Many people from other countries struggle each year to enter the United States legally, and become U.S. citizens. However, some people are so passionate about getting to the states that they will do almost anything to get here. President Obama has recently addressed a crisis involving unaccompanied children taking extreme measures to cross the Southwest border of the country. Officials believe that close to 120 children do this every day, and this number is much higher than in recent past. The Obama administration believes that at this rate, 130,000 unaccompanied children could be making the trek to America by the year 2015.
The issue of immigration reform has been the topic of many political debates over the past year, both in Louisiana and throughout the nation. The issue was so divisive that many had given up on the possibility of passing immigration legislation in 2014. However, all hope is not lost. Speaker of the House John Boehner announced last month that he was determined to handle the issue this year. Other Republicans of the House, such as Representative Bob Goodlatte, agree that it is possible for action to occur before the year ends. Goodlatte may have indicated that reform in 2014 was possible by preparing to vote on several related bills this summer.
Over the last few years, immigration reform has become a hot-button issue for politicians as well as Louisiana residents. The opposition to immigration reform can be loud at times, but it is important for people to be aware of all the positives of immigration in general. Being aware of these things will encourage improvements to US immigration law and help undocumented immigrants get on the path to citizenship.
Immigrants who are not yet U.S. citizens face the risk of being deported, especially if they are found guilty of a criminal charge. One young girl's fight to save her father from deportation has captured national attention. The girl's father, a Mexican immigrant, was charged with drunk driving late last year and spent six months in jail. Once he served his sentence, he was held in a Louisiana detention facility by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. He was required to stay there until he could appear before a judge for removal proceedings.
Louisiana immigrants who are in the United States without legal status should know that there are many activists fighting for their rights. The most important goal for many of these activists is to put an end to deportations. These activists, as well as a variety of business, labor and religious groups, insist President Obama does something to limit the number of people sent back to their home countries. Their cries were heard in that the administration recently announced that they would be meeting with the Hispanic Congressional Caucus and reviewing current deportation policies.
Last year's government shutdown has affected many different areas, including the field of immigration. Over 37,000 immigration hearings have been delayed by months or even years leaving many immigrants feeling anxious. About 70% of immigration hearings were put on hold. Unfortunately, many of these hearings have been delayed to later this year and some will be pushed well in to 2015.
Many illegal immigrants in the United States face a fear of being deported despite their contributions to the country. Fortunately, many of them are able to avoid deportation through available actions. This has proven to benefit immigrants in Louisiana and all across the nation.
A new immigration plan is in the works that could affect the lives of illegal immigrants in Louisiana. In a few days, House Republicans will consider a proposal that may put many undocumented immigrants in this country on the path to citizenship. Republicans will go on a three-day retreat to discuss the new proposal. Speaker of the House, Jim Boehner, will issue a list of immigration principles to follow, including a narrow path to citizenship, new visas for foreign workers and tighter security at the border.
Louisiana immigrants who have yet to become citizens may be unable or unwilling to do so due to the complicated citizenship process. The estimated 11 million immigrants that live in the United States illegally deal with an ongoing fear of deportation. Fortunately for them, President Obama has taken steps to help protect non-citizens in this country. The President is using his executive powers to enact change in US immigration law while immigration reform has been put on hold in Congress.
There were 214,700 homes damaged in the New Orleans area during Hurricane Katrina. It is said that one quarter of the reconstruction workforce following this storm in the New Orleans area was conducted by undocumented immigrants. These individuals assisted thousands of homeowners in the area under less than ideal circumstances.