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Obama Expected to Take Executive Action on Undocumented Immigrants

Obama Expected to Act on Undocumented Immigrantsi
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.

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Comment Sorting
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.

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