En EspaƱol Know Your Rights
Source: Between The Lines
Subject: Immigration
Type: Media Coverage

Obama Immigration Executive Order Provokes GOP Rage, Inspires Activists to Agitate for Comprehensive Reform

Interview with Daniel Altschuler, Long Island coordinator with the group, Make The Road New York.

President Obama announced his long anticipated executive order on immigration in a televised address from the White House on Nov. 20. Undeterred by the Democrats recent loss of the U.S. Senate in the midterm election, Mr. Obama offered temporary legal status to more than 4 million undocumented immigrants, along with an indefinite reprieve from deportation and the issuing of work permits. The response from the Republican Party was immediate and hostile, with GOP Congressional leaders threatening to do everything possible to block Mr. Obama’s initiative. A handful of conservative legislators talked about launching impeachment proceedings, while others openly discussed having the president arrested for violating the constitution – and predictions of violence erupting across the country in response to the order.

The president explained that he took executive action because of the House GOP leadership’s ongoing refusal to hold a vote on comprehensive immigration reform legislation that had passed in the Senate with bipartisan support in June 2013. He asserted it was important that he act unilaterally to prioritize the deportation of criminals and recent arrivals, while sparing those who have lived in the country without documentation for at least five years and have roots, including children who are U.S. citizens.

Obama and his supporters maintain that there is a long history of presidents, both Democratic and Republican issuing executive orders exercising “prosecutorial discretion” dating back to Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Grassroots pro-Immigration groups across the country took credit for the presidents executive order, pointing out the pressure they had applied in their years long campaign that included protests and civil disobedience actions. Between The Lines’ Scott Harris spoke with Daniel Altschuler Long Island Coordinator with the immigrant rights group Make The Road New York, who examines the scope and impact of President Obama’s executive order offering temporary legal status to millions of undocumented immigrants.

Find more information on Make The Road New York and comprehensive immigration reform by visiting maketheroadny.org.

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