Jon Stewart vs. the GOP on President Obama’s Deportation Announcement by Van Le on 06/20/12 at 10:12 am
Ignoring Reality, Boehner Has the Audacity to Blame Obama for Failing to Pass DREAM by Mahwish Khan on 06/20/12 at 9:36 am
Lamar Smith, Elton Gallegly and Steve King.
So when Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) started making noise about introducing a DREAM-less version of the DREAM Act this year, Boehner shot down its chances in the House:
House Speaker John Boehner on Thursday said “it would be difficult at best” to pass Republican Sen. Marco Rubio’s version of the DREAM Act in Congress, lowering expectations for a policy proposal some have said could help the GOP make inroads with Latinos.
“There’s always hope,” Boehner told reporters, adding that he spoke with Rubio about the proposal and “found it of interest.”
“But the problem with this issue is that we’re operating in a very hostile political environment,” the GOP leader said. “And to deal with a very difficult issue like this, I think it would be difficult at best.”
Ignoring that, yesterday Speaker Boehner had the audacity to blame President Obama for the lack of progress on immigration reform:
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Tuesday that President Barack Obama’s policy change on immigration makes it less likely that Congress will be able to reach a bipartisan, final solution on the matter — a curious claim given that Boehner snuffed out that possibility months ago.
“It puts everyone in a difficult position,” Boehner said of Obama’s policy change, during a scrum with reporters. “I think we all have concerns for those who are caught in this trap, who through no fault of their own are here. But the president’s actions are going to make it much more difficult for us to work in a bipartisan way to get to a permanent solution.”
Hmmm. Who exactly is making it “difficult” to pass this type of legislation? President Obama? Or House Republicans like Rep. Steve King (IA)?
Not everyone is in a “difficult position” here. Certainly, the DREAMers who will benefit from this move are better off today than they were last Thursday. But Boehner is. Mitt Romney is. And according to Politico, so is the GOP:
Republicans are bobbing, ducking and weaving around President Barack Obama’s move to allow hundreds of thousands of young illegal immigrants to stay in the country, fearing a lose-lose proposition no matter how they weigh in on the policy shift.
Boehner sure is bobbing, ducking and weaving — and it’s really pathetic. What’s more, the GOP created this mess for themselves. As Ezra Klein pointed out this week, no so long ago, the DREAM Act was bipartisan:
In 2001, Sen. Orrin Hatch introduced the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act — better known as the DREAM Act — into the Senate. The legislation would’ve made it possible for the children of undocumented immigrants to gain permanent residency if they stayed out of trouble and went to school or joined the military. The idea was that we shouldn’t make kids pay for the migration decisions of their parents, and we shouldn’t deny our economy skilled workers we’ve already paid to educate or our military eager recruits who want to defend the country they’ve grown up in.
Hatch’s legislation quickly proved popular with his Republican colleagues. His initial cosponsors included Sens. Sam Brownback, Larry Craig, Mike DeWine, Chuck Grassley, and Richard Lugar. When Hatchreintroduced the bill in 2003, Sens. Lincoln Chaffee, Susan Collins, Norm Coleman, Mike Crapo, Peter Fitzgerald, Chuck Hagel, John McCain and Ben Nighthorse Campbell joined the list of co-sponsors. The legislation cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee with ease: The final tally was 16-3, with seven of the 10 Republicans voting in favor.
If some of those GOP Senators who used to support DREAM voted for it in December of 2010, the bill would have passed and we wouldn’t even be having this discussion. But Republicans on Capitol Hill abandoned the DREAM and let the hard-core nativist wing of their party (led by personalities like Rep. Smith, Rep. King, Kris Kobach, Jan Brewer and Joe Arpaio) take over.
Boehner has been reduced to blaming Obama for the failure to move DREAM, which has no basis in reality.
Last week’s move by President Obama created a crisis for the GOP of their own making. Politico’s Roger Simon called Obama’s action “downright brilliant.” Simon wrote:
So do a checklist on the new Obama policy:
Good for a limited number of hardworking, honest immigrants? Check.
Good for America because it will bring in more taxes? Check.
Good for America because it will increase security? Check.
Good for Obama politically? Check.
Good because it shows that a do-nothing Congress is a Congress that this nation can do without? Hooray!
No wonder Boehner has resorted to rewriting history.
Cross-posted at Daily Kos.
Americans like Obama’s DREAM Relief; Does Mitt? by Pili Tobar on 06/19/12 at 2:19 pm
New polling shows that the general public, including Latinos and independent voters, are broadly supportive of President Obama’s decision to grant hundreds of thousands of DREAM Act youth relief from deportation. Yet while the American public has voiced its support, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney continues to avoid the question. Both after the President’s announcement last Friday and on “Face the Nation” on CBS News this past Sunday, Mitt Romney was asked direct questions and refused to provide direct answers as to whether he would or would not repeal Obama’s executive action if he were to become president.
Below is a recap of recent polling on the President’s announcement, which shows that unlike Mitt Romney, the public has a clear – and favorable – position on protecting DREAMers:
- Bloomberg Polling Finds Public Supports DREAMer Protections By 2:1 Margin: Selzer & Co. conducted a poll of likely voters for Bloomberg News that found that by a 64-30% margin, voters support President Obama’s new policy that says DREAMers will be eligible for deferred action and work permits. Likely independent voters support the policy by a 66-26% margin. Among self-identified Democrats, 86% support the policy, while Republicans oppose it 56%-36%.
- New Jersey Voters Overwhelmingly Support Provisions of the DREAM Act: Rutgers-Eagleton conducted a recent poll of New Jersey residents to gauge support for the DREAM Act, finding overwhelming, 80% support. After hearing details about the DREAM Act, about 40% of New Jersey residents said they “strongly” supported the bill, and another 40% said they supported it “somewhat.” Ten percent said they were somewhat opposed to the bill, and only 8% said they were strongly opposed. As Politicker NJ wrote in light of the poll and the President’s announcement on DREAMer protections, “While the poll was taken two weeks before Obama’s announcement, the findings suggest that his decision is likely to be popular in New Jersey.”
- Latino Voters Supportive of Policy, More Enthusiastic About Obama After Announcement: New polling from Latino Decisions found that Latino voters in five battleground states broadly favor the policy change and are more enthusiastic about supporting the President because of this bold action. As Matt Barreto of Latino Decisions wrote in his analysis of the poll findings, “When asked how they felt about Obama’s action that would halt deportations and provide work permits to undocumented immigrant youth who attend college or serve in the military, 49% of Latino voters said it would make them more enthusiastic about Obama, compared to 14% who were less enthusiastic, a net enthusiasm advantage of +35 points.”
- Latino Voters Less Likely to Support Romney After Learning of His Immigration Stance: The Latino Decisions polling also found that Mitt Romney’s immigration policies and rhetoric have alienated Latino voters. As Barreto wrote, “In contrast to these recent statements by Obama, the survey also tested enthusiasm towards policy statements by Mitt Romney on immigration. Respondents were asked whether Romney’s statements calling on undocumented immigrants to self-deport back to their ‘home’ countries, and to make immigration laws in Arizona a model for the nation, made them more or less enthusiastic about Romney. Among Latino registered voters in five key battleground states, 10% said the Romney statements made them more enthusiastic, while 59% said the statements made them less enthusiastic about Romney, a net enthusiasm deficit of -49 points.”
- Gallup Finds American Public More Positive on Immigration: Between June 7 and 10, Gallupconducted a poll of adults nationwide that found that the American public is increasingly moving away from hardline immigration positions. Asked whether immigration was, on the whole, a good thing or a bad thing for the United States, 66% of Americans said it was a good thing, with 29% saying it was generally bad. These numbers stand in stark contrast to the 52% of Americans in 2002 who said immigration was a good thing and the 42% who said it was bad. Additionally, a plurality of Americans say the priority of U.S. immigration policy should be dealing with those immigrants who are already here—not waiting until the border is secured.When asked to choose what the “main focus of the U.S. government should be in dealing with the issue of illegal immigration,” 55% said that the priority should be dealing with those immigrants who are already here, while 41% said that securing the border needed to be taken care of first. This is a reversal from past Gallup polling in 2010 and 2011; in 2011, 55% of Americans believed that securing the border ought to be the first priority, while only 43% believed it was more urgent to deal with those immigrants already here. While most people aren’t surprised to hear that a majority of Latino voters support comprehensive immigration reform, the views of the general public are often completely misunderstood. As we’ve noted previously, polls that offer three options (including the both/and option) typically show minority support for the hardline position.
According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director here at America’s Voice:
The American people realize that the President’s action is the right thing to do, yet Mitt Romney’s silence is deafening. Romney is clearly caught between a nativist rock and a demographic hard place. Given his upcoming speech at the National Association of Latino Appointed and Elected Officials conference this Thursday, we will be watching to see if Romney continues to avoid the issue, continues his hard line stance or pulls out his etch-a-sketch. We can hardly wait.
Cross-posted at Daily Kos.
Hill GOP Leaders Silence Rep. Lamar Smith, Mostly Mum on Obama’s DREAM Move by Mahwish Khan on 06/19/12 at 12:25 pm
Yesterday, we got word that Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), the leading anti-immigrant voice in the House of Representatives, had scheduled a press conference on immigration.
That wasn’t a surprise. In the wake of President Obama’s bold action to protect DREAMers, we expected the usual backlash from Smith. After all, his partner in immigrant-bashing, Rep. Steve King, already announced that he was planning to sue Obama over his move to grant executive relief to DREAMers.
But a funny thing happened on the way to Lamar Smith’s press conference. It was cancelled.
Tucked into The Hill’s article, GOP reels after deft Obama move, was this line:
Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, canceled a Monday press conference on the issue.
If anything shows the extent to which GOP leaders are actually reeling after Obama’s action, it’s that Lamar Smith was silenced. Here’s more from The Hill:
Republican leaders in Congress have reacted to Obama’s announcement with caution.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who had initially declined to comment, weighed in Monday to criticize the unilateral nature of Obama’s move — but not the policy itself.
Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, canceled a Monday press conference on the issue.
And despite charges from conservative groups and some rank-and-file Republicans that the new rule will reward lawbreakers and steal jobs from U.S. citizens, GOP leaders in the lower chamber — who have been relentless in their criticisms of Obama on just about every issue to come to the fore this year — have so far held their tongues.
The office of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) did not respond Monday to requests for comment, and the office of House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) was almost as quiet.
Like Mitt Romney, Republican leaders on Capitol Hill don’t want to talk about protecting DREAMers — and they don’t want their loudest, angriest anti-immigrant mouthpiece, Lamar Smith, talking about NOT doing it, either.
The representative from Texas sets immigration policy in the U.S. House, and by extension, for the GOP. Like Mitt Romney, he’s an advocate of self-deportation and, like Romney, he opposes the DREAM Act.
We know that Smith has very thin skin. The fact that he was publicly silenced by his leadership can’t be sitting well. But as Greg Sargent notes, the American people are with Obama and the DREAMers on this one.
Lawrence O’Donnell to Mitt Romney: Take a Stand Already on Obama DREAM Relief by Van Le on 06/19/12 at 12:23 pm
Since President Obama announced his new relief plan for DREAM Act youth last Friday, there’s been no shortage of commentary applauding him for his bold move. There’s also been no shortage of commentary condemning Mitt Romney for refusing to take a stance on the policy change.
Enter this great clip from MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell today, which begins by noting that “Mitt Romney has 141 days left in his attempt to become President of the United States without ever answering a single specific question”—immigration. Watch it below:
As the video notes, Romney is demonstrating a serious lack of leadership by refusing to weigh in on this crucial issue.
Anti-Immigrant Personalities React to President Obama’s DREAM Policy Announcement by Van Le on 06/18/12 at 5:36 pm
Last Friday, President Obama took to the airwaves to announce a bold new deportation strategy for DREAM Act youth: effective immediately, DREAMers who meet certain criteria will be protected from deportation and eligible to apply for work permits.
Columnist and Fox News commentator Charles Krauthammer: “This is out and out lawlessness. You had a clip of the president himself say months ago ‘I cannot do this on my own because there are laws on the books.’ Well, I have news for the president: The laws remain on the books, they haven’t changed”
Blogger and Fox News commentator Michelle Malkin: The new policy “put[s] politics above national security and the rule of law.”
Shock jock radio host Rush Limbaugh: “Forty years ago Nixon was hounded out of office. Whatever Nixon did pales in comparison to just this move today, Obama declaring amnesty for 800,000 illegals.”
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, who signed the infamous state anti-immigrant law HB 56: “This was an outrageous announcement…that intends to grant back-door amnesty. It doesn’t take a cynic to recognize this action for what it is, blatant political pandering.”
Anti-immigrant extremist Congressman Steve King (R-IA): “I will tell you that — I’m not without experience on this — I’m prepared to bring a suit and seek a court order to stop implementation of this policy.”
Representative Allen West (R-FL): “I can start to ask questions about what is going to happen as far as their right to vote. Is this one of those backdoor opportunities to allow people in the next five months to get the opportunity to vote? Will we see Janet Napolitano and the president come out with a new edict that says ‘since we allow this people to be here legally, we’re now going to allow them to have the opportunity to vote?’”
Former Bush Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez: “To halt through executive order the deportation of some undocumented immigrants looks like a political calculation to win Hispanic votes and subjects [Obama] to criticism that he is violating his oath of office by selectively failing to enforce the law.”
Former presidential candidate and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum: “So you’re seeing a pattern where the president says, ‘I’m going to pick and choose what laws I’m going to enforce, what laws I’m going to stand up and fight for in court.’ That is not the job of the president. There’s a difference between saying, ‘I don’t like the law, I wish the law were different, but I’m the president. My job is to faithfully execute.’ And he has not faithfully executed.”
Romney immigration advisor, SB 1070 author, and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach: The policy is “illegal” and “deeply troubling…What the president is describing is a policy that we will refuse to initiate deportation proceedings.”
Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu: “Shocking…Now we have Obama, Holder, and Napolitano that think they can just unilaterally wave their hand and change the law and policy.”
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio: “I think people from Mexico are now going to feel, ‘Hey come on in and we’ll get by with it.‘ But it won’t happen in this county. They will be arrested…we’re still going to enforce all those illegal immigration laws.” *
* As to how he intends to keep enforcing all those anti-immigrant laws, Think Progress reported that mere hours after Obama’s announcement on Friday, Arpaio arrested a 6-year-old undocumented girl who was traveling with 15 other people. That’s the Sheriff Joe Arpaio enforcement strategy at work, folks: using law enforcement resources to detain and attempt to deport the pernicious threat to homeland security that is the average six year old girl. Considering that Arpaio has admitted to arresting thousands of immigrants out of spite simply because the federal government started investigating him, we feel pretty confident in saying that Arpaio is now using the arrest and detainment of children in his attempts to sock it to the Obama administration.
More Information About Obama’s New DREAM Policy by Mahwish Khan on 06/18/12 at 4:02 pm
On Friday, President Obama and DHS announced welcome news that undocumented youth are now free from deportation, and can register to receive work permits. And while we’re still gleaning information on how this process will work, we thought that in the meantime, we’d pull together a list of resources that might prove most helpful to those wanting to learn more about it.
To start, DHS issued this press statement to break the news, outlining that those who meet the following criteria will be eligible “on a case by case” basis. Here are the criteria:
1. Came to the United States under the age of sixteen;
2. Have continuously resided in the United States for a least five years preceding the date of this memorandum and are present in the United States on the date of this memorandum;
3. Are currently in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a general education development certificate, or are honorably discharged veterans of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States;
4. Have not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety;
5. Are not above the age of thirty.
Then, the Center for American Progress posted a quick list of “Six Things You Need to Know About Deferred Action and DREAM Act Students,” noting that “though the president’s action cannot grant permanent legal status, it is a significant step forward that will give piece of mind and the ability to work to a significant group of people.” Read it in full, here.
Explaining the importance of Obama’s new policy for undocumented youth, the New Republic came out with this article over the weekend:
Why are advocates so excited? Because this is the most important reform the White House can make without going to a deadlocked Congress for new legislation. With Republicans blocking even the most trivial legislation, no one has any realistic hope for a comprehensive immigration reform law in the near future. Even the DREAM Act, which passed the Democratic-controlled House in late 2010, was blocked by a minority in the Senate (55 votes in its favor were not enough).
But this policy will provide relief to so-called DREAMers: people who were brought to the United States at a young age; who count America as their home country; who, though here illegally, are not here as a result of intentionally breaking the law. They will now be able to come forward and apply for deferred action, which will grant them relief from deportation for two years. They’ll also be able to apply for work authorization, so they can support themselves as well. The policy may affect as many as one million undocumented immigrants who would have been eligible for the DREAM Act. After the two years are up, they can reapply for an extension of those benefits.
An announcement from the Department of Homeland Security outlines just who is eligible for this relief. Applicants must have come to the U.S. before turning 16; they must not be older than 30; they must have continuously resided here for five years; they cannot have committed a felony, serious misdemeanor, or multiple misdemeanors; and they must be in school, have graduated high school, obtained a GED, or be an honorably discharged veteran. In other words: This is not a blanket policy for anyone who arrived here as a child—applicants must demonstrate some merit. Nor, as Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano emphasized this morning on a press call, is this “amnesty.” The policy does not provide a path to citizenship or legal permanent resident status. “It is not immunity; it is not amnesty,” she said. “It is an exercise of discretion.” Immigration policy, she argued, is “not designed to remove productive young people” to countries they don’t know.
And while earlier moves by the administration on immigration have brought disappointment, this policy could actually mean relief for hundreds of thousands who deserve it. First, the directive is written in clear, strong language—and it appears to actually be more of a directive than a “recommendation.” In the past, discretion has been, well, discretionary, and non-compliance among field-level immigration officers has hampered attempts by headquarters to change enforcement. This time, there seems to be a firmer, more mandate-like approach from the leadership. (Though, to be sure, people will be watching closely to make sure the policy is implemented.)
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, we need those who are eligible to heed the following warning – from United We DREAM:
ALERT! Celebrate Obama’s announcement but PLEASE do not fall victim to fraud & scams. WAIT for more information; you cannot apply now. Contact trusted organizations for more info: United We Dream
We understand that you will have plenty of questions about this new policy in the days to come, and we hope to do our best to provide answers. While that happens, we’ll be posting regularly about the new directive, so stay tuned for more on this.
**For those of you who want more in-depth information, read the following memo and FAQ from the Department of Homeland Security:
New Polling: Obama’s DREAMer Announcement is Good Policy, Good Politics by Pili Tobar on 06/18/12 at 3:39 pm
President Obama’s bold announcement last Friday to protect hundreds of thousands of DREAMers from deportation generated strong support from many of the nation’s leading editorial boards, who agreed with La Opinión that it is “an act of justice that also has long-term economic benefits for the nation.” Political observers also agree that the decision will likely have a positive effect for the President in November.
New polling from Latino Decisions affirms that assessment, finding that Latino voters in key battleground states broadly favor the policy change and are more enthusiastic about supporting the President because of this bold action. The polling also shows that Mitt Romney’s immigration policies and rhetoric have alienated Latino voters (more details coming in a later poll). See below for Latino Decisions’ analysis of the poll:
A new poll released June 17, 2012 by Latino Decisions and America’s Voice finds that Latino registered voters are very enthusiastic about President Obama’s recent announcement and action on immigration policy that will halt deportations and provide temporary work permits to some young undocumented immigrants. This new finding stands in clear contrast to the low levels of enthusiasm among Latino voters towards the previous deportation policies under the Obama administration. The joint survey between Latino Decisions and America’s Voice polled Latino registered voters in five key battleground states: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Nevada and Virginia, and is part of a larger survey on Latino battleground states to be released later in June.
Prior to June 14, 2012, many immigration reform advocates had stated that the record high levels of deportations of immigrants under the Obama administration was causing some Latinos to grow weary about the Obama re-election campaign. In a Latino Decisions/Univision News poll in early 2012 53% of Latino voters said they were less enthusiastic about Obama in 2012 than they had been in 2009, while just 30% were more excited about the President. Overall, when asked what they thought about Obama’s deportation of 1.2 million immigrants, 41% of Latino voters said they were less enthusiastic about Obama, compared to 22% who were more enthusiastic, a net enthusiasm deficit of -19 points. The announcement on June 14 appears to have clearly erased Obama’s enthusiasm deficit among Latinos.
When asked how they felt about Obama’s action that would halt deportations and provide work permits to undocumented immigrant youth who attend college or serve in the military 49% of Latino voters said it would make them more enthusiastic about Obama, compared to 14% who were less enthusiastic, a net enthusiasm advantage of +35 points. We should be clear that these two questions were not meant to gauge overall support levels for policy, but rather how policy statements on their own, could change a potential voters degree of enthusiasm for or against the President. Last week we released a poll that found 87% of Latinos and 62% of non-Latinos, supported the DREAM Act.
In contrast to these recent statements by Obama, the survey also tested enthusiasm towards policy statements by Mitt Romney on immigration. Respondents were asked whether Romney’s statements calling on undocumented immigrants to self-deport back to their “home” countries, and to make immigration laws in Arizona a model for the nation, made them more or less enthusiastic about Romney. Among Latino registered voters in five key battleground states, 10% said the Romney statements made them more enthusiastic, while 59% said the statements made them less enthusiastic about Romney, a net enthusiasm deficit of -49 points.
For more information, check out:
- Link to New Latino Decisions/America’s Voice Polling Demonstrating that Latino Voters in Battleground States Enthusiastic about Obama DREAM Announcement.