Saturday, August 2, 2014

Harsh Republican Action May Spur Administrative Response on Immigration

In a move largely seen as pandering to Tea Party activists, House Republicans passed a bill Friday that would increase funding for border security and attempt to send the tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors attempting to enter the United States over the southern border back to their home countries expeditiously. House Republicans also took action to undo President Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. 

The move appears to be a purely symbolic one, since the bill has no chance of passing the Democratically controlled Senate. Still, House Republicans have sent a signal that they may not be willing to consider serious immigration reform. 

In a purely political calculation, House Republicans may see a greater threat from more conservative candidates in the primaries than from Democrats in the general election. The stunning primary loss of Eric Cantor has only emphasized this line of thinking. This, House Republivans do not appear to be willing to be seen as supporting anything closer to "amnesty" prior to the November elections. 

The House move, however, may have encouraged the Obama Administration to take drastic measures on its own. Democrats are already facing the prospect of the Republic as maintaining their majority in the House of Representatives. There is a possibility that the Republicans could take the Senate as well. Either way, the chances of legislative action on immigration reform before the end of President Obama's term appear almost non-existent. 

The President may, therefore, take executive action to ease deportations and removals for non-criminal undocumented aliens. One proposal that has been floated has been to grant the parents of DACA recipients deferred action. Another has been to grant deferred action to all undocumented aliens without a criminal record. 

The Administration appears to have anticipated the argument that such a move would be overreaching. Articles have already appeared in the media warning that Republicans may seek to initiate impeacent proceedings if the President takes such action. This could be an attempt to portray Republican resistance as being unreasonable. 

What action may happen is now hard to predict. William J. Kovatch, Jr., Attorney at Law, PLLC will remain on top of decelopments, ready to assist those with immigration issues when any action occurs. 

By:  William J. Kovatch, Jr.