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Illinois leaders react to Obama’s immigration order

Friday, Nov 21, 2014

* I don’t usually delve into national issues, but I received so many press releases yesterday about President Obama’s executive order on immigration that I thought I’d share them with you. But, first, from the Washington Post

President Obama announced a big executive action on immigration Thursday night. But while it allows nearly half of illegal immigrants in the United States to avoid deportation, the impact varies significantly by state.

According to data from the Migration Policy Institute, 51 percent of illegal immigrants in Texas and 50 percent in California — the two states with the largest illegal immigrant populations — will be temporarily exempted from deportation. But in Maryland and Massachusetts, it’s just 35 percent, and in Virginia it’s 37 percent.

Aside from California and Texas, at least half of illegal immigrants in Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Oregon and Utah will be exempted. […]

Obama’s executive action varies by state because it is focused on illegal immigrants who are parents of children who are citizens or legal permanent residents and have been here for at least five years, which is about 3.7 million of the estimated 11.4 million illegal immigrants in the United States. Another 1.5 million will benefit from the program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which Obama first announced in 2012 and allows young illegal immigrants who came to the United States as children to stay. That program was expanded by about 300,000 after Thursday’s announcement

The exemption rate for Illinois is 50 percent.

Nationwide, 6.2 million won’t be covered by the executive order.

* OK, on to the react. First up, the state’s GOP congressional delegation…

Representatives Adam Kinzinger (R-IL-16), Peter Roskam (R-IL-6), Rodney Davis (R-IL-13), Randy Hultgren (R-IL-14) , John Shimkus (R-IL-15), and Aaron Schock (R-IL-18) today released the following statement reacting to President Obama’s announcement that he will be using an executive order to bypass Congress and grant amnesty to millions of undocumented immigrants.

“President Obama’s plan to ignore the Constitution and circumvent Congress is a lawless move that will ultimately do much more harm than good. We believe Congress should take the lead on immigration reform, securing our borders, improving the visa system and addressing the many layers of our broken system. This temporary measure will only spark chaos and create major problems both now and in the future. In fact, President Obama himself has said many times that an executive action of this magnitude would be unlawful. By blatantly bypassing Congress to execute this illegal executive order, the president is neglecting the interest of the American people, diminishing our national security, undermining the rule of law, and setting back efforts to permanently and meaningfully fix what’s broken in the immigration system.”

* Gov. Pat Quinn…

“President Obama today took a necessary first step in fixing our broken immigration system. His plan will give hope to families who live in constant fear of separation.

“Hardworking immigrants from around the world came together to build our country and our state. I commend President Obama for showing compassion and understanding to millions of individuals stuck in a heartbreaking situation.

“Congress must follow President Obama’s lead and pass comprehensive immigration reform.”

* Mayor Emanuel…

“We applaud President Obama for taking executive action and bringing much needed relief from deportation to families throughout Chicago and across the country. We support this move because it is consistent with our values as a city that has always welcomed and benefited from the contributions of immigrants. It is good for our families, good for our economy, and it will help drive us toward a brighter future for every Chicagoan.

While we support the President’s action, only Congress can finish the job. We will continue to join with the overwhelming majority of the American people in pushing for bipartisan action by Congress on comprehensive immigration reform.”

* Also from the mayor…

Mayor Rahm Emanuel will join Congressman Luis Gutierrez tomorrow, Sat. November 22 at 9:30am at Benito Juarez High School Auditorium, 1450-1510 W Cermak Road for the IL is Ready Chicago Rally for Administrative Relief.

The Mayor will stand with immigration leaders from community based organizations, legal services providers, faith institutions, college and universities, labor, government agencies, and business to discuss how the City of Chicago will prepare and attendees will learn more about administrative relief, access resources to share with community members, learn how to prevent immigration services fraud, and to prepare for administrative relief.

* Jesus “Chuy” Garcia…

“Chicago is a city of immigrants and today we honored their contributions. I am excited that many members of our community will be granted relief from deportations and our families will no longer live in fear of being separated from their children. Sadly, many of our community leaders who have fought the hardest for this win may not qualify. Elected officials who have advocated for deportation quotas and believe that immigration is the “third rail” of politics prevented a comprehensive immigration reform. Those who impeded our progress on this essential issue of human rights and economic growth need to be held responsible for the fact that even after the President’s effort, we are left with a broken immigration system. I will continue to press leaders in Congress to fix our broken immigration system so that all 11 million undocumented immigrants are able to come out of the shadows and are put on a pathway to citizenship.”

* Illinois Business Immigration Coalition…

The Illinois Business Immigration Coalition (IBIC) released the following statement today. IBIC is co-chaired by Exelon Chairman Emeritus John Rowe, Crate and Barrel Co-Founder Carole Segal, former Corn Products International CEO Sam Scott, former Illinois Chamber of Commerce CEO Doug Whitley, Resurrection Project CEO Raul Raymundo, American Council of Engineering Companies of IL Executive Director Dave Bender and National Partnership for New Americans Executive Director Joshua Hoyt.

“The Illinois Business Immigration Coalition (IBIC) represents a growing and diverse set of businesses and business associations across the state. IBIC provides a voice for Illinois businesses in support of common sense immigration reform that supports Illinois’ economic recovery, provides Illinois companies with both the high-skilled and low-skilled talent they need, and promotes the integration of immigrants into our economy as consumers, workers, entrepreneurs and citizens.”

“Although we believe that legislative action is the best way to develop common sense, and permanent solutions to our large and complex immigration problems, executive action by the President is a welcomed relief to millions of families living in fear, businesses disrupted due to unnecessary deportations, and a national security compromised because we currently do not know who is in our country and for what purpose.

“IBIC remains committed to encouraging Congress to take up and pass immigration legislation that secures the border and enacts a tough screening process so we know who is in the country and for what purpose, creates a functioning visa system allowing safe, orderly, and legal immigration for the needed agricultural, high skilled and low skilled workers, and a legal status or path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants already here.

“It is bad for the economy to have millions of people working in the shadows. It is bad for national security when we do not know who is in the country and for what purpose. It is bad for the country when families are kept apart. The President’s Executive Order may help to bring millions of workers out of the shadow, legally entering them into the workforce, and strengthen our national security, but absent legislation, our country’s immigration system remains broken.”

* US Sen. Durbin…

Following an announcement by President Obama that he would use his legal authority to make improvements to the country’s broken immigration system, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) stood with Senate Democratic leadership today supporting the President’s decision. Durbin said that the decision is necessary due to the failure of House Republicans to pass a bipartisan comprehensive immigration bill, a bill that has languished in the House of Representatives for 511 days since the Senate passed it in June of 2013. Earlier this week, Durbin and Senate Democratic leadership sent a letter to President Obama supporting executive authority to improve the immigration system.

“Broadview, Illinois is a suburb outside of Chicago, and every Friday morning a bus pulls in and is filled with those who are about to be put on airplanes at O’Hare and sent out of this country. I’ve been there. I’ve been there with many people who stand in vigil as they’re being sent away. It’s a heartbreaking situation. These are not felons, these are members of families. These are not criminals, these are children,” Durbin said.

“This president is going to use his executive authority to try and solve a problem the House Republicans refused to even address. It’s the right move for America. It’s a first step and we still have our responsibility to do something in Congress. But until we do, the President is doing the right thing for America.”

* Democratic Congressman Bill Foster…

“We have ignored our broken immigration system for too long, and I am pleased that the President is taking action to improve our immigration system and provide temporary relief for some families. These actions which are long overdue, will prevent millions of families from being torn apart, provide visas for highly-skilled workers, and give many immigrants relief from the fear of deportation.

“Every day that leaders in Congress block comprehensive immigration reform, it costs taxpayers $37 million in lost revenue. The President’s decision to issue work permits, so that immigrants with strong ties to America, who pass criminal background checks, can work legally and pay their taxes is a common sense solution that will benefit our economy.

“To those who say this should not be done with executive action, the answer is simple: bring comprehensive immigration reform up for a vote in the House. Like similar actions taken by his predecessors, including Presidents Reagan and Bush, President Obama’s actions will provide temporary relief, but what we really need is comprehensive immigration reform. It’s been nearly a year and a half since the Senate passed bipartisan immigration reform. Despite an outpouring of support from the business community, religious leaders, law enforcement, and people from all walks of life, House leadership refuses to allow a vote on comprehensive immigration reform.

“Any day, Speaker Boehner could wake up, listen to the teachings of his church, the business community, or the millions of Americans calling for action, and bring comprehensive immigration reform up for a vote – it would pass with strong bipartisan support, and become the law of the land. But we cannot continue to sit on the sidelines and wait for that day while families are being torn apart.”

President Obama is not the first to take executive action on immigration reform. Every President since the Eisenhower administration has taken executive action for immigrants. President Reagan provided relief to immigrants who had been denied asylum and President Bush expanded the Family Fairness program to provide legal status for more than 1.5 million undocumented spouses and children.

* Democratic Congressman Mike Quigley…

“I applaud President Obama for using his legal authority to improve our broken immigration system and prevent the unnecessary deportation of millions of members of our community. The president’s executive actions will prioritize our resources to remove those who pose a public safety threat instead of continuing our current ineffective, arbitrary and inhumane deportation policy, needlessly separating families in contradiction to our country’s founding principles of fairness and justice. Every president since President Eisenhower has lawfully used executive authority to address immigration issues. President Obama’s actions are consistent with his predecessors in both parties, who have routinely used their prosecutorial discretion to grant administrative relief to large categories of immigrants. This includes President Reagan’s support for individuals fleeing political repression in Poland and President George H.W. Bush’s expansion of the Family Fairness program that deferred the deportation of over one million people. While the president’s actions are a crucial step in the right direction, it is important to remember that executive action is not enough, offering only a temporary remedy for a limited number of the undocumented immigrant community. Only Congress can provide the permanent solution necessary to fix our broken immigration system, and I will continue to fight for the bipartisan, comprehensive immigration reform supported by an overwhelming majority of the American people.”

* Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights…

A broad group of state-wide stakeholders will meet to discuss the implementation and implications of President Obama’s executive action on immigration. After the meeting, the group will be available to comment on the White House action, which will provide millions of immigrants the opportunity to remain in the U.S. with their families and to continue to contribute to our nation’s economy and society.

WHO: U.S. Senator Richard Durbin and leaders from faith, business, labor, and community coalitions including the Archdiocese of Chicago, American Jewish Committee, Latino Policy Forum, National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities (NALACC), National Immigrant Justice Center, Prayer Network, Undocumented Illinois, Organized Communities Against Deportations, United Auto Workers

WHEN: Friday, November 21st at 2:45 pm

WHERE: Casa Michoacan, 1638 South Blue Island, Chicago, Illinois

* I didn’t receive anything from Sen. Mark Kirk, but he did speak with The Hill

Kirk was quick to criticize both President Obama and his own party in the wide-ranging interview. He knocked President Obama’s recent immigration moves, saying it was “incredibly condescending to hook all the rights and privileges of millions of would-be Americans to an executive order which could be changed at any time by any president,” but blamed the stalling of immigration reform on House Republicans.

* I also didn’t receive anything from Democratic US Reps. Cheri Bustos or Tammy Duckworth (although Duckworth just had a baby), or from any members of the African-American delegation (although I don’t think I’m on their lists). Bruce Rauner avoided questions about the president’s action yesterday.

* I can’t stress this enough, but TAKE A DEEP BREATH before commenting, please. Don’t go crazy on me - and I’m talking to BOTH sides here.

…Adding… I’m told I was inadvertently left off Duckworth’s list…

Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth (IL-08) released the following statement on President Obama’s new Executive Actions on Immigration.

“During my time in office I have consistently heard from individuals and groups throughout the political spectrum that believe we need comprehensive immigration reform that is practical, fair and humane and that will grow our economy. I was encouraged by the passage of bipartisan immigration reform last year in the Senate and am disappointed that the majority in the House of Representatives did not bring similar bipartisan legislation for a vote.”

“Given the inaction of Congress, I support the President moving forward with executive actions that will improve security at the border while prioritizing deporting felons, not families. It is now time for Congress to work together to enact comprehensive immigration reform that will improve our immigration system for the long term.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Norseman - Friday, Nov 21, 14 @ 10:12 am:

    The GOP better get their act together on this issue or they will become a hopeless afterthought in this state. Kirk seems to understand that better than the congresscritters.

  2. - A. Nonymous - Friday, Nov 21, 14 @ 10:13 am:

    @ GOP Congressional Delegation -

    If you don’t like the current legislation on Executive Orders …. change it.

    That’s what legislators do. Legislate.

    While you’re at it, take a moment to stop lying and instead actually read the Constitution.

  3. - Anon - Friday, Nov 21, 14 @ 10:14 am:

    It did seem like the incoming GOP Senate majority, along with Boehner, we’re looking for compromise middle ground on this issue. Would have been nice to have engagement and compromise. Seems Obama prefers political divisions, and sharp contrasts; Bill Clinton would have pursued the alternative course, I suspect.

  4. - steve schnorf ___ - Friday, Nov 21, 14 @ 10:16 am:

    Rich, your signoff song today should definitely be “Deportees “

  5. - A. Nonymous - Friday, Nov 21, 14 @ 10:16 am:

    @ Norseman -

    Yes. Kudos to Kirk for chastising his own do-nothing party.

    Yet raspberries to Kirk for claiming that Obama’s action is somehow bad seeing as how every GOP President has also issued Executive Orders on immigration.

    Presidents oversee the Executive branch, after all. Issuing Orders is part of that process.

  6. - Put the Fun in unfunded - Friday, Nov 21, 14 @ 10:19 am:

    My question for the proponents: when does it stop? Why does the kid who arrived on X date get to stay, but not the one who arrives the day after X date? Many people would be ok with a fix, IF they trusted it. But in fact, there is no confidence that it won’t be repeated, just like Simpson-Mazzoli did not solve the problem after 1986. So all you end up with is open borders. If you support that, fine, but be honest. If you are not willing to enforce today, nothing is going to change tomorrow.

  7. - PublicServant - Friday, Nov 21, 14 @ 10:20 am:

    Kirk’s response is spot on. I’m surprised he didn’t toe the party line.

  8. - Rick H. - Friday, Nov 21, 14 @ 10:21 am:

    The entire immigration debate is illustative of the increasing polarization of American politics. Both sides play to their base to score cheap points and a big problem never gets solved. Which is not to say both sides are equally guilty on this one.

  9. - A. Nonymous - Friday, Nov 21, 14 @ 10:22 am:

    - Anon - Friday, Nov 21, 14 @ 10:14 am:

    “It did seem like the incoming GOP Senate majority, along with Boehner, we’re looking for compromise middle ground on this issue. Would have been nice to have engagement and compromise. Seems Obama prefers political divisions, and sharp contrasts; Bill Clinton would have pursued the alternative course, I suspect.”

    I heard Boehner and McConnell say some words, but have also heard them say similar for the last 4 years with zero action.

    And perhaps you missed the foaming at the mouth GOP “pre-”reactions about violence in the streets and impeachment because the President was doing his job.

    If the GOP didn’t want the Executive to issue and Executive Order they should’ve passed some legislation instead of abdicating their work.

    The Senate passed a bipartisan compromise.

    Boehner couldn’t even get his caucus to look at it let alone pick it up in the House.

    Anti-immigrant hysteria in the far-right wings of the GOP has made this issue toxic for all sides.

    ….enough from me on this topic. GOP dinosaurs don’t change their stripes.


  10. - Sportsfans - Friday, Nov 21, 14 @ 10:23 am:

    How will this impact the policy of self deportation?

  11. - McDouble - Friday, Nov 21, 14 @ 10:25 am:

    I’m impressed that Kirk can blame the obstructionists in his own party. He’s gained my respect, for sure.

  12. - Angry Republican - Friday, Nov 21, 14 @ 10:27 am:

    How much extra income tax will the state collect from this? Maybe this is all part of Rauner’s plan to balance the budget; I had no idea he was so close to the President.

  13. - Pius - Friday, Nov 21, 14 @ 10:28 am:

    @ steve schnorf —– “Immigrant song” would be better!

  14. - LincolnLounger - Friday, Nov 21, 14 @ 10:28 am:

    Thank you for reminding me, A. Nonymous, that this President has been saying over and over for years why he couldn’t do exactly what he did last night. We’ll just chalk those statements from a constitutional law professor up to the same stuff as “If you like your policy, you can keep it.”

    I remain puzzled why the President didn’t push forward this comprehensive immigration “reform” when his Party had huge margins for his first two years, a significant mandate from the American people, and a Hallelujah Chorus from the media?

    The most unfortunate thing is that he turned around and screwed over the reasonable faction of the business community, Boehner and his leadership team, and other centrist Republicans with the details of his order.

    To imagine the lofty words and ideals brought forward to bringing everyone together. This President cannot unite his own Party. He is a phony who now is simply legacy shopping, and it speaks volumes that this grand plan wasn’t trotted out before election day.

  15. - Walter Mitty - Friday, Nov 21, 14 @ 10:29 am:

    * I can’t stress this enough, but TAKE A DEEP BREATH before commenting, please. Don’t go crazy on me - and I’m talking to BOTH sides here.
    NO CAN DO!!!!

    I am sorry I need to vent my serious frustration. Rich, how do you start us off with such great eclectic musical choices daily, then go cold turkey? Man, can you just designate one day a week? Can I not get just a moment of joy back? I promise I will never say you are hip for an older dude again… If you just help a guy out!You could have had the Immigrant song to lead this off!

  16. - mythoughtis - Friday, Nov 21, 14 @ 10:29 am:

    Even though I am a firm believer in ‘illegal means illegal - so suffer the consequences’, I find that I really am not all that upset with the changes that the President made. It’s temporary suspension of deportations, and work permits , they don’t involve giving a path to citizenship, and they don’t involve allowing violent criminals to stay here.

    However, please refer to Mr. Garcia’s statements- he seems to state that all illegal immigrants should be rewarded for their law-breaking and get a path to citizenship. I think the path to citizenship should be reserved for those that respect our process, not those who broke the rules as if they are above the law. Blanket statements like his make me seeth.

  17. - pundent - Friday, Nov 21, 14 @ 10:30 am:

    It’s hard to make sense of any of this. I did some reading and found this in the book of Genesis, “It’s no fun being an illegal alien”. Seems simple yet profound.

  18. - A. Nonymous - Friday, Nov 21, 14 @ 10:30 am:

    Alright. One more point (because one party seems to conveniently ignore it)……

    @ - Put the Fun in unfunded - Friday, Nov 21, 14 @ 10:19 am:
    “So all you end up with is open borders. If you support that, fine, but be honest. If you are not willing to enforce today, nothing is going to change tomorrow.”

    Obama has enforced FAR MORE deportations than George W Bush - to the point where Latinos routinely criticize him for it.

    Obama has also repeatedly tried to significantly boost border security but Boehner’s GOP House routinely cuts those budgets (power of the purse strings and all).

    …. It’s not clear why FOX News never mentions any of this.

  19. - A guy... - Friday, Nov 21, 14 @ 10:31 am:

    Because I said so….doesn’t have long term constitutional protection. We sure don’t need to get into the habit of this for either party’s gain or loss. This has not been an “edict” at the end of a tiring campaign where he’s used the bully pulpit relentlessly to get this done. It’s a reaction and an attempt to divert attention. It’s working. But it’s very bad government policy.

    For the record, I’m supportive of immigration reform that deals with important realities. I’d never support massive deportation since most of these individuals were “enticed” into this country and have been part of strong economies- important parts. That said, this problem is better solved than the messy steps he took last night with no constitutional authority to back him up.

  20. - Walter Mitty - Friday, Nov 21, 14 @ 10:34 am:

    Pundent… Well played.. Well played.

  21. - Sunshine - Friday, Nov 21, 14 @ 10:35 am:

    I’m not an Obama fan but I do see merit in what he is doing. The “illegal immigrants” got here because of a multitude of reasons including the need of our industry for cheap labor and our porous borders.

    If I were in a poor border country, or even nearby, I too would do everything I could to get here. For the most part, Hispanics, and Asians, are all hard working, family focused folks.

    The Republicans are using this as a pushback, when they should be supporting those here for the value they do bring. Too late to close the barn door, especially when we wanted it open as long as it served us. Besides, we need the population growth to sustain us. Why not consider people with a desire for freedom, a desire to work and contribute?

    A difficult situation, but we brung it on ourselves by accommodating big business through a backdoor avenue. The Republicans best get on board with this. Also need to manage the border better.

  22. - Rob Roy - Friday, Nov 21, 14 @ 10:35 am:

    I keep hearing how the immigration laws are broken. Can someone explain to me what is broken other than the fact that the immigrations laws themselves are not being followed. And I hear that Reagan did amnesty, what Reagan did was signed a bill that went through the congress that included securing the borders, well we still have open borders. This morning Geraldo makes the statement that the unemployment rate is below 6% so it’s ok they wont take jobs away from citizens. The actual unemployment rate is almost 19% counting all those who’s benefits have run out and those that have just stop looking. When will the lies stop?

  23. - Jorge - Friday, Nov 21, 14 @ 10:40 am:

    I’m glad Obama did this. It’s a punch to the kidneys of the do nothing House GOP.

  24. - Demoralized - Friday, Nov 21, 14 @ 10:41 am:

    ==The actual unemployment rate is almost 19% counting all those who’s benefits have run out and those that have just stop looking. When will the lies stop?==

    Well they aren’t likely to stop if you are spouting off one lie to offset what you proclaim to be another lie.

  25. - hisgirlfriday - Friday, Nov 21, 14 @ 10:45 am:

    Do not like the visas for tech labor to undercut American workers in STEM component of this action, but happy for the tax-paying long-term law-abiding parents whose families get a little peace and security from this.

    Far be it for me as the descendant of immigrants, some wholly uneducated and not speaking any English, to foreclose on the American dream of similarly situated people coming here for opportunity and freedom today.

  26. - RNUG - Friday, Nov 21, 14 @ 10:46 am:

    A lot of hysteria and mis-statements of fact by the left, the middle, the right and even the media who should and do know better. Obama’s actions, if taken as described, don’t change what is the actual law; he can’t do that and everyone knows it. All any Executive Orders would do is change the enforcement policies / priorities taken under the law.

    In other words, Obama is going to order INS to selectively enforce the law … something that happens every day anyway in Law Enforcement. I don’t see it as that big of a deal, one way or the other. IMO, much hoopla about nothing much.

  27. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Nov 21, 14 @ 10:46 am:

    I think what the president did is a great thing. Republican voters elected their leaders to obstruct, not to govern, per a recent poll, and per the actions of the national legislature during Obama’s presidency.

    The commentary from politicians is pretty much divided along party lines, as expected.

    Now millions of people don’t have to fear being ripped away from their families. Keeping families together, until the obstructionist GOP passes immigration reform, is very much the right thing to do. It’s so much more important than politics, in my opinion.

    Right wing pundits said Obama’s agenda was defeated in the 2014 midterm wave. Wrong. Obama won his reelection in an electoral landslide. Turnout in the midterm was historically low and thus does not fully represent what the voters want.

    Republicans ran against Obama in 2014, but he picked himself up off the ground, dusted himself off and punched obstructionist Republicans right in the face. Democrats ran from him in 2014, but he deferred this action until after they got their a@&es handed to them in the elections.

  28. - Hit or Miss - Friday, Nov 21, 14 @ 10:51 am:

    ===Bruce Rauner avoided questions about the president’s action yesterday.===

    It is a bit odd to me that Rauner has nothing to say on the issue. The illegal immigration issue is mainly about money in various forms. It impacts such things as taxes, employment, wages, etc. which directly or indirectly impact Illinois state government and its finances. During the campaign Rauner clearly stated that fiscal issues were his top priority. He has said “The financial condition of the state of Illinois is stunningly bad,” so why avoid talking about something that will impact the states financial condition?

  29. - DuPage - Friday, Nov 21, 14 @ 10:55 am:

    A political move by Obama. We will see a lot of name tags change at the restaurant/fast food places. The workers will no longer have to use the I.D. from their legal cousin to get employment. Other then that, not much will change.

  30. - anon - Friday, Nov 21, 14 @ 10:56 am:

    Anybody that remotely follows economic news knows the unemployment rate is nowhere close to 6%.

    And Grandson, what you just posted is hilarious. The American public pummeled Obama and this was his knee jerk reaction because he is essentially irrelevant now. Take his picture or pictures off your bedroom wall.

  31. - lake county democrat - Friday, Nov 21, 14 @ 11:01 am:

    By the way, notice how lilly white the punditry is on this issue? The Congressional Black Caucus offers the quietest approval because they know their constituents understand what’s going on and don’t like it. The normally fearless Mary Mitchell is nowhere to be heard on this issue.

    Or in other words, the Zoe Bairds of the world only hire African-Americans when they have to. And now, more than ever, they don’t have to.

  32. - Rick H. - Friday, Nov 21, 14 @ 11:02 am:

    Anon @ 10:14…The Senate did pass a bi-partisan immigration reform bill and the House refused to take it up. The election earlier this month moved the House GOP caucus further to the right. No one in their right mind thinks they’re gonna be in “engagement and compromise” next year.

  33. - Wordslinger - Friday, Nov 21, 14 @ 11:05 am:

    Zoe Baird?

  34. - lake county democrat - Friday, Nov 21, 14 @ 11:08 am:

    @wordslinger - Famous in the 1990’s - she was the NY Judge CLinton picked to be his attorney general until it was discovered she had an illegal immigrant nanny. The next pick, if I recall, had the same problem, and he ended up with Janet Reno. For a while the talking heads used the term “Zoe Baird problem.”

  35. - lake county democrat - Friday, Nov 21, 14 @ 11:14 am:

    Ack, posted an update on the wrong thread. Zoe Baird was a corporate attorney - the judge was Clinton’s next pick, Kimba Wood. But Baird was the one immortalized with the term.

  36. - lake county democrat - Friday, Nov 21, 14 @ 11:17 am:

    Carol Swain, a conservative African-American scholar from Vanderbuilt, has studied/written about how illegal immigration empowers latent white racism by giving whites the option not to hire African-Americans. The only time African-Americans closed the economic gap in my life (and, per a graph Rich provided when I made this comment before, ever so slightly) was the 1990s when there was so much demand for labor across the job spectrum. There is a 2008 US Civil Rights Commission analysis of the effect of illegal immigration on African-AMerican unemployment and wages, and some subsequent research in line with it (there’s also a study from St. Louis University that breaks the other way).

  37. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Nov 21, 14 @ 11:24 am:

    “because he is essentially irrelevant now”

    Talking point du jour.

    To the post:

    I am impressed with the business community’s response to this executive action. Many business leaders know how disruptive it is to tear away employees. While this action doesn’t go far enough, many people and business owners can now breathe a sigh of relief.

  38. - lake county democrat - Friday, Nov 21, 14 @ 11:41 am:

    Grandson of Man - yes, the business leaders don’t have to worry about having to replace these workers with US citizens and are free to hire even more non-citizens, with that much less pressure for higher pay. There’s a reason the Koch Bros have poured millions into making something like this permanent and it’s not their love of humanity.

  39. - Under Further Review - Friday, Nov 21, 14 @ 11:49 am:


    Importing poverty and more government dependency is good for Illinois? Chicago has been a sanctuary city since the Eighties. How well has that been working?

  40. - Wordslinger - Friday, Nov 21, 14 @ 12:25 pm:

    LCD, I know who Zoe Baird is, just surprised you went so far back in the time machine.

  41. - G'Kar - Friday, Nov 21, 14 @ 12:28 pm:

    How does the Republican reaction help them to make inroads in the Hispanic vote? I thought that was going to be one of their focuses after the 2012 election.

  42. - Harry - Friday, Nov 21, 14 @ 12:33 pm:

    I guess I missed the part of the Constitution where the President takes unilateral action if Congress doesn’t do what he wants.

    What he actually did is not unreasonable for the most part, but all the Democrats lining up to say it’s fine for the Executive to ignore the Legislative should know that those chickens will someday come home to roost.

    When FDR threatened to pack the Supreme Court, some Congressional Democrats cared enough about the constitutional prerogatives of the other branches to make a fuss. Not this time.

  43. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Nov 21, 14 @ 12:36 pm:

    “Grandson of Man - yes, the business leaders don’t have to worry about having to replace these workers with US citizens and are free to hire even more non-citizens”

    You make a good point, and Obama made that point last night when he said there will be less of a chance of illegal border crossings now. Plus, haven’t deportations increased under Obama?

    This executive action is for the people who have been here for over five years. We can no longer pretend that they’re not here, nor do nothing to bring them closer to belonging in America and contributing more to the economy.

    It’s about the people who have been here for a while, some for many years, and not all border crossers.

    Reagan gave amnesty to millions of people. Bob Dole was interviewed recently, and he said he and Reagan would not survive in today’s GOP, because it moved so far to the right.

  44. - Tim Snopes - Friday, Nov 21, 14 @ 12:36 pm:

    Bruce Rauner, Gov-elect and new owner of Illinois GOP:

  45. - Under Further Review - Friday, Nov 21, 14 @ 12:54 pm:

    @Grandson of Man:

    President Reagan signed a law that granted amnesty to several million people that had been passed by the US Congress. No comparison to what President Obama did yesterday.

  46. - A. Nonymous - Friday, Nov 21, 14 @ 1:03 pm:

    @ Harry - try reading Article II, Section 3 where it says the Executive executes laws.

    There are immigration laws, duly passed by previous sessions of Congress, which the President decides how to execute them.

    Why do conservatives only have a problem with Executive Orders (and Conference Committees for that matter) when Democrats execute them???

    Now Speaker Boehner is suing the President for doing his job.

    If only someone would be so childish as to countersue to force the Tea Party Congress to do their jobs.

    If Republicans don’t like our current immigration laws then why don’t they fix them?

  47. - VanillaMan - Friday, Nov 21, 14 @ 1:09 pm:

    It’s Obama. Get real. This will end up just like everything else he’s done.

  48. - J - Friday, Nov 21, 14 @ 1:10 pm:

    Since the primary reason for Hispanic immigrants coming here is to get jobs, the “problem” could be solved by deportation. By that I mean deportation of those who hire so-called illegals. After the first dozen or so, probable Republican anti-immigrant, employers are shipped out there would be no more jobs for them and then reduced immigration. The real down side here is that we would then starve because no others would be found to do the back breaking labor. For the slow, this is mostly satire.

  49. - Federalist - Friday, Nov 21, 14 @ 1:12 pm:

    If you want comprehensive and de facto perpetual amnesty you probably support Obama.

    And if you don’t care about the future implications of what another President might do on EO’s that you don’t like then you approve.

    I do not. I remember the lies of the 1986 Amnesty bill and this will be no different.

    I could support allowing those parents in the country illegally to stay with their young citizen children already born until they reach 21. Then the parents would be deported. All else is another ruse and backdoor amnesty under the guise of moral superiority.

  50. - anon - Friday, Nov 21, 14 @ 1:13 pm:

    UFR, don’t provide facts to Grandson, it will confuse him.

  51. - 47th Ward - Friday, Nov 21, 14 @ 1:15 pm:

    ===This will end up just like everything else he’s done.===

    I sure hope this is one of your broken clock moments VanillaMan. It’d be nice if you were right about this.

  52. - Anon. - Friday, Nov 21, 14 @ 1:28 pm:

    A.Nonymous @ 10:13 ==If you don’t like the current legislation on Executive Orders …. change it.

    That’s what legislators do. Legislate. ==

    Why? There is already legislation on the books, which the president just stated he will not enforce as written. So why would he enforce any new legislation? I believe our current immigration law is garbage and needs to be changed, but I do not agree that this gives the president the right to ignore it wholesale.

  53. - VanillaMan - Friday, Nov 21, 14 @ 1:42 pm:

    So do I 47th.
    Really, I do.

  54. - Percival - Friday, Nov 21, 14 @ 1:51 pm:

    790 days to go.

  55. - Responsa - Friday, Nov 21, 14 @ 1:51 pm:

    As someone who wants and hopes for some form of well thought out and enforceable immigration reform for this country I am very concerned, yes, even angry, about the president’s unilateral and unprecedented action last night– and the flimsy excuse he used to do it (congress refusing to act on something in the manner he wants). In the not too distant past the Democratic party held the White House and both houses of congress. That’s when they could and should have hashed this out and done it legally and legislatively. Not this way. The ends do not justify the means.

  56. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Nov 21, 14 @ 2:05 pm:

    “@Grandson of Man:
    President Reagan signed a law that granted amnesty to several million people that had been passed by the US Congress. No comparison to what President Obama did yesterday.”

    Reagan gave amnesty, Obama halted deportations. That is also different.

    There was an article out yesterday about legal scholars saying that Obama didn’t break the law.

    I am so proud of Rep. Luis Gutierrez, one of our own. He was beaming with pride and joy last night. He deserves praise for all his advocacy.

  57. - pundent - Friday, Nov 21, 14 @ 2:14 pm:

    Responsa - What “unilateral and unprecedented action” are you referring to? As the thread clearly captures all Presidents have control over the Department of Justice. That control affords them a certain degree of latitude over the enforcement of laws. And yes other Presidents have used that latitude to adjust our enforcement of immigration laws. What exactly are you suggesting that Obama has done that is illegal?

  58. - Responsa - Friday, Nov 21, 14 @ 2:25 pm:

    Luis Gutierrez was in the House when both it and the Senate were held by a Democratic majority with a Democratic president in the oval office to sign whatever they passed. That’s when Luis should have been using his advocacy and be beaming with pride. Ceding the power and role of the U.S. congress to an executive order on an issue this important is not something that should make *any* member of that body, such as Rep. Gutierrez, either “joyous” or “beam with pride”.

  59. - Buzzie - Friday, Nov 21, 14 @ 2:51 pm:

    I wonder how the Republicans would react if the Executive Order pertained to people from Europe.

  60. - Buzzie - Friday, Nov 21, 14 @ 2:53 pm:

    Another Republican reaction to inviting more people into their “big tent.”

  61. - Buzzie - Friday, Nov 21, 14 @ 2:53 pm:

    Another Republican reaction to inviting more people into their “big tent.”

  62. - pundent - Friday, Nov 21, 14 @ 2:54 pm:

    Responsa - How exactly has the “power and role of the U.S. Congress” been ceded? You do understand what Obama is doing don’t you? He hasn’t written a new law (that can only be done by Congress) he has simply taken a position on the enforcement of existing laws.

    I can understand being outraged over an administrations decision not to enforce the law, but your comments suggest that Obama has done something unprecedented or outside of his powers. IF that’s the case then start preparing the articles of impeachment.

  63. - A. Nonymous - Friday, Nov 21, 14 @ 2:55 pm:

    @ Anon 1:28 ….

    Lets ask George W Bush…..

    Bush, 2006: “Some in this country argue that the solution is to deport every illegal immigrant and that any proposal short of this amounts to amnesty. I disagree.”

    Obama is doing the exact same thing EVERY president has done.

    Congress is tasked with writing and passing laws.

    The President is tasked with deciding how to best enforce those laws.

    Pres. Obama decided that, after years of enforcing record-breaking deportations, he was going re-prioritize his executive department’s work.

    It’s unclear why conservatives are suddenly upset about Executive Orders. Obama’s had far fewer EOs than his modern White House predecessors.

  64. - liandro - Friday, Nov 21, 14 @ 3:06 pm:

    ===Why do conservatives only have a problem with Executive Orders (and Conference Committees for that matter) when Democrats execute them???===

    I’m going to go out on a limb and assume you don’t spend much time in conservative circles, heh.

    I’m also assuming that when I get home, I’m going to be reading about all the liberal outrage over the executive order? I’m sure they’ll be as outraged as they were against Bush. We’ll see.

  65. - Union Leader - Friday, Nov 21, 14 @ 3:30 pm:

    Hey GOP !

    Where is your plan?

  66. - Responsa - Friday, Nov 21, 14 @ 3:44 pm:

    The problem with your comment, pundent, is that you apparently see no difference between an executive order that even many Dems and pundits publicly worry is crossing a line –and your immediately yelliing at me “well then you “should prepare articles of impeachment” if you don’t like it.

    For most of us on both sides of the aisle there is process, and we know there are quite a few clicks on the continuum scale between a president unnecessarily bypassing congress in a non-emergency, and impeachment being undertaken.

  67. - Under Further Review - Friday, Nov 21, 14 @ 3:47 pm:

    Gutiérrez is another far Left politician who poses as a Democrat because that is where the votes are. The immigration reforms did not pass when Obama had a Congressional majority because it was low on his list of priorities. Much of this was about pushing back against the incoming Republican majorities who will be taking office in January. Great fun to see all of the high tech businesses in Silicon Valley got rolled by Obama who showed favoritism to poorly educated, low skill immigrants who will not be programming computers.

  68. - Under Further Review - Friday, Nov 21, 14 @ 3:49 pm:

    @Union Leader:

    Why was Samuel Gompers opposed to mass immigration? Why did Obama once claim that uncontrolled immigration hurt the wages of union members?

  69. - pundent - Friday, Nov 21, 14 @ 4:07 pm:

    Responsa - When you refer to these actions as “unilateral, unprecedented and cedeing the role and power of the U.S. Congress” the inference is that the President has somehow done something above and beyond his powers. President’s issue executive orders. Obama has issued fewer than most. In comparison to prior Presidential exec orders this one is rather tame. Now I would be the first to admit that it is largely motivated by political purposes. Congress should have acted and they didn’t. The opening was created and he took advantage of it. It’s nothing to be particularly outraged over unless you want to hold Obama to an entirely different standard than any other President.

  70. - Federalist - Friday, Nov 21, 14 @ 5:05 pm:

    Now it is up to the GOP to fight this court and at the same time devise their own plan.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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