Having emerged from one battle known as the Midterm Elections, President Barack Obama is already knee deep into another. It’s called immigration reform. With just 2 months left to fight—before Republicans take over the Senate—time is of the essence.
The president does have a secret weapon—executive order. It may well be his last chance to get any meaningful major legislation passed before Congress shifts hands in January.
A commentator on TheGrio.com noted, “Whether the Republican leadership realizes it or not, Obama is setting a trap for them. And if history is any guide, they will stay true to form and take the bait. Republicans hate the president, and they may hate the idea of illegal immigrants even more — particularly Latinos and other brown and black folks who don’t speak English. They just can’t help themselves.” Indeed.
The president has put together a 10-point plan on immigration that could protect up to 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation, nearly double the number who received amnesty three decades ago, in 1986, when 2.7 million people received green cards and permanent residency under Ronald Reagan, according to the site.
With attention focused on Ebola, ISIS and the economy, the decades-old immigration problem keeps getting kicked further down the Congressional priorities list. But it remains at the core of what Republicans say they are all about—family values. What is more basic to family values than keeping families together?
The immigration issue is first and foremost about family and unless we put real faces to this story, opponents will continue to make immigration only about breaking the law. We must find a way to help otherwise law-abiding immigrants become tax paying citizens, while punishing violent criminals, as we would do anyone else.
But tearing families apart cannot be the solution in a democratic society.
The president will outline his immigration overhaul plan Nov. 20th at 5pm Pacific Time. However, CBS, ABC, NBC and Fox will not air the speech live, stating that the White House did not ask for time on their stations. The speech may be available on the stations’ websites. CNN and the Spanish Television Univision Network will air the announcement regarding Executive Action on Immigration live.