'White House' found at https://flic.kr/p/7qGBY5 by Tom Lohdan (https://flickr.com/people/tom_lohdan) used under Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)
'White House' found at https://flic.kr/p/7qGBY5 by Tom Lohdan (https://flickr.com/people/tom_lohdan) used under Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)
'White House' found at https://flic.kr/p/7qGBY5 by Tom Lohdan (https://flickr.com/people/tom_lohdan) used under Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)
As we all digest Tuesday's election results, our thoughts naturally turn to what lies ahead in the immigration realm.  In his first news conference after Election Day, President Obama addressed the issue directly, stating that "before the end of the year, we’re going to take whatever lawful actions that I can take, that I believe will improve the functioning of our immigration system, that will allow us to surge additional resources to the border, where I think the vast majority of Americans have the deepest concern."  We believe that the President's decision to hold off on executive action on immigration this year did not help his party in Tuesday's election.  That said, in the wake of that national defeat, he and his party have very little to lose by taking bold action and actually seeking to fix an immigration system that is - by virtually all accounts - broken.

The American Immigration Council puts this in proper historical perspective, noting the following:

President Obama would be following in the footsteps of every U.S. president since 1956. Since Dwight D. Eisenhower, every president has granted temporary immigration relief to one or more groups in need of assistance. There are at least 39 such examples, including the family fairness policy of Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, which protected the spouses and children of unauthorized immigrants who qualified for legal status under the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA). Soon after the implementation of family fairness, Congress updated the law to keep families together.

Executive action cannot reform the immigration system permanently, nor is it a viable substitute for reasoned legislative debate and comprehensive immigration reform of an antiquated, dysfunctional set of laws, policies and procedures.  But, since the Constitution gives the Executive Branch exclusive authority over immigration, the President may adopt policies and procedures which would allow certain people to stay here for extended temporary periods, provide them with work authorization, and allowing them move from out of the shadows.  Perhaps, when some skeptics see that the sky is not falling as a result of these measures, the tenor of our national immigration discourse may cool down, and we may see actual progress.

We await the President's next move, and challenge Congress to work WITH him in a way that we have not seen in the last 6 years.

Obviously, we'll be sharing any breaking news and other key developments here.