online, and at Rice University on Thursday, June 6th:
Including my contribution:

Terri E. Givens

Following in California’s footsteps                

Immigration reform will have a significant impact on Texas politics in the long term. If the path to citizenship remains in the legislation, it could lead to large numbers of currently undocumented immigrants eventually becoming citizens. The current efforts of political organizers to mobilize the Latino vote in Texas will be critical, in order to develop a constituency which understands the power of the vote and can put forward viable candidates. Even without a path to citizenship, demographics in Texas are changing rapidly.

The changes which occurred in California politics in the late 1990s and early 2000s are instructive for Texas politicians. I lived in California at that time and saw the mobilization of the Latino vote after the passage of Prop. 187. As noted in a New York Times article from last summer the Republican Party in California holds no statewide offices. It's interesting to note that we have the opposite situation here in Texas, with Republicans holding all statewide offices. However, the Democratic party, in particular the new organization Battleground Texas, is pouring significant resources into the state in a bid to make Texas a swing state by the next decade. We have already seen some changes, as in the lack of harsh immigration control measures being put forward during this year's legislative session. It's clear that many politicians in Texas will have to pay attention to issues that are of concern to a changing constituency, and politicians like the Castro brothers from San Antonio may be harbingers of a new political order in the state.

Terri E. Givens is associate professor at the University of Texas at Austin. More information at

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Drug Cartel activity inside the U.S. makes headlines

An in-depth investigation into drug cartel activity in the U.S. by the AP indicates new activity:

The trial of a group involved in laundering drug cartel money through quarter horse racing has made headlines in Austin:
Trial offering glimpse into Zetas’ world

A case last year highlighted the role of brothers who owned several downtown bars in Austin were linked to drugs and money laundering:

Human trafficking has also been a concern as Austin hosts large events like F1: 

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Will the Boston Bombing have an impact on Immigration Reform?

Even before the perpetrators were know., Rep. Steve King was calling for a slow-down in the push for immigration reform:

Since then, the fact that the perpetrators were of Chechen origin has led more to call for a close look at the immigration bill:

Some have called amnesty "dead on arrival"

Others argued that the fact that Tsarnaez was a naturalized citizen makes it harder to link the bombing to proposed reforms:

On Thursday the "Gang of Eight" presented an overview of the bill, while Senator Jeff Sessions held his own gathering to oppose a path to citizenship:

The Senate Judiciary Committee held its first hearing on the immigration bill, with Boston a prominent topic: 

Summer Street in downtown Boston is empty as authorities hunt for the surviving marathon bombing suspect on Friday, April 19. Much of the Boston area was closed or in lockdown during the investigation and residents were asked to stay inside.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Senate Immigration bill introduced and reactions

The text of the bill is available here:

The Washington Post lays out key provisions of the bill:

Marco Rubio continues to take a lead in promoting the bill, particularly to conservatives:

Senate majority leader Harry Reid has also endorsed the bill:

An editorial in the Los Angeles Times calls the bill a "breakthrough":,0,7752571.story

NBC news has compiled reactions to the bill:

Elise Foley of the Huffington Post says the bill has much that advocates like:

Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post comments on Rubios roll out of the bill:

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Senate Immigration Plan unveiled - Tuesday, April 16, 2013

[with a big h/t to Dan Kowalski]

Despite the bombing attack in Boston, the Senate "Gang of Eight" forged ahead with the unveiling of their immigration proposal, but as noted in an article from the Hill "a press event set up with activists, business leaders and other stakeholders will be postponed."

Details were already being criticized by a variety of groups.  The following articles provide overviews of the plan:

From The Hill:  Senate Gang of Eight Reveals Details of Immigration Plan

From Reuters: Senators Unveil Immigration Reform Bill

Key Provisions from the Washington Post:

Not sure of the source, but this document provides an outline of the bill:

Faith based and civil liberties groups are already calling the path to citizenship too stringent:

While civil libertarians were focusing on E-Verify expansion in the Washington Post: Inside the Immigration Bill:  E-Verify Expansion Draws Fire from Civil Libertarians

While the National Journal notes: Deportees Can Come Back under Draft Immigration Bill

The bill also calls for a special path for DREAMers:

Representative Steve King (R-Iowa)  called for immigration reform to be put on hold in light of the Boston bombing:

More to come!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Immigration bill expected to be unveiled on Tuesday

Marco Rubio made the rounds of the Sunday morning talk shows providing his full support to the proposal:

By going "all in" on supporting the bill, Rubio is taking a calculated risks for his prospects for 2016 as discussed in this article by Politico:

An announcement is expected on Tuesday by the Senate "Gang of Eight" and Senator Schumer also was out discussing the bill on Sunday:

Meanwhile, businesses have generally been supportive of comprehensive immigration reform, but some details are controversial:

A story in the Los Angeles Times focuses on the impact on legal immigration flows:,0,5787920.story

Another new group has formed to push for reform:

An analysis from the National Journal explains why a "messed up" bill may still pass:

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Details of Senate plan begin to leak out, bill expected to be unveiled by Thursday

After much speculation that a plan would be coming out this week, or possibly delayed for a few weeks, the word inside the beltway is that a plan may be unveiled in the Senate on Thursday.  Meanwhile the House continues to work on a plan, and there is no timeline yet for a proposal.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that a Senate immigration plan would set a high bar for border security:

A Senate plan may be put forward by the "Gang of Eight" by Thursday:

Opponents of reform are arguing that the costs may be prohibitive:

There are reports of conservative infighting between the Heritage Foundation and pro-immigration reform organizations like the CATO Institute and Grover Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform:

Monday, March 25, 2013

Immigration politics heat up in UK and US

David Cameron takes a hard line on immigration to the UK in a speech today:
Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron leaves number 10 Downing Street, in central London March 20, 2013. REUTERS/Andrew Winning
But the prime minister's office was having trouble backing up claims of the cost of immigrants to the National Health Service (NHS):

Cameron's speech was also critiqued in the Daily Telegraph:

Meanwhile, in the U.S., Facebook found Mark Zuckerberg is forming a group to push for immigration reform:

And President Obama gave a speech today calling for debate on an immigration reform bill by April:

However, there are reports that a dispute between labor and business interests may hold up the Senate reform bill:

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Immigration Reform Debate Continues

Mexico McCain.jpg
The immigration debate continues, even in the midst of the approaching sequester deadline: Fox news Latino reports that Senator John McCain will meet with President Obama to discuss immigration reform on Tuesday -- this is after charges were exchanged last week between the White House and Marco Rubio that the President hadn't consulted with Senators on an immigration reform bill.

Meanwhile, the immigration reform issue is a hot topic at the state level:
San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro will be the guest speaker in Miami:

Miami group lauds immigration reform efforts


A recent poll shows a major shift in California attitudes on illegal immigration since the passage of Prop. 187


And Bloomberg reports on Republican Governor's silence on the immigration issue after years of crackdowns   


 Last week saw marches around the country supporting immigration reform, including in Austin:

 Hundreds march to Capitol for immigration rally

Saturday, February 16, 2013

A tale of two committees…

Terri E. Givens

The history of immigration reform in the United States has shown that Congressional committees and their chairs often play a key role in determining whether legislation makes it to the floor, and the nature of that legislation. This is certainly true now that immigration reform is high on the agenda for both political parties, and the President in particular. Over the last few weeks both the House and Senate Judiciary Committees held their first hearing on immigration reform.  Both committees focused on immigration reform, but the people who testified are a good indicator of the direction that the legislation will likely go in each house. 

The House Judiciary Committee held its first hearing on Tuesday, February 5th, well before the Senate Judiciary Committee which held its first hearing on Wednesday, February 13th.  Although expectations are that the Senate will be first to introduce a bill, it’s clear that the House intends to play a key role in the upcoming debate as well. The hearing was titled “America’s Immigration System: Opportunities for Legal Immigration and Enforcement of Laws against Illegal Immigration.” The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Representative Robert W. Goodlatte of Virginia, has a record of opposing any kind of “amnesty” for undocumented immigrants and the list of witnesses for this first hearing was a clear indicator that it will be a tough road for those pushing for amnesty and a path to citizenship. Witnesses like Michael Teitelbaum of the Sloan Foundation, Chris Crane from an ICE employee union, Julie Meyers Wood a former Bush era ICE administrator and Jessica Vaughn of the Center for Immigration Studies are considered to be opposed to immigration reform (article), and focused on border security and the pitfalls of the 1986 amnesty and immigration reform.  Only one witness was considered to be coming from a pro-reform perspective, Mayor Julian Castro of San Antonio, TX, but Muzaffar Chishti of the Migration Policy Institute presented material which supported the administration’s contention that an “enforcement first” set of policies has already put the country on the path to a secure border. Several House members sounded skeptical of a broad, comprehensive bill and some have called for a focus on less contentious issues such as skilled migration. It is clear that border security will be a crucial issue alongside legalization.

The Senate judiciary committee’s hearing, led by Democrat and comprehensive immigration reform proponent Patrick Leahy of Vermont, was held a week after the House hearing.  The Chairman opened the hearing by stating “In my view it is time to pass a good bill, a fair bill, a comprehensive bill ... Too many have been waiting too long for fairness." On the Republican side, Sen. John Cornyn ofTexas, said the focus must be border security, "I do not believe the border is secure and I still believe we have a long, long way to go” (see article). The simple hearing title “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” belied the many issues discussed during the hearing such as border enforcement, legalization, employer sanctions, skilled migration, and even shouting protestors calling for an end to deportations. The first witness was Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, who made an argument for the administration’s enforcement efforts. The Senate witness list also included Chris Crane and Jessica Vaughn, however, there were many clear distinctions from the House hearing – one of the main witnesses, for example, was Jose Antonio Vargas, an undocumented immigrant whose story of being brought to the U.S. as a child has galvanized the immigration reform movement since he made his story public in a New York Times magazine article in June of 2011. The Senate committee also heard from Janet Murguia of the National Council of La Raza and Steve Case, an advocate for increased skilled migration.
The differences in these two hearings make clear the challenges that an immigration reform bill will face in getting through Congress.  The administration has “leaked” a copy of its immigration reform program (see article), and it’s clear that the White House will be ready to move forward with a bill if nothing is forthcoming from the House or Senate (Senator Marco Rubio has already called the administration's proposal "dead on arrival"). It seems that a bill which the administration can support is more likely to come from the Senate, and that a bill that includes a path to citizenship is unlikely to make it out of the House judiciary committee. However, only time will tell, and future hearings will be indicators of the direction that legislation is going. I will continue to watch the witness lists…

Jose Antonio Vargas Senate Judiciary Committee

Jose Antonio Vargas testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Obama on immigration in the State of the Union address

What President Obama said during his State of the Union Speech on immigration:

"Our economy is stronger when we harness the talents and ingenuity of striving, hopeful immigrants. And right now, leaders from the business, labor, law enforcement, and faith communities all agree that the time has come to pass comprehensive immigration reform.

Real reform means strong border security, and we can build on the progress my Administration has already made – putting more boots on the southern border than at any time in our history, and reducing illegal crossings to their lowest levels in 40 years.

Real reform means establishing a responsible pathway to earned citizenship – a path that includes passing a background check, paying taxes and a meaningful penalty, learning English, and going to the back of the line behind the folks trying to come here legally.

And real reform means fixing the legal immigration system to cut waiting periods, reduce bureaucracy, and attract the highly-skilled entrepreneurs and engineers that will help create jobs and grow our economy.

In other words, we know what needs to be done. As we speak, bipartisan groups in both chambers are working diligently to draft a bill, and I applaud their efforts. Now let’s get this done. Send me a comprehensive immigration reform bill in the next few months, and I will sign it right away."
h/t Immigration Policy Center
ABC News: Anti-'amnesty' Activists Prepared for Immigration Fight

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Perry's silence versus evangelical support for immigration reform

Texas Gov. Rick Perry Keeps Silent As Immigration Reform Debate Moves Forward

From Reuters:

Among U.S. evangelicals, surprising support for immigration reform

Another view of immigration and undocumented immigrants from the San Francisco Chronicle:

The many faces of immigration reform
Immigrants arrive at Angel Island about 1920. Judy Yung, co-author of "Angel Island - Immigrant Gateway to America," says 1 million Chinese Americans have illegal roots. Photo: California Parks And Recreation

Friday, February 8, 2013

Immigration and Amnesty

Link to today's blog post in HuffPost Voces Latino:

and the English version:

Immigration and Amnesty

One of the more contentious issues to be dealt with in the upcoming policy debates over comprehensive immigration reform will be legal status for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants now living in the country. President Obama has already taken some steps to at least partially address the issue, offering “deferred action” for undocumented immigrants who entered the U.S. as children, and more recently tweaking rules for undocumented immigrants who return to their home country for visas, allowing them to return immediately if they have citizens in their family, rather than have to face a 10 year waiting period.

The last time the United States had a large-scale amnesty for undocumented immigrants was with the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA). At that time, immigration reform was being propelled by concerns about undocumented immigrants that had begun during the Carter administration in the late 1970s. In 1977 President Carter submitted a proposal to Congress that called for employer sanctions, an increase in border patrol agents, and legalization for unauthorized immigrants.  Congress didn’t take up the bill at the time, and it would take recommendations from the Select Commission on Immigration and Refugee Policy to get Congress to introduce legislation in 1982 as the Simpson-Mazzoli Act.  There was resistance to the bill from all sides.  Immigrant advocates feared employer sanctions would lead to discrimination against Hispanic workers.  Business interests were against strong employer sanctions. Unions thought a guestworker program would undermine employee protections. Compromises were made and IRCA finally passed in 1986.  Implementation was a mixed bag, particularly in the area of employer sanctions.

What can this history tell us about today’s push for comprehensive immigration reform?  Passage of this type of legislation can take time.  At this point, we only have proposals, and it is likely that the Senate and/or the House will introduce legislation in the next month or two. Various interests have already begun to encourage their bases to contact legislators, either in support of or against the potential legislation.  In the end, if something does pass, it is likely to be a compromise. What will happen to legalization in this kind of scenario?  Senator Marco Rubio is already finding it hard to sell the idea of a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants to his Senate Republican colleagues who consider it an “amnesty.” Many House members are also critical of the proposal put forward by Rubio and the Senate “gang of eight.”

Immigration advocates are going to have to fight very hard to keep a path to citizenship in any comprehensive immigration reform package. The current Senate proposal already throws hurdles in the way by requiring a commission of lawmakers and community leaders to certify that the border is secure before those who are given probationary status can apply for permanent legal status.  However, the ultimate passage of the 1986 act led to legalization for nearly 3 million – the impact on those people and families is incalculable.  The stakes are high, and it will take ongoing public pressure to get a result which recognizes the human cost of failure.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Pushing for Dream Act and a path to citizenship -- and some immigration resources

From the Huffington Post:
Rep. Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho) warned on Thursday that he won't vote for a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and neither will his fellow House Republicans, a bad sign from someone who is considered one of the more pro-reform Republicans in the chamber.

Dream Act To Be Reintroduced In House As Immigration Push Grows

From the Washington Post: Immigration advocates push Republicans to support path to citizenship


The Wall Street Journal has a nifty timeline of U.S. immigration laws:

Migration Policy institute has a web page with frequently requested U.S. immigration statistics:

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

House Judiciary Committee holds first hearing on immigration reform, Obama speaks with immigration advocates

San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro testifies at Tuesday's Hearing

NY Times: House G.O.P. Open to Residency for Illegal Immigrants

NPR: How The Labor Movement Did A 180 On Immigration

Wall Street Journal: Obama Urges ‘Strategic’ Thinking on Immigration
"In his meeting with immigration advocates on Tuesday, President Barack Obama defended his decision to recommend that immigrants who immediately gain legal status remain ineligible for subsidies under the 2010 health care law, saying Democrats need to pick their fights carefully, according to a participant in the meeting.

Under the White House framework, many of the estimated 11 million people in the country illegally would gain legal status, but would have a longer path to citizenship. Before becoming citizens, Mr. Obama recommended that these people remain ineligible for the health care subsidies, sidestepping a potentially toxic side debate in immigration talks."

Sunday, February 3, 2013

The Border Security Dilemma - how do we know we are there?

In early January, the Migration Policy Institute released a report titled "U.S. Spends More on Immigration Enforcement than on FBI, DEA, Secret Service & All Other Federal Criminal Law Enforcement Agencies Combined" (link to press release).  The report had many key findings, including:
  • More than 4 million non-citizens, primarily unauthorized immigrants, have been deported from the United States since 1990, with removals rising from 30,039 in FY 1990 to 391,953 in FY 2011.
  • Fewer than half of the non-citizens deported from the United States are removed pursuant to a formal hearing before an immigration judge, with the majority removed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) via its administrative authority.
  • The nearly 430,000 non-citizens detained in the immigration detention system in FY 2011 exceeded the number serving sentences in federal Bureau of Prisons facilities for all other federal crimes.
  • Immigration enforcement spending has totaled nearly $187 billion in the 26 years since IRCA ($219 billion in 2012 dollars).
  • Spending on CBP, ICE and DHS’s primary immigration enforcement technology initiative, the US Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology (US-VISIT) program, reached $17.9 billion in FY 2012. In comparison, total spending for all other federal criminal law enforcement agencies (the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, Secret Service, U.S. Marshals Service and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) stood at $14.4 billion in FY 2012.
News reports cited the controversial nature of the report:

The report generated a swift response from the Center for Immigration Studies:

Various pro- and anti-immigration organizations went back and forth on the issue, but it is clear that the issue of border enforcement will be a key sticking point as Congress goes into negotiations on comprehensive immigration reform, as noted in this article from the Wall Street Journal:

However, it is undeniable that deportations have been at their highest level ever, as noted in this article in the Huffington Post which looks at a report that says that deportations will rise to 2 million by 2014
This gives the Obama administration facts on the ground to show that border security has already been a high priority...the questions is, what more will it take?

One more article for good measure on the Senate's deliberations: "The early debate over immigration reform has yielded two thorny questions: What metrics will be used to determine whether the goals for border security and other safeguards against illegal immigration have been met? Who will decide whether the metrics have been achieved?"

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Obama Speech: "Common Sense on Comprehensive Immigration Reform"

Full video of Obama's speech on immigration reform, January 29th, 2013 in Las Vegas:

Link to the White House fact sheet:

CNN's "This Just In" blog with responses from various politicians:

On Monday, the bipartisan "gang of 8" Senators put forward their proposals for immigration reform:


January 29, 2013

Washington, D.C. ­– U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) today released the following statement on President Obama’s remarks on immigration reform this afternoon in Las Vegas, Nevada:“I appreciate the President’s support for our bipartisan effort on comprehensive immigration reform. While there are some differences in our approaches to this issue, we share the belief that any reform must recognize America as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants. We should all agree that border security and enforcement is particularly important in order to ensure that we don’t repeat the mistakes of the 1986 immigration reform. The road ahead will be not be easy, but I am cautiously optimistic that working together, we can find common ground and move forward on this vitally important issue.”

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Senators nearing agreement on broad immigration reform proposal

There have been many reports on the group of Senators who have been working since last Fall on a comprehensive immigration reform proposal. From the Washington Post, "A working group of senators from both parties is nearing agreement on broad principles for overhauling the nation’s immigration laws, representing the most substantive bipartisan effort toward major legislation in years."
Today Senator Dick Durbin says that the proposal will include a path to citizenship, something that many Republicans have argued against
Key issue: President Barack Obama met with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on Friday, January 25, 2013, to discuss immigration reform as a way to revive the middle class
President Obama met with Hispanic leaders on Friday affirming that immigration reform will be at the top of the agenda for his second term:
He will give a speech in Nevada on Tuesday to kick off his public campaign for immigration reform:,0,5303860.story

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Will gun control and the deficit push immigration down the agenda?

President Obama has pledged to push for comprehensive immigration reform early in his second term, but there are many hurdles ahead:
The contentious fiscal cliff negotiations indicate that Congress, in particular the House of Representatives, may not be able to get to immigration reform this session, despite the many assurances after the election that it would be at the top of the agenda.  The last minute agreement left many issues unresolved, in particular the sequester spending cuts, and the debt ceiling.  The new Congress is unlikely to be less contentious than the last. With the new session just getting underway, immigration will certainly be on the agenda, and the lead is likely to be taken by the Senate.  Gun control has moved to the top of the agenda after the Newtwon shootings and Vice President Biden will be reporting policy proposals to the President by the end of the month.
Immigration reform advocates are concerned that gun control will take the place of immigration on the agenda:

In the meantime, President Obama has taken new steps to reduce family separations in cases where some are citizens and some are undocumented:
It is well known that the Obama administration stepped up deportations during his first term, new data indicates that the administration spent more on immigration enforcement than any other federal law enforcement in the past year: