Will Obama clash with the Republicans? Despite the risk of a major confrontation with Congress, the American president has announced his intention to sign a series of decrees hoping to resolve the situation of the several million immigrants living in the U.S.
Alongside “Obamacare,” the health insurance reform, immigration reform was also listed as one of Obama’s top priorities during his second term in office. Yet this has been one his main failures.
After the Democrats lost the majority in both legislative chambers during the midterm election, Obama announced his intention to act rapidly in order to find a solution to the immigration issue. However, the president also expressed hope that Congress would adopt the reform based on a bill that was passed by the Senate in 2013, but rejected by the House of Representatives. While visiting Myanmar, Obama recalled this Friday that he’s given the House more than a year to deliberate the issue.
What Are the Potential Measures?
As stated by certain American officials, parents of U.S citizens and legal permanent residents, so-called “green-card holders” would be provided with documentation allowing them to work legally, thus eliminating the risk of deportation for a certain period of time.
How Many People Would Be Affected?
According to The New York Times, the reform is set to affect some 5 million undocumented immigrants out of an estimated 11.7 million currently living in the U.S. The exact figure will depend on certain criteria decided by the president himself, most notably the length of time spent living in the U.S.
Fox News has revealed that the reform will introduce 10 new measures, including considerations on border security, wages of border patrol agents along the U.S.-Mexican border and visas for highly qualified foreigners.
How Will the Republicans React?
Information sourced from The New York Times has caused the Grand Old Party to once again express their disapproval. “We’re going to fight the president tooth and nail if he continues down this path,” said Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner. “All options are on the table,” he added, without revealing a definitive strategy.
Certain Republican conservatives are calling for ways to block Obama’s potential reform and aim to alter the spending bill, which Congress is set to renew on Dec. 11. This will result in the refusal to issue the necessary budgetary funds required for the law to come into effect. But this controversial tactic could lead to a partial federal government shutdown. A similar situation occurred in October last year, and Republican Party leaders want to avoid a repetition at all costs. Now that they have the majority, and in light of the 2016 presidential election, GOP leaders are striving to maintain that they are a party of government, not obstruction. “We will not be shutting the government down or threatening to default on the federal debt,” declared Mitch McConnell, senior Republican senator.
Why Is Obama in an Unstable Position Regarding Immigration?
Barack Obama is in a delicate position concerning the Hispanic electorate. Although on the eve of his re-election, he vowed to make immigration a priority, he has been unable to act on his promises due to reluctance in the Republican camp. The outcome is as follows: 25 million registered Hispanic voters feel betrayed by their president. This past September, the news that all progress on immigration reform, originally announced in 2008, was to be postponed until a later date (after the election) caused dismay among voters. This disappointment was heightened yet further by the fact that Obama’s government has ordered the expulsion of as many undocumented immigrants as George W. Bush did in his entire eight years in office. If Obama wants to retain the Hispanic vote — 71 percent voted for Obama in 2012 — it would be a good idea to make things right.
That’s why Democrats are currently ordering the president to make his promise a reality. “Let us also not forget that congressional Republicans previously blocked reform in 2006 and 2007,” they point out.
And What About the Republicans?
Senator John McCain, who has been in favor of immigration reform for many years, pleaded with Obama to give Republicans another opportunity to address the issue. McCain, however, was one of the few Republicans who, alongside Democrats, drafted a bipartisan immigration reform bill in 2013. Republicans were aware of their lack of popularity among the Hispanic minority after their second consecutive defeat during the 2012 presidential election. Even Marco Rubio, unofficial White House candidate, supported the reform bill. However, he ended up coming around to his party’s increasingly hesitant opinion on the issue.
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L'Express, France's first weekly news magazine, was modelled on the American magazine Time. Its first editor was Francoise Giroud, who had earlier edited Elle and went on to become France's first Minister of Women's Affairs in 1974 and Minister of Culture in 1976. The magazine has a right-of-centre orientation.