President Biden to address State of the Union 2023. Photo: The White House.
Amid disagreements in his second State of the Union address, President Joe Biden asked the new Republican-controlled Congress to reach an agreement that would grant citizenship to the so-called “dreamers”, who are forecast to add up to more than 1 million fellows according to a Pew Research report.
Biden asked Congress to provide him with sufficient funds to improve border security that includes a certain type of legalization for specific groups already living in the country.
“If you won’t pass my comprehensive immigration reform, at least pass my plan to provide the equipment and officers to secure the border,” Biden said. “And a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, those on temporary status, farm workers, and essential workers.”
Although the topic was touted for less than a minute, but it resonated with those left out of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, better known as DACA.
Luz Elena, 42, lives in Springdale, Ark., she said that the worst slap does not come from Republicans, instead, the Democratic Party is the one who has failed to keep its promises in place.
“Since 2010, former President Barack Obama had the opportunity to promote immigration relief not only for the dreamers but for the almost 11 million undocumented immigrants who have lived in the country for several decades,” said Elena. “Back then, I remember that you guys in the press, strongly questioned the lack of action coming from President Obama and his entire administration.”
Elena is not wrong about how media members have bombarded the Democratic Party on this issue, as we know that former President Obama told reporters having no time to legislate on immigration, as they focused more on saving the auto industry, which was on the brink of bankruptcy after the 2008 recession.
Yet just less than six months before the 2012 presidential election, Obama was bidding for a second term, back then, Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, announced the DACA program, protecting hundreds of thousands of young people who entered the country before the age of 16 and not to reaching over 31 when applying.
In an interview with Tu Voz Hoy podcast, the founder of the Salvadoran Committee of Arkansas, Nelson Escobar, criticized how lawmakers play themselves with the lives of immigrants and suggested that the president have the power with his pen to provide solutions to the immigration issue.
“In this case, as a national alliance, as local committees, we also recognize that up to now, we have not considered politicians good or bad, each one in their own peace, but to this point, we don’t have a champion,” Nelson said. “The president has power in his pen, and part of the fault is the president himself and his entire cabinet because he can sign executive orders for which he has not wanted to reassign assignment, much less restore the TPS.”
Despite high tension from community activists and the press, the Obama administration was on the verge of a great opportunity in 2013 to provide immigration relief for nearly 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the country.
Back then, former speaker of the House, John Boehner, refused to allow legislation S.744, which was passed by the Senate with a 67 votes threshold, instead, the spokesman rather placed the Haztert Rule, which states that at least the majority of the party controlling congress, must agree with the legislation in question, otherwise, there is no vote on the floor.
Although, it is not new that if a president signs executive orders granting immigration relief for undocumented fellows, more likely to risk being sued by conservative states such as Texas, which was the first state to issue a lawsuit against DACA in 2014, arguing that the program violated the US Constitution and so former President Obama exceeded his powers.
The same thing happened on September 5, 2017, when acting Homeland Security Secretary, Elaine Duke, rescinded the 2012 DACA memorandum and announced a “reduction” of DACA beneficiaries during the Trump administration.
The lawsuit reached the Supreme Court of the nation, but it was rejected.
Last updated on February 7, 2023 by Ramón Warini