Grijalva & Ellison of Progressive Caucus Urge Obama Immigration Decision

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While Republicans are threatening President Obama if he dares to take legal action on immigration through an executive order, the Congressional Progressive Caucus is encouraging him to go bold.  In fact, they’re giving him ideas for action.

“Expansive and robust action that addresses the economic, family, community and national problems we now face is urgently needed… Fixing our broken immigration system will benefit our economy and allow us to use our national security resources more wisely,” write the Progressive Caucus co-chairs Congressmen Raul Grijalva and Keith Ellison in their memo. Obama has multiple choices:

  • He could kowtow to the Republicans and do nothing (further infuriating Latinos and progressives).
  • He could extend the two-year-old Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that has allowed more than 500,000 Dreamers to stay here temporarily without fear of deportation while Congress diddles. (You’ll remember that the US Senate passed an immigration reform bill in June 2013, but House Republicans have made no movement toward reform.)
  • He could extend DACA to the parents and spouses of Dreamers, adding another 4 million to deferred action.
  • He could change the 2012 qualifications for DACA, adding another 3 million by changing age limits. (Read more details here and below.)

You can read the Progressive Caucus memo to Obama here; this is an excerpt from the introduction:

… Republicans in Congress have made it clear they will not engage in a good faith effort to fix our broken immigration system. The president has the legal authority and moral imperative to provide relief for over 7 million undocumented immigrants currently living in the shadows.

Out current deportation system is inhumane and wastes billions of taxpayer dollars. Choices between addressing the needs of millions of aspiring Americans and attempting to satisfy the demands of an uncompromising and entrenched opposition are inevitable. We should stand for what is right for our nation…

The administration should act swiftly and comprehensively. We should not force deserving individuals and families to wait any longer. (Full PDF here.)

I agree with the progressive caucus. The GOP be pissed off regardless of what action you take, so you might as well go bold, Mr President.

[P.S. For all of those people on the Internets who have their hair on fire regarding executive orders, here is a list showing the history of executive orders by all US Presidents. Also, executive orders are not the same as signing statements; some have been confusing these on social media.]

8 thoughts on “Grijalva & Ellison of Progressive Caucus Urge Obama Immigration Decision”

  1. President Obama will and should take executive action now. The Republicans have held the House of Representatives now for four years, and have done absolutely nothing about immigration. They have no reason to move, because their gerrymandered districts are mostly white dominated, although Tucson’s Martha McSally is an exception.
    The idea that Obama acting on immigration will “poison the well” is laughable, coming from a political party that has made its mantra to be against anything that Obama does. That well has been poisoned for 6 years now. Look at the extremes that Democrats went to on health care reform to bring in Republicans.
    Go now, go big!

  2. The President will do whatever he wants to do. However, if he does use Executive Orders in an attempt to legalize the illegal aliens in our country, he will almost certainly guarantee a Republican President in 2016.

    • The question is not legalization. It is extension of DCA deportation protections to the current Dreamers and potentially others like their spouses or parents. I think this is reasonable. If the President acts now, it is because the Republicans have refused to act. DACA was passed more than 2 years ago. The theory at the time was that surely the Republicans would act on immigration reform in that time period. Even after the Senate passed their bipartisan immigration reform bill, Republicans in the house dithered and grandstanded instead of doing their jobs. Times up. They blew it by stalling and just plain not working. Asking for more time now “to govern” is ludicrous. I agree with Colbert, Congressional Republicans have been “paid extras” on the C-Span set for 4 years. What other group of employees is allowed to not do anything and still get paid?

      • Sometimes, doing nothing is the best thing Congress can do. You can call it dithering, but a decision not to do something is as valid as any other decision.

        However I do applaud the emerging argument that if Obama uses Executive Orders to make Immigration Laws, he is really only “expanding” existing law. That is going to fool a number of people, but I don’t think it will fool enough of them.

  3. DO IT ALL NOW! War criminal mccain has been begging the president not to act, because it will destroy the republican partys future if he acts. boo hoo!

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