July 4 – Immigration Reform and Protests

Obama Seeks To Speed Deportations At The Border

On Monday, President Obama asked Congress for over $2 billion to help cope with the surge of tens of thousands of unaccompanied child immigrants from Central America to the Texas border and to grant the administration “additional authority to exercise discretion” in sending them home. The recent influx of undocumented minors has drawn attention to the immigration reform bill that has languished since a bipartisan bill passed the Senate last year.

Obama has not been explicit about what he means by “discretion,” but he insists that “America cannot wait forever” in determining a viable avenue to stem the surge of undocumented child immigrants. Immigration advocates assert it is important to recognize that many unaccompanied minors are likely refugees or human trafficking victims who need legal and humanitarian help. Opponents argue that the proposal will inefficiently siphon off much needed money in a responsive effort to accommodate the influx, without mitigating the source of the problem.

Obama Also Announces He Will Act Independently On Immigration

Additionally this week Obama announced that given the Congress’s failure to pass the immigration bill this year he will take administrative action to “fix as much of our broken immigration system as we can.” Without providing details, he stated that he will act within his existing authority and focus on what steps he can take without Congress. In his announcement the President also emphasized that he has given Congress enough “space” to negotiate the bill, while avoiding discussing the issue himself. Immigration advocates anticipate that among the measures the President might explore would be resetting enforcement priorities and lessen overall deportations.

Immigration Protests Continue

Protests by immigration opponents diverted several buses full of migrants who recently crossed the border, preventing their planned transfer from Texas to a facility in Murrieta, California where they were to be housed. The buses instead took the migrants to processing centers in San Diego and El Centro. The protesters, who are opposed to migrants entering their community, also faced off with counter-protesters and engaged in a shouting match. The detainees were initially sent to Murietta because holding facilities in Texas are overflowing and can no longer accommodate the surge in new migrants.

Wishing Our Readers And Their Families A Happy And Healthy Fourth Of July Holiday Weekend!