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Immigration Reform at Muddled Crossroad

February 22, 2015
Plain English Version

immigration rulingThe American government has three branches. They are the executive branch (the President), the legislative branch (Congress) and the judicial branch (the courts).

All three are now deeply involved in the future of immigration reform in the U.S.

Last December, the president presented new rules for undocumented aliens. It said certain groups could be protected from deportation. One group includes many more undocumented people who were brought here as children. The other group includes undocumented parents of children born in the United States.

Republicans control Congress. They want to stop the president from carrying out the rules. The House passed a bill that took the money from the Department of Homeland Security budget. It was money for the president’s program. The Senate has not passed the House’s bill. President Obama said he would veto the bill if it came before him.

Funding for the entire Department of Homeland Security runs out at the end of February.

Now, a federal court in Texas has joined in the fray. A judge issued an injunction to stop the president’s program. He said the president did not follow certain procedures when he spelled out his rules. He also said the states would be harmed if the plan were implemented. He said there would be costs such as issuing driver’s licenses.

Pro-immigration advocates say the court’s ruling outrages them. They claim the judge has conservative views and was known to be critical of immigrants. They vow to press on.

The president said he would have the Department of Justice appeal the ruling to a higher court.

Unless something changes, the Department of Homeland Security will have to curtail its services by the end of the month. Congress still has time to act.

Source: The Arizona Republic February 19, 2015

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