November 19, 2014
President Obama will announce his plan to grant relief to undocumented aliens tomorrow night at 8:00 pm EST in a televised address. He expressed frustration with the gridlock and failure of the U.S. Congress to act on immigration reform.
After his announcement President Obama will be in Nevada trying to sell his plan. He hopes his action will encourage the U.S. Congress to finally act on a comprehensive immigration reform bill.
The Republican leadership has threatened to block the upcoming spending bill and use other divisive tactics to deter the move.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) stated:
"Comprehensive immigration reform brings relief to families being torn apart by our broken system," he said. "Comprehensive immigration reform is an economic issue and one we must address. That's why I have been so disappointed that Republicans have ducked, dodged and skirted taking up legislation this Congress forcing President Obama to act administratively.Despite the loud opposition from Republicans this presidential action is not new. Many former presidents have used executive action to provide amnesty or relief to undocumented aliens. Republican Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush extended amnesty to families who were not covered under the last major immigration overhaul in 1986. (See an immigration timeline.)
Polls show that the majority of Americans support immigration reform. From CNN:
Obama's position on immigration could be a popular one. Despite an overall wave of support for GOP candidates, 57% of this year's midterm election voters believe undocumented immigrants should have a chance to apply for legal status, while just 39% want them deported to the country they came from, CNN's exit polls found.
Those exit polls found that 71% of U.S. midterm voters believe undocumented immigrants should be allowed to stay in the country legally if they meet certain requirements -- while 25% said those immigrants shouldn't be allowed to stay.
A September CBS/New York Times poll found 51% saying Obama should use his executive powers to address immigration if Congress fails to act while 43% said he should not. A similar ABC/Washington Post survey earlier that month found 52% support for Obama acting on his own.Now we wait to see if Delegate Sablan has convinced the Obama Administration to "exempt" the CNMI from his executive action.