Obama’s Immigration Move May Have Political Benefit on 2 Fronts

Peter Nicholas, Los Angeles Times, January 6, 2012

President Obama moved to repair relations with a crucial voting bloc and opened another battle with Republican lawmakers by easing rules on the politically volatile issue of illegal immigration.

His proposal will probably affect tens of thousands—perhaps more than 100,000—illegal residents. It would end a requirement that undocumented immigrants with parents or spouses in the United States leave the country first if they wish to file paperwork that would forestall deportation on the grounds of family hardship.

Without the so-called hardship waiver, illegal immigrants are barred from reentering the U.S. for up to 10 years. The existing rule often means that people seeking waivers must separate from their families for months or in some cases years while their applications are processed.

Under the new rule, which does not require congressional approval, immigrants would be allowed to stay in the U.S. and apply for a waiver, which can be granted if deporting an immigrant would cause undue hardship to his or her U.S. family. Once waivers are granted, immigrants may apply for green cards. They would still have to leave the U.S. to make those applications, but because they would have hardship waivers in hand, they would be very likely to gain readmission to the country.

About 23,000 immigrants annually use the existing system. Many travel to Ciudad Juarez just over the border from El Paso—and one of Mexico’s most dangerous cities—to file their applications and often are stuck there for extended periods. Administration officials expect many more people to apply for waivers once such trips are unnecessary.

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Latino groups, many of which have been highly critical of Obama for failing to move aggressively on immigration issues, were delighted. The administration’s move is a “sensible and compassionate proposal [that] helps bring much-needed sanity to an often senseless process,” said Janet Murguia, president and chief executive of the National Council of La Raza, which describes itself as the nation’s largest Latino civil rights and advocacy group.

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  • “May have political benefits on two fronts.”  If it’s that good, then he should just go all the way and sign a piece of paper giving everyone immigration amnesty for all time.  Then he’ll have political benefits on infinite fronts.

    Except what is really going on here is that Obama is trying to salami slice his way to full amnesty as much as he can, but make the slices small enough so that native born white Americans don’t notice it.  Full amnesty via executive order would be dumping the frog in boiling water right away.

  • Anonymous

    The next generation of Democrats has to come from somewhere…..

  • John Maddox

    I’m not sure where most of the commentators at AmRenn live. Corsicana, Tx, where I live, becomes browner every year. I feel like I am on the front lines of an invasion, an invasion by foreign nationals supported by a government and a president that was sworn to preserve and protect the constitution.
    Instead he is turning this country over to Mexico and its citizens. Nearly every manufacturing firm in this town has a workforce of about 40% or more of non citizen Mexican nationals. I won’t even mention the public works projects and the staffing of various city departments. I was recently laid off from a job where the manager was a Mexican national that makes that pilgrimage to Mexico every year to renew  her visa. The staff at that American owned business is now 99% Mexican. Incidentally, I was replaced by another Spanish speaking  ‘brown skin’. White Americans, that is those of us who don’t have fat bank accounts and own property are slowly being edged out. The school district recently applauded the fact the student enrollment was 50% Mexican. Accounting for a black enrollment of about 20%, white Americans are rapidly becoming a minority. Its getting to be that way all over Texas.  

    • But wait!   Your wonderful Governor Rickroller keeps telling us how great it is in Texas, how low is the unemployment rate, how robust is the Texas job creation machine.

      Yeah, right.  The Texas economy under Rickroller then Bush before him is one of cheap labor Hispanics.