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Undocumented Face Strong Republican Opposition

August 17, 2014
Plain English Version

Undocumented face

Immigration Reform problems

The tea party wing of the Republican Party now seems in charge of immigration reform in the House. This is bad news for immigration reformers.

Conservatives say that no reform can begin until the borders are sealed. With the recent surge of migrant children arriving in the U.S., opponents do not believe the border is under control.

The House voted to defund the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). President Obama created DACA by executive order. It is for children who came to the U.S. with undocumented parents. DACA allows these children to go to school and to hold jobs. They must register every two years.

In addition to de-funding DACA, the House bill also makes it harder for migrants to obtain asylum.

The bill is part of a package to fund the border crisis. It will not pass the Senate. If it does, the President will not sign it.

The president said, “House Republicans said they do not expect to pass a bill I can sign.  Therefore, I should go ahead and act on my own to solve the problem.” By “on my own” he meant through executive orders.

This would set off an explosion in the House.

Reformers are following the strategy of the civil rights movement. They hold demonstrations and marches. They are putting pressure on representatives.

However, the Hispanic vote is not a worry in the 2014 elections. Especially in Republican-held House districts. There are not enough Latino voters to make a difference in those districts.

Affordable Care Act problems

Nearly a million applicants for health insurance are having their immigration status checked.

About 500,000 cases have been resolved. About 200,000 cases are still being checked.

That leaves about 300,000 cases facing the loss of insurance because they have not answered letters, calls or emails. Unless they respond, they may lose their coverage by the end of September.

About half of the cases are in Florida and Texas.

The health care law permits only “lawfully present” immigrants to buy Affordable Care Act insurance. Immigrants with green cards, refugees, and people in the U.S. on student or worker visas can purchase insurance.

Republicans say the administration is lax about enforcing the Affordable Care Act law. Democrats say many of the problems are either clerical errors or misunderstandings.

Sources: The Washington Post August 1, 2014                                                              The New York Times August 12, 2014

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