Harry Reid Puts the DREAM Ball in White House Court

Harry Reid Puts the DREAM Ball in White House Court

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On this Sunday’s Al Punto with Jorge Ramos on Univision, Senator Reid (D – Nevada) expressed that President Obama can do more “administratively” to help DREAM Act eligible youth from being taken away [deported] in the middle of the night.

Despite the Morton memo providing guidance to ICE on prosecutorial discretion that was issued nearly a year ago, DREAM eligible youth have continued to fall into deportation proceedings. Just a few months ago, the deportation of a Miami high school valedictorian was making national news. And countless other young people who are DREAM eligible have still been snared by ICE after the prosecutorial discretion guidelines were issued.

Ramos asked Senator Reid if the President may have a problem with Latino voters because he didn’t keep his promise to get immigration reform done. This is a translated excerpt of that exchange:

JR: Senator Reid, do you think President Barack Obama has a Hispanic problem because he has deported more immigrants than any other President in the history of the United States and because he didn’t keep his word on presenting an immigration proposal during his first year?  Is there a Hispanic problem for President Obama?

HR: Well, Jorge, the polls, because of what the Republicans have done on wide-ranging issues, to be anti-Hispanic, the polls show Democrats leading by significant numbers, including President Obama.  President Obama is not a perfect man.  He hasn’t been a perfect President.  He’s been a very, very good President.  And we’ve done some extremely good things, especially as it relates to the “Dreamers”, to make sure that they’re not taken away in the middle of the night.  There’s a lot more that can be done.  There’s more the President is going to do administratively.  And that should happen fairly quickly.

For over a year now, a group of Senators have been asking the administration to provide administrative relief to DREAM eligible youth so that they would be protected from deportation proceedings and so that ICE can devote resources to more serious cases (undocumented people who may have committed a crime for example).

Marshall Fitz, who directs Immigration Policy at the Center for American Progress, explained what the administration can do in providing administrative relief in an April press call. “The Senators in their letter were not proposing a novel legal strategy,” argued Fitz. “What they requested was for the administration to exercise the authority that it currently has to provide discretionary relief to individuals. It is firmly established that the administration has the authority to make class-based decisions in terms of who they will investigate, and who they will prosecute.” Fitz also explained that President Bush used administrative relief (deferred enforced departure) for a group of Liberians back in 2007.

Recent polling shows that President Obama still has the overwhelming support of Latino voters, but these voters don’t approve of the way President Obama has handled the immigration policy. One of the main reasons is that he has set records for deportations. If President Obama could provide the administrative relief that activists and a group of Senators have been asking for, he could send a firm signal that he’s serious about solving the immigration problem instead of blaming Congress for inaction.

Senator Reid’s comments on Al Punto attempt to throw the ball back in the President’s court. With the presidential campaign now in full swing, it won’t look good for the President to be on the campaign trail and be confronted by Latino voters about the deportation of promising young people – especially given that the DREAM Act is so popular with this segment of the electorate.

4 COMMENTS

  1. IT'S GAME ON Americans, first things, first … Issue #1 – Illegal Immigration
    we, the people can no longer allow illegal immigration to continue to fragment our nation

    STAND, AND DEMAND, that our existing Federal laws against illegal immigration, be enforced

    The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. AKA> Simpson-Mazzoli Act
    • required employers to attest to their employees' immigration status.
    • made it illegal to knowingly hire or recruit unauthorized immigrants.

  2. A WTHR, Indianapolis TV report about illegal aliens stealing over 4.2 billion dollars, while regular citizens and residents are audited and hounded by the I.R.S for a few thousand dollars is just disgusting? It seems this isn’t just an Obama issue, but goes back many years. These refundable tax returns are fraud of the highest level and the IRS says their hands are tied? Can anybody tell the American people why illegal aliens are collecting refunds for nieces and nephews and other relatives who are living back in Mexico and nothing is being done to stop this outrage? Not only are they receiving free health care, free education for their children, but they are draining America of our money now. According to the report nearly three quarters of tax returns filed by illegal aliens received such tax credits, while the rest are paid under the table by dishonest business owners.

    In just one instance an illegal alien with $14,000 income not only paid no taxes, but received a refund of $10,000. In another example found four illegal immigrants in one mobile home who claimed 20 dependents. They received nearly $30,000 from the IRS, but only one child was living in the home. The I.R.S. has dished out billions in Tax refunds to illegal migrants and immigrants due to this refundable "additional child tax credit," which gives eligible families $1000 per child, ignoring warnings about these abuses from the agency's own inspector general.

    Is it no wonder states are in such a miserable way, when their forced to financially support every illegal alien? All I can say to every patriotic American is to call Senators and House members Washington number at 202-224-3121. The Congress, specifically from GOP House speaker, John Boehner of Ohio and Dave Camp of Michigan, as the Chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee to stop blocking the 50-state E-Verify bill. Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) has introduced the Birthright Citizenship Act of 2011 that would, eliminate the practice of Birthright Citizenship by requiring at least one parent of children born in the United States to be a U.S. citizen.. Birthright citizenship for illegal aliens not only compensates illegal immigration and adds to the population growth, it also acts as a “footing” for illegal-alien family members to remain in the United States and eventually legalize their status.

    There are 87 Sponsors for the Birthright Citizenship Act of 2011 (H.R.140) and needs every patriotic American assistance to get this amendment passed to bypass the current travesty. Last but not least is the nationwide ‘Secure Communities’ law that any illegal alien caught, will be detained by local police and fingerprints sent to ICE for investigation of criminal acts. Although Obama has decided that not all foreign nationals are criminals, even though they entered America in the first place and millions procured U.S. citizens ID, to obtain work. That in the law books is one misdemeanor and one felony, although entering another country jurisdiction should be a felony in any case?

    As to the Dream Act, I think it could be assessed that some of the millions of children slipped into the country by their parents, could receive a special visa to stay, but not under the Democratic policies. The Republican criteria of mandatory military service and high achieving scholars would benefit, but no guarantee of a path to citizenship. Eligible individuals would still have to apply for permanent status through the regular channels. Sen. Marco Rubio has drafted his own plan but he stated, “he’s concerned some of those the young people could sponsor their parents – the very people who brought their children to the U.S. illegally. That could open the door to as many as 3 million new immigrants”. This would open the welfare door even wider than it is now. Agreeing to financially sponsor family members only work for a short time, then the whole load of entitlements falls heavily on the taxpayer once again.

    The Tea Party does not discriminate against any citizen, naturalized citizen or permanent resident, but is in opposition to the unlawful immigration occupation from any person, from any country who came here without consent of the nation. The TEA PARTY encompasses small and large chapters throughout America of every nationality, every race and every faith denomination? If you cherish your sovereignty it is imperative we reject the growing rot in Congress that will benefit all of us, whereas the TEA PARTY is the place to be. We the People are discouraged and angry with both parties and they need to get it through in their head to listen to every voter or find themselves in the unemployment Line with an old dinosaur as Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana.

    THE TEA PARTY MAY BE THE LAST CHANCE TO TURN AMERICA IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION TO SURVIVE?

  3. What about illegal immigrants who were brought here as children (2 and 3 years old) and ALREADY GRADUATED from a legitimate State University?

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