Monthly Archives: October 2014

ALERT: Obama Close to Expanded Deferred Action?

ALERT:  Obama Close to Expanded Deferred Action?

BuzzFeed News reported yesterday:

Justice Department and Homeland Security officials are sending to the White House their final recommendations on what immigration executive actions should look like, according to four sources who have been briefed on the timeline.

You can read the entire BuzzFeed article here:

The Final Recommendations For Immigration Actions Are Being Sent To Obama

According to the BuzzFeed Article several key concerns central to the immigrant community are still up in the air for consideration.  For example, how long would a person have to have been in the United States to qualify for the proposed deferred action and how broad or restrictive the qualifying criteria will be to qualify for consideration.

By way of comparison, to be eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program initiated in 2012, a person has to (1) have been in the country since prior to June 15, 2007 and have been brought to the country on or before their sixteenth birthday, and (2) be in high school, have received a high school diploma or be studying for or have obtained a GED or have served in the military (as well as meet a host of other requirements including a clean criminal record).  As a result, the number of individuals able to qualify for DACA in the program’s first two years through June 2014 has fallen short of 600,000. (See this site’s earlier post from August 28, 2014).

Advocacy groups are hoping this time around, executive action will be aimed at benefiting a much larger portion of the 10 to 12 million undocumented immigrants who currently live in the shadows of our communities.  Understanding that all but a very small minority of these individuals are law abiding and are an asset to our communities by working hard, providing for their families, educating their kids and otherwise living productive lives, the hope among advocates is that this time around many millions will benefit from any action taken by the President.  The BuzzFeed article references various sources estimating possible numbers to benefit from the program as being anywhere from one or two million to as many as seven or eight million or more.

While no time frame for actual action on the recommendations is referenced in the article, we know the President has promised action by the end of 2014.  This author’s own sources suggest that we might expect to see some action taken around mid-December, 2014.  It seems that the President may have already made up his mind what he wants to do but will take some time to assess the political fallout from the November 4, 2014 elections first.  Likely he will huddle with Democratic Congressional leadership before making any final announcement to prepare for the inevitable Republican push back.

Considering the fear of any such push back, one source from the BuzzFeed article had a particularly prescient observation:

“We’re going to have a fight on our hands with Republicans and need every part of the movement to be enthusiastic and lean into this fight,” veteran immigration advocate Frank Sharry said. “He’s not going to get criticized any less for somehow trying to go smaller.” “Whether it’s 1 million or 2 million or 7 million, it will be equal criticism,” said Marielena Hincapié, the executive director of the National Immigration Law Center. “This isn’t about appeasing Republicans; he’s never going to appease them.”

Translation:  Hang on tight, it’ll be one heck of a ride either way! And stay tuned here for the latest news and updates!

 

 

Update: Napolitano Provides DACA Insider Story at University of Georgia.

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As foreshadowed in her interview with the Washington Post this past weekend, former Department of Homeland Security Secretary, Janet Napolitano, addressed a University of Georgia School of Law symposium on Monday, October 27, 2014.  Her remarks constituted the 112th Sibley Lecture at the campus and was titled “Anatomy of a Legal Decision”.

The address is a fascinating read and provides a detailed insight into the complicated and heated debate within the administration that took place in the summer of 2012 and ultimately culminated in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

The complete address can be downloaded by clicking here: President Napolitano Sibley Lecture UGA School of Law 10.27.14.

Nepollitano observes very early in her remarks:

The story of immigration policy in this land, including the development of DACA, is a story of shadows and shades of gray – it’s no area for absolutists.

She continues to observe that in the effort to address our broken immigration system:

.     .     .      all too often immigration policy, and the debate that envelops it, resemble a washing machine at work – load, inject soap and water, churn, (also known, interestingly, as agitate,) , rinse, drain, spin, repeat. The main difference is that in the immigration realm, we never seem to graduate to the dryer—we just do it all over again.

Napolitano goes on to provide a thoughtful account of the nuanced and intertwined issues of policy and law that affect not just the debate that ultimately coalesced into the DACA program but the broader immigration debate in this country.  The remarks are a great read and go a long way to explain why we have the disastrous immigration system we have.

 

Immigration Reform Update: Napolitano Pushes for Broader Executive Action!

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The Washington Post.  October 27, 2014.  1201 a.m.

The Washington Post this weekend reported that former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano stated in an interview:

“If Congress refuses to act and perform its duties, then I think it’s appropriate for the executive to step in and use his authorities based on law . . . to take action in the immigration arena,’’ Napolitano, a lawyer and former U.S. attorney in Arizona, said in an exclusive interview with The Washington Post.

She made her remarks to the Washington Post ahead of what the Post has reported will be a significant speech by her scheduled for Monday, October 27, 2014 to be delivered in Georgia.  The Post has further reported that she is expected to detail the heated debate that took place inside the Administration in 2012 when the Administration and Napolitano announced and implemented the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.  DACA  is now considered to be largely successful, benefiting over 580,000 young immigrants to date.  It is expected that Napolitano will detail how she urged much broader action in 2012.  It is expected that she will likely push for broader action now.

You can read the complete Washington Post Article by clicking here.

Hopefully, Secretary Nepolitano’s interview this weekend and her speech on Monday is part of a broader effort to lay the groundwork for a concerted push for expanded executive action once the November elections are over!  Stay tuned.

HAPPY HOUR! “The Art of a Helping Heart”

Please come out for happy hour and support St. Francis Community Services’ art therapy services for Immigrant and Refugee youth on November 7, 2014 at the eclectic and trendy “ArtBar” on Cherokee Street.  The ArtBar is a new and unique space for enjoying cocktails and hors d’oeuvres in an interesting and stimulating atmosphere full of great folks and interesting new artwork.

We are asking for donations at the door.  Happy hour specials will be provided courtesy of the ArtBar!

EVENT:            “The Art of a Helping Heart” Happy Hour

LOCATION:    The ArtBar, 2732 Cherokee Street, St. Louis, MO 63118

DATE:             November 7, 2014

TIME:              5:30pm to 8:30pm

SUGGESTED DONATION:    $25.00

Proceeds from the event will go to benefit art therapy programming for immigrant and refugee youth at St. Francis Community Services.  SFCS is a member agency of the Catholic Charities of St. Louis Federation and plays a key role in providing vital direct services to immigrant families and individuals in need.  From family counseling, to utility assistance to after school youth tutoring and social growth programs to you name it, SFCS Immigrant and Refugee Services have often been the vital link that has made possible so many success stories of immigrant families and individuals.

Please pass the word to all your friends to come out and join us on November 7, 2014.  You can download the below flyer for maximum distribution by clicking: The Art of a Healing Heart, November 7, 2014.  Please share all your Facebook page, Twitter, LinkedIn and all that social media “stuff”!!!!!

We need your help! St. Francis Community Services, Southside Center provides vital family support, youth programing and counseling services to our immigrant community.
We need your help! St. Francis Community Services, Southside Center provides vital family support, youth programing and counseling services to our immigrant community.