Congress

Michael McCaul opposes immigration talks

A key House Republican said Wednesday that he was urging his leadership to back off any formal negotiations with the Senate on immigration reform, reflecting a growing refusal from the GOP to reconcile the Gang of Eight legislation with any immigration bill that the House may pass.

Texas Rep. Michael McCaul, who chairs the House Homeland Security Committee, has been advocating for a bipartisan border-security bill that cleared his panel with unanimous support in May. That bill has lagged on the way to the House floor since, but McCaul indicated that his legislation isn’t meant to be a jumping-off point for broader discussions on overhauling the nation’s immigration laws.

And McCaul said he has relayed that message to the chamber’s top Republican — Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) — directly.

“I am not gonna go down the road of conferencing with the Senate [comprehensive immigration reform] bill,” McCaul said on conservative radio host Laura Ingraham’s show Wednesday. “And I told Boehner that he needs to stand up and make that very clear that we are not going to conference with the Senate on this. We’re not going to conference with the Senate, period.

“I am not pushing for immigration reform, I’ve been against amnesty my entire career,” McCaul continued. “I’m just interested in getting the security piece done. And we have to do that, first and foremost.”

A handful of conservatives in the House Republican Conference have said for several months that they would oppose going to a conference committee with the Senate over immigration, going as far as warning that they would vote against any reform bill on the floor to deny it the votes it needs to pass. But that opposition appears more fervent now, particularly after a fiscal battle this month that left House Republicans bruised: Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho), who has worked on immigration reform, has said it would be “crazy” for his party to negotiate with Democrats after the shutdown fight.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), one of the Senate bill’s authors and arguably its most valuable conservative backer, also distanced himself this week from the legislation he helped write and threw his support behind the House Republicans’ piecemeal approach to immigration reform. His office has said any House-Senate conference committee should limit its scope to whatever the House passes.

McCaul also said he was invited to the White House to discuss immigration with President Barack Obama on Tuesday, but he declined. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.), who has been working for years on immigration legislation, had also been slated to head to the White House — but that meeting was abruptly cancelled with no clear reason.

“I saw it as a political trap,” McCaul said of a meeting with Obama.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters earlier Wednesday that those meetings didn’t happen Tuesday because of “some genuine scheduling challenges on both ends.”

“But we’re going to continue to be in touch with House Republicans,” Earnest continued. “And whether that is a meeting with the president or a meeting at the staff level, we’re going to continue to solicit ideas from House Republicans about how we can move this ball forward.”

Still, those advocating for a sweeping comprehensive bill got some good news Wednesday when a third House GOP lawmaker broke ranks to co-sponsor Democratic immigration legislation that the party has been circulating to pressure Republicans.

Rep. David Valadao, a freshman Republican from California whose district is 70 percent Latino, said the move was a way to bolster his message: “Addressing immigration reform in the House cannot wait.”

“I am serious about making real progress and will remain committed to doing whatever it takes to repair our broken immigration system,” Valadao said in a statement.

Report: Deportations plummet in 2013, lowest since 2007

 

Authorities deported fewer illegal immigrants in fiscal 2013 than at any time since President Obama took office, according to secret numbers obtained by the Center for Immigration Studies that suggest Mr. Obama’s nondeportation policies have hindered removals.

Just 364,700 illegal immigrants were removed in fiscal 2013, according to internal numbers from U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement that CIS released Wednesday — down 11 percent from the nearly 410,000 who were deported in 2012.


SPECIAL COVERAGE: Immigration Reform


Homeland Security officials didn’t dispute the numbers, but said their own counts are still preliminary.

The administration has testified to Congress that it has enough money to deport 400,000 every year, but Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies at CIS, said Mr. Obama and the Homeland Security Department have placed so many illegal immigrants off-limits for deportations that they cannot find enough people to fulfill that quota.

“The policies that they’ve implemented, especially prosecutorial discretion and the new detainer policy, are dramatically suppressing interior enforcement,” Ms. Vaughan said. “Even though they are finding out about more illegal aliens than ever before, especially more criminal aliens, the ICE agents in the field have been ordered to look the other way.”

ICE spokeswoman Gillian Christensen said the agency has not tried to hide its new priorities, which have led to changes in the demographics of deportations.

“Over the course of this administration, DHS has set clear, common sense priorities to ensure that our finite enforcement resources are focused on public safety, national security, and border security,” she said.

“ICE has been vocal about the shift in our immigration enforcement strategy to focus on convicted criminals, public safety and border security and our removal numbers illustrate this,” she said.

The CIS report is bound to shake up the immigration debate going on in Congress.

Immigrant-rights advocates argue that Mr. Obama is removing too many people and have called for him to halt all deportations until Congress acts.

Indeed, immigrant-rights advocates cheered the new numbers, saying that if ICE confirms them, it will mean Mr. Obama is beginning to curb excessive enforcement.

“The dragnet deportation of 400,000 immigrants annually does nothing to make our streets safer, and constitutes a huge expenditure of government resources,” said Ruthie Epstein, policy analyst for the American Civil Liberties Union.

But those who want to see a crackdown say the administration is already ignoring most illegal immigrants, and said the latest numbers back that up.

Ms. Vaughan said that ICE agents and officers are encountering more immigrants than ever, including those with criminal records, which makes the drop in deportations more surprising. She said there’s a “target-rich environment” but the administration has hamstrung deportations.

The 364,700 deportations are the lowest since fiscal year 2007, which was in the middle of the last time Congress debated immigration.

Mr. Obama and his appointees at the Homeland Security Department have issued several policies designed to put illegal immigrants in the interior of the U.S. off-limits from deportations.

Probably the most famous of those is called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, which applies to so-called Dreamers, the young illegal immigrants who were usually brought to the U.S. as minors by their parents and are considered among the most sympathetic cases in the immigration debate.


Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/oct/30/deportations-plummet-2013-lowest-2007/?page=2#ixzz2jJj4nPkx
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5% Think Feds Very Likely to Seal Border if New Immigration Law Passes

Most voters continue to put more border control first in any immigration reform plan, but fewer than ever trust the federal government to actually control the border if a new plan is passed. Voters also lean toward a go-slow piece-by-piece approach to immigration reform over a comprehensive bill.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 25% of Likely U.S. Voters think it is even somewhat likely that the federal government will actually secure the border and prevent illegal immigration if that’s part of new immigration legislation. Sixty-five percent (65%) consider it unlikely. This includes only five percent (5%) who say the government is Very Likely to secure the border if it’s part of legislation that would give legal status to those already here illegally and 24% who feel it’s Not At All Likely. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Confidence in the likelihood of the federal government actually securing the border fell to a previous low of 28% in late June from a high of 45% in January. This skepticism continues to be perhaps the biggest problem immigration reformers face.

Republicans want proof that the border has been secured to prevent further illegal immigration before allowing legalization of those now here illegally to go forward. The president believes the legalization process and the implementation of more border security should take place at the same time.

But only 18% of voters believe those who are now in this country illegally should be granted legal status right away. Sixty-two percent (62%) disagree and think legalization should come only after the border is secured. Nineteen percent (19%) are not sure. These attitudes are unchanged from past surveys.

Voters are evenly divided over the immigration plan passed by the U.S. Senate that would further secure the border and give most of those who entered the country illegally legal status to stay here. Forty percent (40%) favor such a plan, while 40% oppose it. Twenty percent (20%) are undecided.

Support for the plan stood at 53% in early September when voters were asked, “If you knew that the border would really be secured to prevent future illegal immigration, would you favor or oppose this plan?”

Twenty-nine percent (29%) think the House of Representatives should pass the comprehensive immigration reform plan already approved by the Senate. But 44% believe the House should review that legislation piece by piece and approve only the parts it likes. Twenty-seven percent (27%) are undecided.

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on October 20-21, 2013 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.

Sixty-four percent (64%) of voters agree with the president that it is at least somewhat important for Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform legislation this year, with 33% who say it’s Very Important. Twenty-nine percent (29%) don’t share that sense of urgency, including 12% who say it’s Not At All Important to pass immigration reform legislation this year.

Just 28%, however, think it is even somewhat likely that comprehensive legislation will pass the Senate and the House and be signed by the president this year.

As with most major issues these days, there are sharp partisan differences of opinion. Fifty-two percent (52%) of Democrats, for example, favor the comprehensive plan passed by the Senate that includes more border security and a pathway to citizenship for those here illegally, but 69% of Republicans oppose it. Voters not affiliated with either major party approve of the plan by a much narrower 45% to 39% margin.

Eighty-four percent (84%) of GOP voters and 70% of unaffiliateds feel legalization should come only after the border is secured to prevent future illegal immigration, but just 40% of Democrats agree.

Most voters in all three groups think the federal government is unlikely to follow through and actually secure the border if the new law is passed. But Republicans and unaffiliated voters are a lot more skeptical than Democrats are.

Sixty-two percent (62%) of the Political Class believe the government is likely to secure the border, but 71% of Mainstream voters disagree.

Fifty-seven percent (57%) of voters who favor the Senate bill want the House to pass it as is. Seventy-two percent (72%) of those who oppose that bill want the House to go through it piece by piece and approve only the parts it likes.

California recently became the latest state to authorize driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants, but 68% of voters think illegal immigrants should not be eligible for driver’s licenses in their state.

Only 32% now believe that if a woman comes to this country illegally and gives birth to a child here, that child should automatically become a U.S. citizen. That's the lowest level of support for the current U.S. policy to date.

But 45% say if a family is not in the country legally, their children should still be allowed to attend public school. Forty-two percent disagree.

Sixty-eight percent (68%) believe that immigration when done within the law is good for America.

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.

Please sign up for the Rasmussen Reports daily e-mail update (it’s free) or follow us on Twitter or Facebook. Let us keep you up to date with the latest public opinion news.

The George Soros-funded National Immigration Forum (NIF) is organizing a “fly-in” of what it calls conservatives from across the country aimed at lobbying House Republicans for an amnesty bill.

According to USA Today’s immigration beat writer Alan Gomez, NIF is planning to organize the fly in with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg’s FWD.us, and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Partnership for a New American Economy.

“The fly-in is being organized not by conservative groups, but organizations that have focused on legalizing millions of people who are in the U.S. illegally and changing the legal immigration system to bring in more foreign workers,” Gomez wrote on Monday. He noted that the 300 activists for an immigration grand bargain were looking to make what he described as a “conservative pitch” for amnesty.

Gomez noted NIF’s Executive Director, Ali Noorani, who “has advocated for changes in immigration law to help legal and undocumented immigrants for three decades," claimed "the broad collection coming to Washington represents 'the conservative base of the Republican Party.'"

The event will take place on Oct. 28, coinciding with President Barack Obama’s and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s renewed push against House Speaker John Boehner for amnesty. Now that Obama, Reid, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi are publicly pushing for amnesty after many mainstream media outlets declared it dead earlier this year, Soros’ groups are trying to make it appear as though conservatives support immigration legislation like the Senate-passed “Gang of Eight” bill. Ultimately, the left’s goal is to get the House to pass a series of piecemeal immigration bills and then combine them with the Senate bill in a conference committee.

Soros is heavily involved in funding the lobbying for amnesty. After Breitbart News exposed NIF for being Soros-funded while running a campaign to make it appear as though evangelicals support granting amnesty to illegal immigrants, Noorani admitted his group accepts funding from Soros. Noorani denies that the funding was being used for the Evangelical Immigration Table (EIT), a project that his group runs the operations of, but admits that millions of NIF’s dollars come from Soros and that about 10 percent of its budget this year comes from the leftwing billionaire.

Soros is also intimately connected to Facebook’s Zuckerberg’s FWD.us push for amnesty. Zuckerberg hired Soros’ former chief financial strategist Stanley Druckenmiller. Druckenmiller served as Soros’ chief strategist for more than a decade.

Mitt Romney's top 2012 campaign donor, Wall Street hedge fund manager Paul Singer, also funds NIF, as Breitbart News has reported.

Radical approach - like spoiled children

The radical tactics being encouraged now by immigration advocates may be more than compassionate Americans are willing to tolerate.

It should be pointed out that any of the people here illegally are free to leave if they are unhappy.  In fact, I encourage them to do so!  But, chaining themselves to busses and throwing temper tantrums out of frustration that they can't get everything they want from a country in which they don't belong is beyond the limit of most rational thinkers.

"The people will take power back into their own hands and set a true example of leadership that the Beltway will have to follow,” said Marisa Franco, campaign organizer for the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, which helped coordinate some of the more provocative actions. 

The culture of corruption from which many of these people claim to be fleeing has now arrived here in the U.S. and it's spreading. 

Read more about the new radical approach to immigration reform we can all look forward to.

They're Not Going To Take It Anymore: New Generation Of Immigrant Advocates Take Radical Approach

The frustration, say immigration advocates, is reaching a fever pitch.

That is why, many say, recent weeks have seen activists use chains and pipes to tie themselves to the tires of buses that carry immigrants slated for deportation to court, block traffic on Capitol Hill and get arrested, surround Tucson police when they targeted two immigrants during a traffic stop, and chain themselves and block the entrance of a federal detention center.

More such actions, they vow, are coming.

“It's absolutely out of frustration and impatience,” said Marisa Franco, campaign organizer for the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, which helped coordinate some of the more provocative actions. "Immigrant communities who are losing 1,100 loved ones every day to deportation cannot wait for Congress to end its political games or for the President to rediscover his moral compass," she added.

The people will take power back into their own hands and set a true example of leadership that the Beltway will have to follow.

- Marisa Franco, National Day Laborer Organizing Network

"The people will take power back into their own hands and set a true example of leadership that the Beltway will have to follow,” Franco vowed.

The more radical approach to protesting the record number of deportations that that have occurred under the Obama administration, and the stalled efforts in Congress to work on an immigration reform bill, differs from the more traditional nature of immigration demonstrations.

They consisted, in public, chiefly of vigils, rallies, and marches. On the private level, more established immigration advocacy organizations leaned heavily on telephone and email campaigns, press conferences, and direct communication with members of Congress and their staffs.

“These organizations stopped having faith in any progress for immigration reform,” said Michael Young, who is a sociology professor at the University of Texas. “They’re distancing themselves from the national, more moderate organizations that said you have to worry about this will come off or how it will play to the national, broader audience.”

After seeing the DREAM Act, a measure that called for giving a path to legal status to undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as minors, pass the House in 2010 but then die in the Senate, and see immigration reform efforts practically fizzle this year in Congress, Young said, “they got to where they don’t care.”

Many feel that being measured, Young said, has yielded no results.

“That’s what the ‘good immigrants’ have been doing for years, and what has it won them,” he said. “The Obama administration has deported almost 2 million people.”

Younger immigrants, known as DREAMers, began walking away from the more mainstream advocacy movement about three years ago, after seeing the defeat of the DREAM Act in Congress.

“They were raised by the [mainstream advocacy] groups, which helped [DREAMers] with their message,” Young said. “But then they started seeing them as compromised, and leaving them made them feel unleashed.”

Some of the more provocative DREAMer groups started using terms such as “non-profit industrial complex” to refer to the more Old Guard organizations that were involved with immigration reform efforts.
The more recent actions have focused on fighting deportations – mano a mano, and, often, at the local level, experts say.

They’ve also branched out beyond DREAMers.

Last Friday, the actions outside a federal courthouse in Tucson prompted a judge to cancel deportation proceedings.

Some 15 people were arrested after immigration rights activists blocked two buses bringing suspected illegal immigrants to a federal courthouse in Tucson. A few days later, on Tuesday, officers in Tucson pepper-sprayed members of a crowd trying to prevent U.S. Border Patrol agents from detaining two people who originally police encountered during a traffic stop.

The Tucson Police Department dispatched 100 officers to deal with protests at two locations, something that Sgt. Chris Wildmer told reporters entailed pulling them off patrols throughout the city.

“Something has to give,” he said, according to local media.

Demonstrators also have held hunger strikes and demonstrations outside offices of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, taking the battle right to the source.

They are assailing members of Congress, of both parties, and Obama, who made a campaign promise in 2008 to reform immigration in a way that would, among other things, provide a path to legal status for many of the nation’s 11 million undocumented immigrants.

“The promise the President made in 2008 is now so empty that people have forgotten he even made it,” Franco said. “Unless he actually uses his authority to provide real relief, he'll only be remembered as the Deporter-in-Chief.”

Officials of immigration organizations that lean on traditional ways of pushing for change say they understand the underlying frustration that is driving the more aggressive tactics.

They say they do not plan to change their style, and they say they will not criticize the more radical approach.

“The landscape has changed so much because enforcement has been so intense,” said Angela Kelley, vice president for immigration policy at the Center for American Progress in Washington D.C. “Communities are feeling the impact of the increased deportations. They go right to the heart of so many communities. That’s translating into more vigorous advocacy and the sense that ‘I’ve got nothing to lose.’”

Obama plans immigration push after fiscal crisis ends

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama said on Tuesday that stalled immigration reform would be a top priority once the fiscal crisis has been resolved.

"Once that's done, you know, the day after, I'm going to be pushing to say, call a vote on immigration reform," he told the Los Angeles affiliate of Spanish-language television network Univision.

The president's domestic agenda has been sidetracked in his second term by one problem after another. As he coped with the revelation of domestic surveillance programs, chemical weapons in Syria, and a fiscal battle that has shut down the U.S. government and threatens a debt default, immigration has been relegated to the back burner.

But Obama, who won re-election with overwhelming Hispanic backing, had hoped to make reforms easing the plight of the 11 million immigrants who are in the United States illegally.

In June, the Senate passed an immigration overhaul, but House of Representatives Republicans are divided over the granting of legal status to those in the country illegally, a step many see as rewarding lawbreakers.

Although the president had sought comprehensive reform, he said last month he would be open to the House taking a piece-by-piece approach if that would get the job done.

Obama on Tuesday blamed House Speaker John Boehner for preventing immigration from coming up for a vote.

"We had a very strong Democratic and Republican vote in the Senate," he said. "The only thing right now that's holding it back is, again, Speaker Boehner not willing to call the bill on the floor of the House of Representatives."

Boehner said the sweeping Senate bill would not pass the House and has said the lower chamber would tackle the issue in smaller sections that would include stricter provisions on border protection


 

Immigration Reform Rally on ‘Closed’ National Mall OK’d by Park Service

The Park Service will reportedly allow a pro-immigration reform rally to occur on the National Mall even though the site is technically closed due to the partial government shutdown.

Organizers for the event, titled “Camino Americano: March for Immigration Reform,” set up a stage and equipment for the Tuesday rally as the public was kept out. A spokesperson for the event told the Washington Examiner that the Park Service has granted them permission to utilize the site.

“The President and his administration have a history of picking and choosing which laws they want to obey and this is no different,” Dane told TheBlaze. “Americans who fought for freedom are denied access to the WW II memorial while those who violate our laws are rewarded.”

Dane also said about 30 members of Congress, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) are expected to attend the rally.

“The event is hosted by several immigration activist groups, together with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the AFL-CIO,” according to the Washington Examiner.

You may recall that Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.) recently claimed he requested that veterans be allowed to enter the WWII memorial in Washington, D.C., but the request was rejected by the White House.

Bob Dane, communications director for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, provided TheBlaze exclusive photos of the group setting up the stage and preparing for the rally.

 

Hundreds rally in Portland to urge Congress to overhaul immigration policies

About 300 people rallied in downtown Portland Saturday as part of a nationwide day of action to urge Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform.

Immigrants, family members, farmworkers, union workers and others gathered at Director Park on a sun-drenched autumnal afternoon to urge lawmakers to keep families together by passing legislation that includes a pathway to citizenship for more than 11 million undocumented residents.

Read the full article about amnesty and driver cards for illegal aliens.

 

Just a smiley face painted on self-serving policy

What will happen to us, to our country and to our grandchildren if this massive mess of an amnesty bill prevails?

In their self-serving, big money, wheeling and dealing shenanigans, many of our elected officials can't see (or more likely, don't care) what they are doing to our country and our future.

Read Max Powell's insightful article about the consequences of such short sighted thinking.
 

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