News / USA

Obama Expected to Take Executive Action on Undocumented Immigrants

Obama Expected to Act on Undocumented Immigrantsi
X
Michael Bowman
August 14, 2014 5:26 PM
President Barack Obama is expected to take executive action to address the plight of millions of undocumented immigrants in the United States -- provoking cheers from immigrant rights groups and condemnation from those who see it as amnesty for law-breakers. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where Congress has not passed comprehensive immigration reform or approved funds to deal with a surge of child migrants at America's southern border.
Michael Bowman

In coming weeks, President Barack Obama is expected to take executive action to address the plight of millions of undocumented immigrants in the United States — provoking cheers from immigrant rights groups and condemnation from those who see it as amnesty for law-breakers.

Congress has not passed comprehensive immigration reform or approved funds to deal with a surge of child migrants at America’s southern border.

Immigrant activists have demonstrated outside the White House and engaged in civil disobedience demanding an end to deportations of the undocumented.

Yaritza is a U.S. citizen who fears for her Mexican-born mother living illegally in the United States, and has a message for the president.

“Stop separating families. If he can somehow keep children and their families together, that would be the best,” she said.

Obama has already promised to act.

“I am beginning a new effort to fix as much of our immigration system as I can on my own, without Congress," he said. "If Congress will not do its job, at least we can do ours.”

Such a move will be fiercely opposed by Republicans like Senator Jeff Sessions who says that “Congress passes law. The president must execute the law. The president is not entitled to make law, to conduct actions contrary to plain law.”

Complicating the picture is the arrival of tens of thousands of underage Central Americans entitled to immigration hearings under current U.S. law. The influx has overwhelmed federal facilities and alarmed officials in some states where the children have been placed.

“Since the health status of these children is unknown, do they pose a risk to other children in North Carolina? If the numbers increase at this rate, it could have a severe impact on the current resources we have available to take care of North Carolina children,” said North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory.

But Congress adjourned for a five-week recess without boosting federal funds to house and process child migrants - or reforming U.S. immigration law.

Partisan finger-pointing dominates the immigration debate. Republican Senator John Cornyn blames the White House.

"The president has effectively encouraged children and their parents to make this treacherous, life-threatening journey by suggesting he will not enforce the law," he said.

Democrats decry the Republican-led House's refusal to vote on a comprehensive reform bill that passed the Senate last year.

"The Republican leadership is so afriad they might actually have to take a position on immigration - they might have to vote yes or no. It is so much easier not to do anything and say, 'Oh, it must be President Obama's fault,'" said Senator Patrick Leahy.

In such a climate, Obama has little to lose by taking matters into his own hands, according to Thomas Mann, political analyst at the Brookings Institution.

"The politics are very straightforward: nothing President Obama does would assuage the Republican opposition," he said. "If he does this, he will do it because he believes it is the right thing to do now."

An estimated 11-to-12 million foreigners are living illegally in the United States.

You May Like

Disappointing Report on China's Economy Shakes Markets

In London and New York shares lost 3 percent, while Paris and Germany dropped around 2.4 percent More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Lawrence Bush from: Houston, Texas
August 15, 2014 9:08 AM
The presidential decision on the undocumented immigrants crossing our southern border is half-cook so far. It's lot of inconveniences to we all Americans over these undocumented immigrants. We do pay taxes to our govt. We, the people of America, do have say what our president and Congress do take decisions relating this critical matter for that we Americans have got to spare, share our land, economy and our state as well as people's facilities. It's unacceptable.
In Response

by: R Cobar from: California
August 16, 2014 2:22 PM
The thing about who pay taxes and who don't is a lie from the Republicans to avoid to create the law to provide the path to legalization to all those millions aliens in the Country. The true is that those aliens pay taxes like everyone else, but at the beginning of the year they cannot get their tax refunds because they have no Social Security number. What happen with all the unclaimed money? all this money is used by the gov to create infrastructure or even welfare. But what happen with welfare? is giving money to the people who work in the fields, the people who bring the produce and food for all of us. Is the way to dump money from the gov to companies and people who need it and create a healthy cash flow for all of us. This is how the economy grows. It is simple. Give to all those illegal aliens a work permit, a social security and the opportunity to do it right and you will see how economy grows. Even better, the fees to get a work permit ($465 times 11 millions) will feed the gov with new unexpected money. Make the math!

by: Marilyn Smith
August 14, 2014 7:18 PM
Its about time the president steps up to the promises he made about immigration reform, and stop the separation of families. Give the 11.7 million immigrants the opportunity to contribute to this country.

by: FJL from: aRIZONE
August 14, 2014 5:46 PM
That's a joke!!!! They are bussing the illegals to wherever they want to go for free, they want open borders to usher in the North American Union, but VOA won't do any truthful reporting.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs