Immigration reform advocates urged President Barack Obama on Tuesday to reject congressional proposals that would delay a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants by making changes contingent on stepped-up border security.
After meeting Obama at the White House, the activists said they had pressed the Democratic president to ensure that reforms provide an unambiguous route to citizenship for the estimated 11 million people in the United States illegally.
Read more at Reuters News Service
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The former chief of deportations in the Bush administration will testify to Congress on Tuesday that President Obama’s new nondeportation policies would have let the Sept. 11 hijackers remain in the country even if they had been picked up in the months before their deadly attacks.
And the current chief of the union that represents Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents will tell the House Judiciary Committee that ICE agents are now required to wait until most illegal immigrants have three misdemeanor convictions before they can be arrested and put in deportation proceedings.
“Most Americans would be surprised to know that immigration agents are regularly prohibited from enforcing the two most fundamental sections of United States immigration law,” said Chris Crane, president of National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council. “According to ICE policy, in most cases, immigration agents can no longer arrest persons solely for entering the United States illegally.”
Read more at the Washington Times.
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Representative John Conyers, a Michigan Democrat, asked those present at this morning’s House Judiciary Committee on immigration reform to refrain from using the term “illegal immigrant.”
See the video here.
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WASHINGTON — The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Representative Robert W. Goodlatte of Virginia, said on Monday that a series of hearings he will schedule in the coming months would examine different pieces of a possible overhaul of the immigration system, including proposals for a pathway to citizenship for 11 million illegal immigrants in the country.
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House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) has expressed skepticism toward the amnesty plan recently proposed in the Senate. Goodlatte said that he has problem with the insistence of its supporters that illegal aliens must be granted a pathyway to citizenship. He said it’s a possibility which can be examined, but that other options should be considered.
Read more at USA Today.
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President Obama is meeting with business and labor leaders today to promote his agenda to reward 11 million illegal aliens with legal status and citizenship. According to a White House statement, his argument to them is that this amnesty will promote economic growth and competitiveness.
Read more at USA Today.
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Under a bipartisan Senate framework, Democrats say, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano would have final say over whether the border is secure enough to put 11 million illegal immigrants on a path to citizenship.
If Napolitano does not provide the green light for putting illegal immigrants on a pathway to citizenship, the responsibility for judging whether the metrics for border security have been met will be given to her successor.
The early debate over immigration reform has yielded two thorny questions: What metrics will be used to determine whether the goals for border security and other safeguards against illegal immigration have been met? Who will decide whether the metrics have been achieved?
Sen. Charles Schumer (N.Y.), the lead Democratic sponsor of the bipartisan immigration reform framework unveiled this past week, said Napolitano should decide.
“What we’ve proposed is that the DHS secretary, whomever it is, will have final say on [whether] whatever metrics we proposes are met,” Schumer said. “We think those metrics will be quite objective.”
Read more at The Hill
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A bipartisan group of House negotiators is even further along in drafting a comprehensive immigration overhaul than its counterpart in the Senate, but the path to passage in the lower chamber is lined with thorns.
Republican House leaders from Speaker John Boehner (Ohio) on down have not decided how to handle the vexing issue, even as they have voiced general support for “addressing” it in 2013.
For now, Boehner and his lieutenants are keeping a watchful eye both on the Senate and a secretive band of reformers in the House, whose work the Speaker himself thrust into the open during a speech to the Ripon Society last month.
That group, sources say, is trying to release a draft bill directly before or after President Obama’s State of the Union address on Feb. 12. Releasing an actual legislative text would put the House group out in front of the coalition of eight Republicans and Democrats in the Senate, who issued only a five-page framework of principles on Jan. 28.
Read more at The Hill
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Americans for Tax Reform head Grover Norquist says that large-scale immigration is good for America and the Republican Party — and that critics of easy immigration should get out of the way.
“There are a whole bunch of people who are listening to loud voices, some of whom claim to be Republican … talking about [employers] who didn’t fill out the paperwork, about going after [an immigrant’s] aunt,” said Norquist, whose opposition to tax increases has made him popular among Republicans and a hate-figure among progressives.
Read more at the Daily Caller
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If one part of some lawmakers’ plan for comprehensive immigration reform goes through, Social Security cards could soon come with a fingerprint.
Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said on Thursday that their Senate framework for immigration reform, recently endorsed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), could require biometric information to check employment status.
Asked whether he favored “a super Social Security card that would have some sort of biometric thing like a fingerprint” by Politico’s Mike Allen at a Politico Playbook breakfast on Wednesday, McCain said, “I’m for it.”
McCain said he was not sure “exactly how” such a proposal would play out in any legislation, “but there is technology now that could give us a Social Security card, people a Social Security card, that is tamper-proof.”
Read more at The Huffington Post.
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