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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Washington (AFP) – President Barack Obama unveiled his immigration plan, saying lifting the threat of expulsion from five million undocumented migrants would make the system “more fair and just.”

And, while he stressed migrants will not get “a free pass to American citizenship” without taking the proper steps, Obama said that “rounding up and deporting millions of people isn’t realistic.”

“My fellow Americans, we are and always will be a nation of immigrants. We were strangers once, too,” Obama declared, in a primetime national address from the White House.

“What makes us Americans is our shared commitment to an ideal — that all of us are created equal, and all of us have the chance to make of our lives what we will.”

The plan that Obama outlined will allow undocumented migrants who have been living illegally in the United States for five years and have U.S.-born children to apply for three-year work permits.

Thus protected from the threat of deportation, they will be able to come out of the shadows, undergo criminal records checks and pay proper taxes to U.S. authorities while applying for longer-term residency.

The administration estimates the program, along with broadening the eligibility of young migrants to seek papers under a different program, will help just under half of the country’s 11 million illegal immigrants.

Obama’s Republican opponents argue he is exceeding his authority in extending the offer without passing legislation in Congress, and that the plan amounts to an amnesty for migrants who broke the law.

“Well, it’s not,” Obama said.

“Amnesty is the immigration system we have today: millions of people who live here without paying their taxes or playing by the rules, while politicians use the issue to scare people and whip up votes at election time.”

AFP Photo/Brendan Smialowski

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  • James Bowen

    Call your Representatives and tell them to support only a continuing
    resolution to fund the government till January. That way the new
    Congress can defund this. The number for the Capitol Switchboard is
    202-224-3121. Congress did not fail like the President said they did.
    The categorically refused to pass a very bad bill, and they have no
    Constitutional obligation to pass new laws when the President wants them

    • WhutHeSaid

      Dope. This isn’t funded by Congress — it’s funded by application fees, so in effect it’s self-funding. You’ll have to get your urge to hate out some other way.

      • James Bowen

        Congress can defund the collection of those fees.

        • WhutHeSaid

          They aren’t funded by Congress to begin with, so Congress therefore cannot de-fund them. Sorry — you’ll just have to be frustrated over it.

          • James Bowen

            Everything is funded by Congress. That is nonsense. Raising fees is an action that requires funding to carry out.

          • WhutHeSaid

            Are you implying that Congress should de-fund the existence of the USCIS or Department of Homeland Security? If so, you are a bigger fool than I thought, and this would be exactly the type of bigot-act that would spell doom for the GOP’s chances.

            You may as well find something else to vent your frustrations. It’s a done deal and cannot be de-funded.

          • James Bowen

            It is not a done deal. All government activities must be explicitly funded by Congress. That is what is meant by power of the purse. The specific activity of these agencies to issue work permits (which involves administrative functions, contracts, coordination with other government agencies, etc.) can be defunded by Congress. That is how the Guantanamo prison remained open. Congress disallowed the use of funds to close it.

          • WhutHeSaid

            Nonsense. Congress cannot de-fund a self-funding activity. Congress cannot take away funds that it doesn’t give in the first place, and the fees are already being collected. Trying to de-fund the entire agency because of bigoted beliefs would be political suicide and would only give pro-immigration advocates free reign. You lost, get over it.

          • James Bowen

            You really need to learn how our government works. Congress explicitly funds all government activities. The very act of collecting fees for those purposes can be de-funded. What the President did is illegal and Congress has a duty to stop it.

          • WhutHeSaid

            No, it cannot be de-funded. Agencies can and do collect fees and use them as they see fit. Congress cannot de-fund what it does not fund. You lost. You drooling, bigoted European immigrants will have to find another way to express your hate for other immigrants.

            The only realistic option left open to anti-immigration bigots is to get Congress to pass an immigration reform bill. Good luck with that. Even if by some miracle they managed to do so, it would have to be somewhat reasonable. None of your anti-immigrant dreams will come true — ever.

          • James Bowen

            It can be defunded, see the following: In appropriations, Congress can specifically direct how funds, even those collected by fees, may or may not be used. Except for Luis Guitierrez, I cannot think of another example of a politician who has run an aggressive campaign on immigration expansion and won the election. Most of those politicians who support more immigration try to keep it quiet during campaigns.

          • WhutHeSaid

            Congress cannot turn funding into a cynical shell game. If they were to try such a thing, the agency could simply immediately switch self-funding methods or call them something other than a ‘fee’ and Congress would have to engage in a cynical game of bigoted whack-a-mole, specifically targeting each new approach to self-funding. To engage in this type of luncay would result in a number of unemployed politicians in short order.

            Many politicians have run on immigration reform, championed immigration reform, and engaged in promoting immigration reform — even the type of executive action employed by Barack Obama. These people include GW Bush, Ronald Reagan, and John McCain among many others.

            Americans support immigration reform by a wide margin. Their primary concern is that it is sensible, fair and effective — not that it is a prohibition on immigration. They do NOT support anti-immigration bigotry — which is your cause. Such virulent anti-immigrant views are only held by a small minority of hypocritical, racist or bigoted people who hate other people just like them. You are an immigrant, and for you to express hate against other people who are exactly the same thing you are is illogical and a sign of a major character flaw.

            This has been an immigrant country for centuries now, and most Americans appreciate that fact. People like you have always lost the argument, and if they didn’t YOU wouldn’t be here to complain. People like you will lose the argument again — I promise.

  • Eddie Ingram

    If one thing is clear, it’s that we now have a rogue executive branch.