Ninth hour congressional action by House Representatives: A good faith effort or a show play leaving President Obama to use his executive powers?

Ninth hour congressional action by House Representatives

Ninth hour congressional action by House Representatives

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) wants President Obama to use executive orders[i] to fix immigration issues, and on the other hand, endorses a lawsuit against him for several of his past issued executive orders including the orders regarding Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”). Note that DACA does not give benefit to current arrivals; in order to qualify for DACA program, an individual needed to have been on U.S. soil before 2007. Nevertheless, House Republicans blame DACA for enticing new arriving immigrants.

In his press statement last Thursday about border security and House Republican proposals for reform, Speaker Boehner stated, “This situation shows the intense concern within our conference – and among the American people – about the need to ensure the security of our borders and the president’s refusal to faithfully execute our laws. There are numerous steps the president can and should be taking right now.[ii]

While Speaker Boehner speaks critically of President Obama, House Republicans have their own version of immigration reform legislation that does not sit well with President Obama’s administration.

Note that this statement by Speaker Boehner was issued with regards to H.R. 5230, the border supplemental legislation, proposed by House Republican Rep. Rogers (R-Kentucky), which as proposed, would provide additional money for international operations of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) to combat the problem of security threats from organized crime networks (drug cartels) and also to reimburse local communities for the cost of housing and educating unaccompanied minors. Of course, there are elements of H.R. 5230 that are more favored by the Republican ideals of addressing immigration.

President Obama would likely be advised to veto this legislation if it moved forward according to recent statement. In response to the introduction of H.R. 5230, the Executive Office of the President’s Office of Management and Budget stated in a July 30, 2014, statement, “Republicans released patchwork legislation that will only put more arbitrary and unrealistic demands on an already broken system. H.R. 5230 could make the situation worse, not better. By setting arbitrary timelines for the processing of cases, this bill could create backlogs that could ultimately shift resources away from priority public safety goals, like deporting known criminals.[iii]

The House Republicans offer a list of, “Immediate Steps the President Could Take to Start Solving the Border Crisis,” published on the House GOP website[iv]:

  • Send the strong, public message that those who enter illegally will be returned;
  • Stop abusing his prosecutorial discretion authority;
  • Stop releasing convicted criminal aliens from detention;
  • Crack down on fraudulent asylum claims;
  • Implement tougher standards for “credible fear” claims;
  • Detain asylum seekers until their claims are proved valid;
  • Restore agreements with local law enforcement agencies to enforce immigration laws;
  • Employ diplomatic resources to stop the border crisis;
  • Give Border Patrol agents access to federal lands.

While there are some steps on the GOP list that could be accomplished by President Obama issuing executive orders and directing DHS and ICE to act and implement new policies. The steps on this list may also be “easier said than done.”

Current immigration clients and their cases can be seriously impacted by the immigration system when it does not move along in an orderly fashion. Wait times are already many years in certain instances and the proposed legislation by the House Republicans could hurt many immigrants who are not part of any border surge, people who arrived on U.S. soil under much different circumstances and conditions. Attorney KiKi M. Mosley works diligently to follow the latest news on immigration reform and share valuable information to help readers keep up with the volatile process of fixing our broken immigration system.

Attorney KiKi M. Mosley is licensed to practice law by the State of Illinois and Louisiana. She is skilled and experienced in complex immigration law issues including DACA and related options for children arriving in the U.S. For more information about the law firm, please visit www.KiKisLaw.com, and do not forget to “Like” the firm on Facebook and “Follow” on Twitter. You can also review Attorney Mosley’s endorsements on her Avvo profile.

[i] Executive orders are enforceable law and are subject to judicial review, and if the executive order is not supported by the Constitution or by statute. When executive orders should be used, versus action voted by congress to be written in an executive order as delegated legislation, is a debatable political question influenced by policy and a variety of factors.

[ii] U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner: Press Release, Statement by House GOP Leaders on Border Bill, Jul. 31, 2014, Speaker Boehner’s Press Office.

[iii] Executive Office of the President: Office of Management and Budget, Statement of Administration Policy, H.R. 5230 – Making Supplemental Appropriations for the Fiscal Year Ending September 30, 2014, and for Other Purposes. Jul. 30, 2014.

[iv] GOP.gov – House Republicans: Immediate Steps the President Could Take to Start Solving the Border Crisis, Courtesy of the House Judiciary Committee.

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