A controversial resolution involving the legal challenge against President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration is slated to go up for a vote in the Republican-led U.S. House Thursday afternoon.
Under the resolution, U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI,1) would have the power to file a Supreme Court amicus brief on behalf of his chamber opposing Obama's immigration orders. Ryan, who filed the resolution Monday, says the issue boils down to defending Article I of the Constitution, which defines the legislative branch's powers.
But House Democrats say the Republican effort is just a "political stunt."
"The vote today is a political stunt disguised as a legal brief, because the Republican majority sees a crass political opportunity to stand with the anti-immigration wing of their party," U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL,4) said on a morning conference call. "They keep saying, 'Well [GOP presidential frontrunner Donald] Trump doesn't represent us. He doesn't rep our views. He doesn't represent our values,' and now they want to know where Trump gets all his anti-immigrant, xenophobic ideas from. Try the House of Representatives."
The following is by Rosi Carrasco, an undocumented mother of two and migrant rights organizer with Organized Communities Against Deportations in Chicago, IL.
As we reach November 20th, I remember that night one year ago when immigrant families packed into a room together to watch the President announce executive action on immigration. He had already signaled that he'd be responding to the unprecedented community pressure against the record deportations that had surpassed two million at that point. He had publicly committed to reform inhumane policy and finally it looked like the delays would end.
Among us were friends who've called the U.S. home for 20 years but who haven't had children, others with kids born here and others without. There were already people who had doubts about what would happen, who had already had to fight their own removal or young people who didn't meet the criteria that would've made them eligible for the deferred action of 2012.
My family and I weren't in that category, but that's where we ended up by the end of the night. We arrived in the U.S. in the Spring of 1994, a history like many families, we came when our kids still small. We've lived, worked, and built lives here. Distant from where we came from, part of the labor of building a new life is learning to carry those we love close in our hearts even if they're physically so far away.
Two Chicago-area elected officials are working to help legal immigrants in Illinois apply for citizenship ahead of next year's general election.
U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL,4) and Chicago Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th) hosted a daylong workshop in the city Monday, during which immigrants could get assistance with citizenship and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) applications.
Gutierrez -- who has spearheaded other citizenship workshops this year and a cross-country tour educating the immigrant community about President Barack Obama's pending executive actions on immigration -- said Monday's event was part of a nationwide effort by immigrant advocates "to help hundreds of thousands of people become American citizens."
"And they'll be ready for the next election," he said.
As President Barack Obama's immigration orders remain on hold while the issue works its way through the courts, a recent analysis by the Center for American Progress (CAP) shows that the pending immigration directives could help grow Illinois' economy by an estimated $14 billion over 10 years.
Signed in November, Obama's executive orders on immigration seek to expand the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative and create a new Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) program.
The two new immigration programs are being challenged in court by a group of 26 mostly Republican-run states. A federal judge in Texas issued a temporary injunction as part of that case in February that blocked Obama's immigration directives from taking effect until the issue is resolved in court. The Obama administration, which was unsuccessful in getting an emergency stay of that February injunction, is currently appealing the Texas judge's decision.