amnesty

House GOP Panel: Defunding Immigration Order ‘Impossible’

It would be “impossible" to defund President Obama’s executive actions on immigration through a government spending bill, the House Appropriations Committee said Thursday.

In a statement released by Committee Chairman Hal Rogers's (R-Ky.) office hours before Obama's scheduled national address, the committee said the primary agency responsible for implementing Obama's actions is funded entirely by user fees.

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As a result, the committee said the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) agency would be able to continue to collect fees and carry out its operations even if the government shut down.

“This agency is entirely self-funded through the fees it collects on various immigration applications," the committee said in a statement. "Congress does not appropriate funds for any of its operations, including the issuance of immigration status or work permits, with the exception of the ‘E-Verify’ program. Therefore, the appropriations process cannot be used to 'defund' the agency."

A spokesman for Rogers and the panel elaborated on the point in a discussion with reporters.

“We cannot, literally cannot, defund that agency in an appropriations bill because we don’t appropriate that agency. That agency is entirely fee-funded,” spokeswoman Jennifer Hing said.

“As of right now, our understanding is the primary agency responsible for implementing any type of executive order is CIS and we don’t fund CIS. There are no appropriated dollars,” she added.

Rogers has been outspoken in arguing that Congress should pass an omnibus spending bill in the lame-duck Congress that would keep the government funded through September 2015.

He and GOP leaders have come under pressure from conservative Republicans to use a funding bill to prevent Obama's administration from carrying out executive actions on immigration that could give legal status to millions of immigrants.

Those conservatives have called for a spending measure to defund certain agencies that would carry out the order.

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), who wants to defund the order, said he didn’t buy the argument from appropriators.

“I just don't believe that,” he told reporters.

"They're contriving red herring arguments to get to the point that enough members will walk out of this Congress and go home for Thanksgiving saying, 'Well, there's nothing we can do.' "

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) also dismissed the argument and said lawmakers could attach language to an appropriations bill that would result in defunding the order.

“The American people’s Congress has the power and every right to deny funding for unworthy activities,” he said. “It is a routine and constitutional application of congressional power. There is no question that Congress has the power to block this expenditure and no doubt that it can be done.”

Sen. Richard Shelby (Ala.), the ranking Republican on the Senate Appropriations panel, acknowledged the procedural difficulties in defunding Obama’s order, but said there are ways around them.

"That's one of the challenges we've always had, but to say you can't do something, maybe we need to explore more options," he said.

"You can put a rider on a lot of things. There are a lot of ways to skin a cat."

Budget expert Stan Collender, executive vice president at Qorvis MSLGROUP, agreed that Republicans have options.

“Congress can, if it wishes, use an appropriations bill to include authorization language,” he said. “There’s no constitutional prohibition against that.”

But while Collender warned to take Rogers’ words about defunding with a “grain of salt,” he said defunding the order would face major hurdles.

Even if a bill defunding Obama's actions made it to the Senate floor, there would likely be a point of order that would require 60 votes to waive, Collender said.

On top of that, President Obama would almost certainly veto the bill, and Congress likely wouldn’t have the two-thirds majority needed to override it.

The House Appropriations Committee has communicated issues with defunding to GOP leaders, but Hing declined to describe their reaction.

Another idea Rogers had advanced for dealing with Obama's order was for Congress to pass a funding bill for the entire government this year, and then look to rescind funds related to the executive order in January, when Republicans will have control of both the House and the Senate.

Asked if a rescission bill would be irrelevant now, Hing said, “right,” but then added that this could change based on the executive order’s provisions.

“Later on, if we find out down the road that ... other agencies have some piece of it, then we can go back and specifically look at those agencies,” she said.

Congress could also pass an authorization bill to shift the funding authority for CIS to lawmakers.

But Rogers argued that couldn’t be part of an appropriations bill.

“To alter or change the fee matter, it would take a change of law — an authorization — to change an immigration act. It would take an act of Congress,” Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) said.

The Appropriations panel, meanwhile, is moving forward with a 12-bill omnibus spending package.

“We’re making good progress on negotiations and we expect to have the bill on the floor the week of December 8,” Hing said.

Congress must pass a new spending bill by Dec. 12 or the government will shut down.

— Peter Schroeder, Bernie Becker and Cristina Marcos contributed

 

What Obama's immigration reform means for Oregon

President Barack Obama laid out his plan Thursday night to provide relief to about 5 million people in the United States who have moved here without legal permission, most notably issuing an executive order allowing undocumented immigrants who are parents of U.S. citizens and legal residents to be granted legal status as well.

"All of us take offense to those who reap the rewards of living in America without embracing its responsibilities," he said. However, "undocumented immigrants who desperately want to embrace those responsibilities see little option but to remain in the shadows."

It was unclear what the changes would mean in Oregon. They were well received among political leaders, but the agricultural industry was less enthusiastic, arguing that the reforms failed on many counts.

Everyone agreed, however, that the responsibility lies with Congress to pass comprehensive reforms that will address all the problems related to American's undocumented immigrant population.

This has become an increasingly thorny issue in Oregon.

Migrant labor has become a cornerstone of the state's agricultural industry, and there are about 120,000 undocumented immigrants living here. It is one of a handful of states where the number of illegal immigrants has grown fastest over the past twenty years, and immigration policy is rising to the forefront of public discussion.

Jeff Stone, executive director for the Oregon Association of Nurseries, said the plan will do little to help the state's agricultural industry, and he said it does not make up for the missed opportunity for real reform in Congress.

"(Obama's proposal) is not a replacement for resolving the immigration problem that is facing the country," he said. "It promotes everybody's narrative, positive and negative, but it doesn't solve the problem."

Comprehensive reform would include a true guest-worker program that provides a steady, reliable workforce and a new visa system to allow people who have been here for years to gain legal status in a manageable way, Stone said.

He's not alone. Farm workers across the country will largely fall outside the scope of the proposed reforms, and the national agricultural industry is skeptical that anything short of a new set of laws will stabilize their workforce.

Estimates of how many people in the country illegally are working in agriculture vary, ranging from about 500,000 to as many as 1.75 million individuals.

Obama's proposal is expected to apply to about 250,000 of them, a tiny fraction.

"For what appears to be a small subset of current agricultural workers, the president's actions will alleviate some pressure in the short term but does not offer these workers, their families, their communities or their employers the long-term assurance they deserve," said Charles Conner, head of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives.

Craig Regelbrugge of the Agriculture Coalition for Immigration Reform said his group never expected administrative action could provide a broad solution to the farmworker issue.

"We've seen an inexorable growth in food imports, including fruits and vegetables," Regelbrugge said. "Imports are displacing domestic production."

STATESMANJOURNAL

Full text: Obama's immigration speech

He said a combination of factors, including tighter border enforcement, have contributed to a worsening of the farm labor shortage.

"The workforce situation has gotten worse and worse and worse and worse," Regelbrugge said. "I think we would have had a disaster in California this year had we not had a drought disaster" that reduced crops.

For Stone, the situation in Oregon is similar. There are not enough workers and not enough certainty for the farmers.

Oregon lost one-third of its nursery growers during the recession, and it is just now building itself back up, Stone said. It relies on migrant workers, and there is a labor shortage under the current system. There are simply not enough people to work these jobs who can prove they're allowed to be here. The president's ideas don't solve that problem.

"There aren't enough visas for the work that needs to be done," Stone said. True immigration reform "is needed for the long-term survival of this country economically."

Some disagree with the idea that Obama's reforms are needed at all.

Jim Ludwick, former president of Oregonians for Immigration Reform, said he does not support the plan. It isn't needed, he said. Rather, the president ought to focus on enforcing the laws we already have.

He said Obama's speech was disingenuous, conflating facts and suggesting law-abiding citizens are frequently deported when they are not, Ludwick said. The speech was meant as a political maneuver, he said, and was designed to tug at heart strings and manipulate emotions rather than set policy.

"He knows all these things he put out will never come to fruition," Ludwick said.

Immigration policy has come increasingly to the forefront in Oregon. Two weeks ago, Oregon voters shot down a ballot measure that would have allowed undocumented immigrants to hold state-issued driver cards. The Oregon Legislature had already approved the law, but voters disagreed and defeated the proposal by an overwhelming margin.

Stone said it was a shame the law hadn't passed and would have benefited the agricultural industry a great deal, but Ludwick said it was a true referendum on what Oregonians really think about immigration policy.

Political leaders were clearly more in line with Stone than Ludwick on Obama's speech, as they had been on driver's cards last year.

"I applaud President Obama's announcement this evening. His leadership will help innumerable families across the country. In our state, his action will mean that thousands of Oregonians have the ability to safely pursue aspects of daily life that many of us take for granted," said Speaker of the House Tina Kotek.

Gov. John Kitzhaber offered his support as well and, like Stone, said the needed work is not done.

"As Oregonians, we believe in a fair shot for everyone... It remains to be seen whether Congress will step up, do what's right, and pass meaningful immigration reform, or whether it will continue to play politics with the lives of millions who have been living, working, and contributing to our communities for years."

Obama called on Congress to pass a comprehensive reform package, and he insisted the temporary measures he has proposed are in keeping with American values.

"We are and always will be a nation of immigrants. We were strangers once too," he said. "What makes us Americans is our shared commitment to an ideal, that all of us are created equal, and all of us have the chance to make of our lives what we will."

Deep Blue Oregon Votes To Block Drivers’ License To Illegals

Democrats and Republicans in bluer-than-blue Oregon strongly backed a referendum on Election Day to eliminate a 2013 law that would have provided drivers’ licenses to illegal immigrants.

The small band of Republican politicians and activists who put the referendum on the ballot say national Republican politicians should learn that if they oppose amnesty, the public will support them.

On Nov. 4, 66 percent of the state’s voters backed the referendum and eliminated the illegals’ licenses.

Those 908,682 voters included many Democrats who also reelected the state’s Democratic establishment, led by Gov. John Kitzhaber and Sen. Jeff Merkley.

“It is only at the state legislature and at Congress that [illegal immigration] becomes a partisan issue,” said state Rep. Kim Thatcher, who sponsored the referendum, dubbed Measure 88.

“In real life, people appreciate the importance of the laws, and they appreciate people who come here legally and they don’t want to support people who come here illegally,” she told The Daily Caller.

People would come up and say to me, ‘I am a lifelong liberal, but this is going too far. Please let me sign your petition,’” said Cynthia Kendoll, the president of Oregonians for Immigration Reform.

“They were adamant that people who are in our country have gotten way too much and that we’ve got to fix this problem,” she told TheDC.

Since it was first publicized in late 2013, the referendum “polled two-to-one from day one. … That needle didn’t move at all,” said GOP state Rep. Sal Esquivel. ”People are pretty much set … and they want to see their federal government go ahead and take care of the situation instead of moving their lips and doing nothing.”

“Doggone it, a lot of Democrats feel the same way as Republicans,” Esquivel said.

That judgment is backed up by national polls, including recent surveys by Paragon Insights and the bipartisan battleground series of polls.

Measure 88 also helped GOP candidates who championed it, said Esquivel. “People who campaigned on this issue did quite well, an the ones that did not, didn’t do very well.”

The GOP gubernatorial candidate ignored the issue, and lost his race, 600,300 votes to Kitzhaber’s 668,816 votes.

But Rep. Thatcher, a Measure 88 sponsor, won a seat in the state Senate, even though GOP turnout sagged, and the state’s voters increased the Democratic advantage in the Senate from 16:14 to 18:12.

The referendum was also championed by Bill Post, a conservative talk-show host who was elected to take Thatcher’s seat in the state House.

During his campaign, Post won support from the major trade association that backed the award of drivers’ licenses to illegals, the Oregon Association of Nurseries. The association’s member companies use many migrants to plant and trim trees.

In a meeting with the association’s members, “I said ‘No, it’s really simple, you can’t break the law’ … [and] they endorsed me and gave me money,” Post told TheDC. “On 99 percent of the issues, they and I see eye-to-eye,” Post said.

Other employers are investing in machinery instead of relying on migrant workers. For example, the state’s growing win industry had designed its vineyards so that grapes can be harvested by machines instead of migrants.

Measure 88 was so popular that the organizers won with a budget of only $50,000 for the campaign. The group spent only 18 cents per vote to win 35 of 36 counties in the state.

In contrast, Kentucky GOP Sen. Mitch McConnell and his supporters paid 278 times as much, at $50 per vote.

The activists were actually outspent roughly five-to-one by pro-license group, Yes on Oregon Safe Roads.

The pro-license group was funded by the state’s Latino lobbies and immigration lawyers, by Hollywood liberals, and by progressive unions, churches and legal groups. It was also backed by landscaping and agricultural companies who prefer to hire cheap migrant labor instead of investing in machinery. These groups supported the Democrat-drafted 2013 license law because it incentivized more illegals to work and live in the state.

But the business and progressive groups only won the ballot in a single district, Portland, by a narrow 55-to-45 split.

“Moscow on the Willamette is very liberal, very left wing. … We didn’t even campaign there,” said spokesman Jim Ludwick, communications director at Oregonians for Immigration Reform.

The referendum’s backers tried to avoid any hint of ethnic tension or anti-immigrant attitudes in their campaign.

Instead, they focused their criticism on the unfairness of the 2013 law’s lax treatment of illegal drivers, and the unfairness of the state’s support for companies’ use of low-wage migrant labor.

“Nobody wants to break up families, nobody wants to be the meanie, but we do need to make sure that the people coming to the U.S. contribute and become part of the positive fabric,” said Thatcher, who owns a road construction firm.

“We try to talk about [immigration] in the general sense, because if you get down to specific individuals … you go down a slippery slope, you start denigrating groups based on a few,” Ludwig said.

Many voters were repelled by the 2013 law’s easy treatment of illegals, said Ludwick.

Oregonians must periodically prove their identity with passports and birth certificates as they renew their licenses, but illegals would have been able to get a license by showing an unverifiable “Matrícula Consular” identification document that they can buy from Mexican government officials in Oregon.

That sense of unfairness was also a proxy issue for fear loss of control, said Ludwick. There’s no guarantee that the Mexican ID cards would show the person’s true name, so the process could be gamed by criminals to conceal their identity behind real Oregon licenses said, he said.

“Our sovereignty would be in the hands of the Mexican counsel general’s office,” he said. “They would be the adjudicator of who could stay in the country.”

Voters were also concerned about the impact of illegals on jobs, said Ludwick.

“When we talked about jobs we simply said this — wages are flat, there’s been no increase in wages, millions of Americans are out work and millions are underemployed,” Ludwick said.

People understand that “if you have an oversupply of labor, wages are going to be suppressed,” he said.

“Our economy is in mess, we don’t have jobs” outside Portland, said Post.

People don’t want to blame immigration or immigrants for the problems, but they would talk around the issue of immigration’s impact on jobs, Ludwick said. For example, one woman whom he said she would support the referendum because her two sons couldn’t find good jobs. “One is living at home, and one is sharing an apartment, trying to get on a substitute teacher, the [first] one went back to school because he can’t get a job in his field,” Ludwick said.

But those fairness and jobs issues, however true, important and civic-minded, were also proxy issues for the public’s deeper concerns about the impact of large-scale immigration on their communities, Ludwick said.

“One of the biggest things that’s not really addressed is that the U.S. is so welcoming, and we just keep giving and giving, and we keep including so many people at great cost to us, our society, to our pocket book, to our unemployment,” said Kendoll.

“We’re getting to that tipping point. … People are saying ‘Wait a minute, this is just too much,’” she said.

“It’s the numbers,” Ludwick said, citing the annual arrival of one million legal immigrants, 650,000 guest-workers and many illegal immigrants, who seek jobs sought by the four million Americans who enter the workforce each year.

“It is not that every migrant is bad. … It is that we can’t accommodate all the world’s poor and underprivileged,” he said.

Despite their huge victory in blue Oregon, the Oregon GOP members and activists haven’t gotten any calls from the national GOP apparatus.

“Not a single solitary one,” said Kendoll.

TheDC asked for a comment from Rep. Greg Walden, the sole Republican House member in Oregon, and the chairman of the committee panel that helps GOP legislators win elections.

“Greg opposes amnesty, voted against the drivers’ license referendum, and was glad to see it defeated overwhelmingly,” said a statement from Walden’s press aide, Andrew Malcolm. “In his many town halls and other meetings in Oregon, Greg has heard strong support for securing the border and fixing our broken immigration system,” Malcolm said.

Many Oregon employers hire foreign college grads in place of Americans.

The lesson from Oregon’s referendum is that Washington politicians “should stand up, and yes it would help [the Oregon GOP] because people will start to recognize that the Republicans actually can provide leadership,” said Thatcher.

“If they could stand up, they could pull a lot of people from all parties to recognize at least that part of the GOP as a positive thing, and say, may be the Republicans have backbone after all.”

By pushing his amnesty plan, Obama isn’t learning the lessons that voters are teaching, said Esquivel. “It seems like he would have learned from the last election, but obviously he didn’t. … He keeps taking a meat cleaver and putting it into his forehead to see if it hurts.”

GOP leaders should “wake up, the people are upset right now,” said Post.

“We have to secure the borders and we have to deal with this immigration issue,” he said. “Right now, the wind is at their back. The Nov. 4 election, it was a red wave.”

Obama heads to Vegas to rally support for immigration overhaul

Determined to go it alone, President Obama will head to Nevada on Friday to sign an executive order granting “deferred action” to two illegal immigrant groups- parents of United States citizens or legal permanent residents who have been in the country for five years, and young people who who were brought into the country illegally as of 2010.

Obama will sign the executive order at the same Las Vegas high school where he unveiled his sweeping blueprint for a national immigration overhaul nearly two years ago.

Hispanics are a growing and powerful constituency in Nevada and the state serves as fertile ground for the president to rally public support.

During a 15-minute primetime speech Thursday, Obama said his administration will start accepting applications from illegal immigrants who seek the deferred actions.

Those who qualify will be granted protections for three years, Obama said, as he laid out his sweeping plan to the public Thursday night from the East Room of the White House.

“Mass amnesty would be unfair,” Obama said during the primetime address. “Mass deportation would be both impossible and contrary to our character.”

Obama, who pitched his plan as a “commonsense, middle ground approach,” said “if you meet the criteria, you can come out of the shadows and get right with the law” but warned “if you’re a criminal, you’ll be deported.”

The president did not specify how many in each "deferred action" group would be granted the new status. According to recent reports, the parental group could involve upwards of 4.5 million immigrants, with those brought into the country illegally making up close to 300,000 new applications. There are an estimated 11 million people living in the country illegally.

But Republicans have been quick to criticize and say the executive action is an example of Obama stretching his powers as president.

Even before the speech, conservatives said they were willing to do whatever was necessary to stop Obama’s plan.

Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell, who will become the majority leader in January when the new congressional class is sworn-in, said Obama would regret choosing to ignore the will of the American people.

McConnell, who made his statements from the Senate floor Thursday morning, has led the charge against the president and has promised a legislative fight when Republicans take full control of Congress in 2015.

“If President Obama acts in defiance of the people and imposes his will on the country, Congress will act,” McConnell said.

Utah Rep Jason Chaffetz, who will replace Rep. Darrell Issa as chair of the House Oversight Committee, told Fox News that the president’s timing on announcing the plan was “crystal clear.”

“It’s all about politics,” Chaffetz said. “He just got slaughtered in an election.”

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said in an op-ed in Politico Wednesday that if Obama acts, the new GOP majority in the Senate should retaliate by not acting on a single one of his nominees – executive or judicial – “so long as the illegal amnesty persists.”

Lars Larson: Even Liberal Oregonians Oppose Immigrant Amnesty

Voters in deep-blue Oregon overwhelmingly rejected a ballot measure on Nov. 4 to give drivers' licenses to the state's illegal immigrants — a judgment that President Barack Obama should consider when contemplating executive amnesty, nationally syndicated radio talker Lars Larson told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner on Newsmax TV on Tuesday.
 

Watch the video of Lars Larson's interview.

Report: Obama Will Soon Announce 10-Point Plan for Illegals

President Barack Obama will introduce 10 executive actions that could suspend deportations for and legalize more than 5 million illegal immigrants as early as next week, news reports say.

The plan was part of a draft proposal to a federal agency that was leaked to Fox News, the network reported on Wednesday.

Obama's announcement could come as early as Nov. 21 or shortly thereafter, a White House source told Fox.

The president was briefed on the plan by the Department of Homeland Security before he left on his trip to Asia and the Pacific last week, Fox reports. One of the architects of the plan was Esther Olavarria, the top immigration lawyer on the late Sen. Ted Kennedy's staff.

Among the plan's most controversial elements include orders that would expand deportation deferrals not only to illegals who came to the U.S. as children, but to the parents of U.S. citizens — those who were born in this country — and those who have become legal permanent residents.

The parental expansion could allow as many as 4.5 million illegal adults with U.S.-born children to remain in the country, Fox reports.

Obama's orders also would expand the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program he created in June 2012.

DACA affected millions of illegals who were brought to the United States as children before June 2007 and who were under 31 years old as of June 2012, when the program started.

With the new order, Obama would expand DACA to cover anyone who entered the United States before age 16 — and would move the cutoff date back to Jan. 1, 2010.

This is expected to affect nearly 300,000 illegal immigrants, Fox reports.

In addition, a State Department immigrant visa program involving technology jobs would offer another half-million immigrants a path to citizenship, according to Fox. Spouses also would be helped by the program.

According to Fox, the DHS plans to "promote" the new naturalization process by giving a 50 percent discount on the first 10,000 applicants who come forward, with the exception of those whose incomes are above 200 percent of the national poverty level.

Other planned executive actions would increase pay for Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers — an effort to "increase morale" within the agency, Fox reports — and the administration would revise its priorities to target only serious criminals for deportation, while replacing its current "Secure Communities" program with a new effort.

The Fox report comes as Obama vowed last week to act unilaterally on immigration in the absence of congressional action.

He was attacked by House Speaker John Boehner, who said any such move would "poison the well" with Republicans, and by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who likened it to "waving a red flag in front of a bull."

McConnell, who will become majority leader when the new Congress convenes in January, reiterated his opposition to Obama's acting alone on immigration in a speech on the Senate floor on Wednesday.

"President Obama has a duty to help build the trust we all need to move forward together, not to double-down on old ways of doing business," McConnell said. "That's why I think moving forward with the unilateral action on immigration he's planned would be a big mistake."

Obama Promises (Threatens?) to Take Executive Action on Immigration

On Election Day Americans across the United States voted to turn control of the United States Senate over to Republicans and increase the number of Republicans in the House of Representatives. Additionally, many supposed “Blue” (Democratic) states elected Republican governors.

About one week before the elections, President Obama admitted that the elections would be, in essence, a referendum on the policies of his administration. One of the most contentious and controversial policy decisions of his administration was to exercise “prosecutorial discretion” to grant lawful status to hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens (DREAMERs) who may be as old as 31 years of age who claim to have entered the United States prior to their 15th birthday.

Clearly the majority of American voters oppose the president’s agenda – his policies and his actions.

Yet, incredibly, during his first news conference held just after Election Day, President Obama said that he would not attempt to read the “political tea leaves” but would leave it to the journalists and pundits to do that. He might as well have stuffed his fingers in his ears and made it clear that he will not listen to the voices of the citizens of the United States, who had just spoken loud and clearly on this issue. It is beyond belief that any politician would not be concerned about interpreting the results of elections or political polls.

Where immigration and other issues are concerned, the President has, in effect, stated, “Damn the will of the American people, full steam ahead!”

The Washington Post published the transcript of the presidential news conference. Here is one of many key sentences from his prepared statement:

All of us have to give more Americans a reason to feel like the ground is stable beneath their feet, that the future is secure, that there is a path for young people to succeed, and that folks here in Washington are concerned about them.

Our immigration laws were enacted to protect American lives and the jobs of American workers. How would providing millions of illegal aliens with lawful status provide Americans with that which the President claimed should be provided to Americans? Virtually every political candidate promises to “create jobs.” However, each month the number of foreign workers entering the United States is greater than the number of new jobs that are being created. Legalizing unknown millions of heretofore illegal aliens would put these aliens into direct competition with unemployed and underemployed American workers. Even Americans who don’t lose their jobs to foreign competitors will likely suffer wage suppression. It is time for the government to liberate jobs by effectively enforcing the immigration laws. This would, overnight, free up millions of jobs for Americans.

The contradictions in his prepared statement and his responses to questions posed by reporters at that news conference were obvious and disturbing. On the one hand he talked about the need to enable American workers to find good jobs and for American students to be able to afford college educations so that they can get attain their goals and not have to worry about paying off massive student loans. On the other hand, however, he talked about the need to go forward with what he deemed would be “lawful” actions to provide millions of illegal aliens with pathways to lawful status provided that they paid their taxes, learned English and would be put on the infamous “end of the line.” “Beauty,” as the saying goes, “is in the eye of the beholder.” These previous issued executive orders are of questionable legality and raise many questions that have, thus far gone unanswered. This time he may well over-reach and could face many legal challenges.

Of course no one ever asks, where is the end of the line or where the line leads. The point is, that while waiting on the “end of the line,” these aliens would be granted lawful status, giving them an equal standing in the labor pool as lawful immigrants and even, United States citizens. Although the presence of these aliens in the United States represents a violation of law, yet they would be provided with official identity documents and because of the huge number of aliens who would be eligible to participate, there would be no capacity to conduct in-person interviews or field investigations to verify that the information contained in their applications is accurate and truthful. There would be no way to verify when or how they entered the United States, or what is in their backgrounds or their possible affiliations with criminal or terrorist organizations.

The administration appears hell-bent on wielding the President’s infamous phone and pen to undermine America and American workers by undermining the integrity of the immigration system.

However, what remains to be seen is what, if anything, the Congress will do. We need to be concerned about what the “Lame Duck” congress may do and we also need to be just as concerned about what both the Senate and House of Representatives may do when they re-convene in January.

In noting the “Lame Duck” Congress, it is remarkable that when employees are terminated they are almost invariably divested of their access to the computer databases at work before they are handed their “pink slips” to make certain that they not take any retaliatory action against their employer.

Where Congress is concerned, members who have lost their positions have several weeks during that dreaded “Lame Duck” period when they continue to have full authority to act, even though they know that they are no longer going to be held accountable by the electorate. This is an open invitation to a disaster! The time has come to end this lunacy. At the very least, the day after Election Day, members of Congress who were either defeated or decided to not run for re-election should not be able to take official action. Votes on critical issues should not be cast by those who are on their way out the door.

Here is a cautionary note to all members of Congress. The American people have spoken loudly. In just two years every seat in the House of Representatives will be up for election again. One third of all Senate seats will be up for election and the White House will be up for grabs. Clearly the citizens of the United States have awakened from their slumber. Americans, irrespective of political orientation, are angry and are very much paying attention. Immigration is rarely portrayed as it should be. It is not a single issue but a singular issue that impacts virtually every challenge and threat America and Americans face. As I noted in my PFIR policy brief, “The Liberal Case for Effective Immigration Law Enforcement” this is not about “Left” or “Right” but about right or wrong.

When Obama was asked about the nuclear aspirations of Iran and negotiations with the United States, he said that it would be better to not make any deal than make a bad deal. This perspective must be applied to any immigration proposals as well.

Midterm Exit Poll: 75% reject executive amnesty, 80% don't want foreign workers taking jobs from Americans

Americans who voted in the midterms on Tuesday overwhelming are opposed to President Barack Obama's executive amnesty and do not want foreign workers to take jobs from Americans and legal immigrants who are already here.

An exit poll conducting by Kellyanne Conway's The Polling Company found that three-quarters (74%) of voters believed that "President Obama should work with Congress rather than around Congress on immigration and separately."

Overall, strong "majorities of men (75%), women (74%), whites (79%), blacks (59%), and Hispanics (54%)," in addition to tri - partisan majorities of "self - identified Republicans (92%), Independents (80%), and Democrats (51%)" did not want Obama to enact an executive amnesty on his own. Only 20% of voters wanted Obama to move forward with his executive amnesty.

Voters Strongly Oppose Legal Rights, Government Benefits for Illegal Immigrants

The Obama administration yesterday announced that it is spending $9 million to provide lawyers for some of the young illegal immigrants who flooded across the border earlier this year, but voters strongly believe these illegal immigrants do not have the same legal rights U.S. citizens do.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 68% of Likely U.S. Voters say the new illegal immigrants should not have the same legal rights and protections that U.S. citizens have. Just 19% disagree. Thirteen percent (13%) are not sure. (To see question wording, click here.)

Seventy-one percent (71%) say these illegal newcomers should not be eligible for government services and benefits. Sixteen percent (16%) believe they are entitled to government aid. Again, 13% are undecided.

Sixty-three percent (63%) of voters think the availability of government money and services draws illegal immigrants to the United States. Twenty-one percent (21%) believe this government assistance is not a magnet for illegal immigration, but 15% are not sure. These views are little changed from early March 2010 when we first asked this question.

Thirty-eight percent (38%) now say some of this year’s wave of illegal immigrants have been moved by the federal government to their state. Fifteen percent (15%) say their state hasn’t received any of these illegals, but nearly half (46%) of voters don’t know. The administration refuses to make public where these illegal immigrants are being moved and, in most cases, is not telling local and state officials beforehand.

Just 29% of voters approve of housing these illegal immigrants in their state. Only 34% think the administration needs to release publicly the locations of where the illegal immigrants are going, but a plurality (47%) believes it should get the approval of elected officials in a state before moving them there.

The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on August September 29-30, 2014 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Most voters think the president wants this latest group of illegal immigrants to stay in this country despite majority support for their quick deportation.

Just 30% of voters give the Obama administration good or excellent marks for its handling of the thousands of illegal immigrant children who have entered the country this year. Forty-seven percent (47%) rate the administration’s handling of the problem as poor. This is unchanged from mid-August.

Fifty-four percent (54%) of Democrats give the administration positive marks for dealing with the latest immigration situation, compared to six percent (6%) of Republicans and 26% of voters not affiliated with either major party.

Democrats, however, tend to agree with the others when it comes to legal rights and government benefits for illegal immigrants but not nearly as strongly. For example, while 89% of GOP voters and 70% of unaffiliateds think illegals should not have the same legal rights and protections that U.S. citizens have, just a plurality (49%) of voters in the president’s party agree.

Similarly, 51% of Democrats do not think illegal immigrants should be eligible for government services and benefits, but that compares to 91% of Republicans and 75% of unaffiliated voters.

Republicans are more aware than the others whether some of the new illegal immigrants have been moved to their state.

Men and women are in general agreement when it comes to legal rights and benefits for these illegal immigrants. Voters under 40 are only slightly more supportive than their elders in both cases.

School districts around the country are beginning to discover where the administration has moved many of the new illegal immigrants, but 53% of all voters don’t believe these youngsters should be allowed to attend local schools. Thirty-two percent (32%) disagree, while 14% are undecided.

Most voters oppose the president’s reported plan to unilaterally grant amnesty to several million illegal immigrants and think Congress should challenge him in court if he goes ahead with it. Consistent with surveying for years, two-out-of-three voters (67%) think securing the border to prevent future illegal immigration should come before amnesty is granted for some illegal immigrants already in this country. Just 26% believe amnesty should come first.

Fifty-seven percent (57%) favor a comprehensive immigration reform plan that would give legal status to those who entered the country illegally but have otherwise obeyed the law – if the border is really secured to prevent future illegal immigration. The problem for immigration reformers is that only 33% think it’s even somewhat likely that the federal government will actually secure the border, with seven percent (7%) who say it’s Very Likely.

Immigration Chicanery

The strategists who base their political advice on public opinion polls have just had a surprise. A new poll reports that the American people are now more likely to trust Republicans to handle immigration and less likely to trust Democratic plans to offer illegals a path to citizenship (a.k.a. amnesty).

The new survey is decisive; 35 percent say the Republican Party would do a better job on immigration while only 27 percent say the Democrats would. That’s a dramatic reversal from the previous year.

The Wall Street Journal poll also revealed another change in public opinion that should get the attention of candidates. Support for the much-discussed “pathway to citizenship” has dropped significantly from 64 percent in April to 53 percent today.

Obama was saying all summer that his plan was to bypass Congress and the Constitution and issue an “executive amnesty” for millions of illegal aliens. His amnesty plan has since changed to be issued only after the 2014 elections so as not to defeat Democrats up for election in November.

His planned amnesty will include work permits, photo IDs, and Social Security numbers for millions of people who entered the U.S. illegally, overstayed their visas, or defrauded U.S. immigration authorities.

As Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) said, “Never in recent memory has the divide between the everyday citizen and the political elite been as wide as it is now.” He says the immigration debate comes down to several major questions:

Does our country have the right to decide who comes to live and work here? Do we have the right to demand that our representatives enforce our laws? Should American workers get priority for jobs?

If your answer is Yes, it is essential to block Obama’s planned executive amnesty and demand that Harry Reid call this up for a vote.

As Sessions said, “Let this sink in. The majority leader of the Senate is bragging that he knows the president will circumvent Congress to issue executive amnesty to millions.”

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