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Thursday, On November 20th, President Barrack Obama announced an immigration reform executive order, which he intended to sign the following day into law. The order was meant to affect more than 5 million undocumented immigrants, who would get legal reprieve of being in the USA…
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Obama on Immigration Thursday, On November 20th, President Barrack Obama announced an immigration reform executive order, which he intended to sign the following day into law. The order was meant to affect more than 5 million undocumented immigrants, who would get legal reprieve of being in the USA illegally. Through a system of criminal checkup and payment of 3 years tax arrears, those immigrants who have been in the USA for more than 5 years would be granted partial citizenship. His move elicited mixed reactions from the republican camp, which accused Obama of going against the constitution, which he was meant to be defending.
Defending his action, President Obama, said that the house of congress had refused to bring to vote the Bipartisan Immigration Bill that would ‘legally’ address the issue of immigration in the United States. He dared the republicans to bring the bill to the floor of congress and pass it; which is after passing in the senate in 2013 has stagnated in the congress (Knowlton 1).
The republicans were quick to point out that President Obama was acting unconstitutionally and was using his executive powers in allowing undocumented immigrants to remain in the country without the threat of being deported. They continued to accuse the president of “damaging the presidency” by abusing the office’ power. By using executive powers, they claimed, that he was destroying the legal system of passing the Bipartisan Bill.
In response, President Obama, together with his democratic sympathizers, majority of who were lawmakers released a letter with 10 scholarly views on the legality of the executive order the president issued. The scholars, in the letter, insisted that the president had not gone beyond the powers of his office.
Maricopa County’s Sherriff, Mr. Joe Arpaio, filed a suit in the federal district court challenging President Obama’s order and power to execute such a directive. In his suit, the Sherriff wanted the Court to guide the President on how to act ‘accordingly’ and obey the United States constitution. Elsewhere, Scott Pruitt, the Attorney General of Oklahoma, stated that president Obama’s order was “ill-advised, unworkable, unlawful and brazenly political”.
The republicans continued to accuse the president of pitting them against the Hispanic community, as they formed the majority of the house of congress. The republicans were keen in their utterances in order to avoid the party’s standing with Latino voters, who have become the fastest growing minority voters. They know that their decision, come next, will be decisive in the way the Latino will vote, when the general election comes on.
President Obama defended his action as not being political, but a reprieve to the more than 4 million, tax-paying, law-abiding undocumented immigrants. He continued to describe these immigrants as those who “make our beds and pick our fruits” and asked if it was not okay to let them get right and be on the lawful side of America (Shearnov 1). The president continued to accredit the existence of American people to the welcome their fore fathers received centuries before, when they ventured into America, quoting Exodus 22:21.
Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of United States, stated that “This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it (Lincoln, 32)”. It is also true that despite their state of not being documented, the Hispanics contribute a lot to both the economy and the state of the country. I feel that the United States citizens cannot close our eyes to the impeding situation of mass deportation and assume at some given time in future the situation will correct itself. The president has tried to address the issue of immigration through the Bipartisan Immigration Bill. The Congress has halted his bid without offering any solution. Therefore, it is okay for the President to take executive actions sometimes.
Works Cited
Knowlton, Brian. Obama Defends His Use of Executive Authority on Immigration. The New York Times, 23 November 2014. Web. Accessed from http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/24/us/politics/obama-immigration.html
Lincoln Abraham. Abraham Lincoln: Quotes, Quips, and Speeches. Pennsylvania: Cumberland House, 2009. Print.
Shearnov Michael D.” Obama, Daring Congress, Acts to Overhaul Immigration.” The New York Times, 20 November 2014. Page A1. Web. Accessed from http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/21/us/obama-immigration-speech.html?_r=0 Read More
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