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Executive Action Weighed in Immigration Debate

October 13, 2014 | Posted In Immigration

According to recent reports and news sources, President Obama is considering what authoritative options are open to him in terms of tackling the country’s immigration crisis at the border between Mexico and the southern states, as Congress continues to be unable to reach a consensus for a solution. The president’s options could potentially include executive action, which could give him the power to act independently, even though a final decision on the pending immigration bill has not been made, New Jersey immigration lawyers report.

Since Obama took office, he has been at a standoff with Republicans in Congress who oppose his immigration reform measures. The president previously announced in 2012 that immigrant children could apply for deferred deportations, allowing them to remain in the US even if they had not come to the country through legal immigration channels. Critics of this plan say that the president has incentivized illegal immigration for children. Additionally, his comprehensive immigration reform plan—which includes a request for $3.7 billion in emergency funds to help find homes for immigrant children on the Mexican border, and to process and deport the adults who accompany them—has drawn harsh criticism from members of Congress, contributing to last month’s stalemate. 

Obama asked for the $3.7 billion in emergency funds back in July. In response, Democrats in the Senate proposed a $2.7 billion package, but the entire Senate could not come to an agreement. The House passed a $694 million package, which critics say does not come close to covering the funds needed, and included financial provisions for sending National Guard forces to the border. Obama has spoken out publicly against sending more troops to guard the border. The House has also passed a bill that will block the president’s 2012 actions for illegal immigrant children. 

Right now, there are more than 11 million immigrants living illegally in the country. Reform supporters have been lobbying for the President and administrative groups to grant them work permits despite their illegal status in the country, but push-back from reform critics is stalling this decision as well.  But it seems that the most important point—and the most contentious—in the current discussion between the president and members of Congress is the emergency money, and how much is needed versus how much can be provided. President Obama confirmed that he will need to take independent action soon, as the situation becomes more critical. “I’m going to have to act alone, because we don’t have enough resources,” the president said. “We’ve run out of money.”

At Helmer, Conley, and Kasselman, PA, a New Jersey law firm, our immigration lawyers represent clients who have come to the country either legally or illegally and are facing challenges in today’s society. Deportation and separation of families are very real threats, especially in the absence of a unified federal response to the proposed reform measures, and as the President weighs his options, local immigrants may be faced with legal action. For questions or consultations about your case, contact an HCK immigration lawyer today. 

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