When Speaker of the House of Representatives, John Boehner, informed President Obama that the House would not vote on immigration legislation this year, Obama vowed to use his executive power to push change along. US Immigration law reform has been at a standstill ever since the House refused to pass a bill that the Senate passed a year ago. Obama plans to use his Presidential power to make sure certain elements of his agenda are carried out, even if he is criticized by Republicans for his use of this power.
Obama has worked hard to reduce the number of deportations, even if it means using his executive powers more broadly. In 2012, Obama worked to protect young immigrants who came here as children from getting deported. He made sure that over 500,000 young people were given two-year deportation deferrals that they are now renewing for an additional two years.
President Obama has had quite the challenge on his hands with the recent surge of illegal immigrants, many of whom are unaccompanied child immigrants, from Central America. Obama recently told congressional leaders that he will be requesting over $2 billion in emergency funding to deal with this crisis and make sure these children get back to their home countries as quickly as possible.
Immigrant advocates are concerned that sending these child immigrants back to the violent countries they came from may be endangering their young lives. Many Republicans blame Obama’s immigration policies for this recent surge of illegal immigrants. Immigration advocates however, are glad that Obama is taking action to fix the problems that affect Louisiana immigrants and the U.S. immigration system.
Source: The New York Times, “Obama Says He’ll Order Action to Aid Immigrants,” Julie Hirschfeld Davis and Julia Preston, June 30, 2014