For three months the White House telegraphed messages that the President intended to unilaterally take executive action to address some of the nation’s immigration problems. At the beginning of the summer President Obama himself proclaimed that, if Congress did not pass a comprehensive immigration reform package by the end of the summer, he would have no choice but to use his own powers to stem deportations, enhance border security and expand the issuance of temporary work permits. But as the summer came to a close, the President, perhaps concerned about political pressure from Democratic senators who believed that they could lose their seats in the upcoming midterm elections, pulled the plug on such action until after those contests conclude in early November.
Many immigration activists hoped that the President would instead announce a new system that extends relief from deportations beyond the levels reached via the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in which over half a million individuals have participated. Many advocated for the granting of a reprieve from potential deportations for those parents of those who have already qualified for deferrals under DACA emphasizing that law enforcement authorities should better preserve limited resources to deport those who pose a real threat to the country and to process the claims of those seeking to stay here legally.
But although the President has delayed his anticipated executive until later this year, Republicans in the Senate – and five vulnerable Democratic senators – almost succeeded in passing a measure attached to a larger spending measure which would have even blocked the President from taking unilateral action at that juncture. The proposal bore similarity to legislation approved by the House of Representatives that would reverse Obama’s earlier executive order allowing young immigrants brought to the U.S. as children to temporarily stay, and would prevent other similar actions. The fact that these Democratic senators from North Carolina, New Hampshire, Arkansas, West Virginia and Louisiana joined 45 Republicans in supporting the measure illustrates the potency which these vulnerable Democrats believe any executive action could have in November in depriving them re-election. At least in these five states, these Senators currently view any attempt by the executive branch to curb deportations or expand DACA to be contrary to their political aspirations.
The Shulman Law Group endeavors to ensure its clients be kept abreast of all significant developments relating to the process of immigration to the United States. Edward Shulman, Esq, founder of The Shulman Law Group, LLC is a national speaker for the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). AILA is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, and to advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice. In the course of Mr. Shulman’s involvement with AILA, he has been dedicated to educating other immigration attorneys about the import of helping intending immigrants to navigate a new cultural system. He meticulously follows all of the developments occurring in the battle over immigration reform so that he will be prepared to effectively assist his clients obtain residency if a new system is enacted.