The prospects for immigration reform have come to a standstill. And with the heat increasing on the Obama administration from anti-deportation advocates, something is about to give.
The administration is expected to announce the results of the Homeland Security Department’s deportation policy review within the coming weeks, the The Wall Street Journal reports. The outcome will be much more modest than what many activists have been clamoring for: Rather than deferring deportation proceedings for millions here illegally, actions under review could affect a smaller number of people who have been in the U.S. for a long time, but have minor or no criminal violations. Last year, such people represented 50,000 deportations.
Expect such relief to be welcomed by advocates, but still leave many dissatisfied that it has not gone far enough.
On the flip side, such actions — really, any deportation executive action — will be used as further ammunition in the defense against doing anything on immigration policy this year. Republicans, even those who have spoken in favor of immigration reform, have said it can’t happen while lawmakers don’t trust the president to enforce laws already on the books.
Want to get an indication of where this is all heading? Just take a look at this letter, signed by 22 Republican senators, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, sent to Obama on Thursday. They write, “According to reports, the changes under consideration would represent a near complete abandonment of basic immigration enforcement and discard the rule of law and the notion that the United States has enforceable borders.”
The Republicans also criticize Obama for directing previous changes, such as prosecutorial discretion and allowing the deferral of deportation proceedings for so-called dreamers. “Your actions demonstrate an astonishing disregard for the Constitution, the rule of law, and the rights of American citizens and legal residents,” they write.
Strong executive action on deportation policy could easily be interpreted as “completely writing off immigration reform until 2016,” Theresa Cardinal Brown, the immigration-policy director at the Bipartisan Policy Center, previously told me. But modest action — combined with few legislative calendar days left in this midterm election year and sharp rhetoric about presidential overreach — means the likelihood that reform will happen this year is pretty low. Having the two sides agree on how a phone call went is even a tall order when discussing immigration.
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At the end of the debate, moderator Lester Holt asked Donald Trump if he stands by his statement that Hillary Clinton didn't have the look of a president. Trump responded by saying Holt misquoted him, instead saying that Clinton "doesn't have the stamina." Clinton responded by saying that when Trump visits 112 countries as secretary of state, he can talk to her about stamina.
Donald Trump, when pressed by Lester Holt on why he finally admitted that President Obama was born in America, repeated his widely debunked claim that it was started by Hillary Clinton.
Hillary Clinton went point by point on how race can so often determine the treatment that people receive, mentioning recent shootings in Tulsa and Charlotte, calling for restored trust between communities and police, and demanding criminal justice reform. Trump responded by calling for law and order and touting his endorsements from police unions. He then said that “African Americans are living in hell,” saying they are just walking down the street and getting “shot ... being decimated by crime."
Just as Hillary Clinton was inviting debate viewers to visit her site for real-time fact checking, there appeared to be a problem with Donald Trump's own campaign website. For about a 15-minute period, a blank page or an error message appeared when we tried to load the Trump site.
Donald Trump has come out in the first segment of this debate raring to go. Trump has interrupted nearly every answer being given by Hillary Clinton, talking over her time and again. Clinton is sticking to her guns, smiling while Trump speaks and then calling on people to go to her website and see the fact checking being done.