On Friday, President Barack Obama met with 17 leaders from a hodgepodge of pro-amnesty organizations and discussed getting legislation through the House in an “upcoming 90-day” window.
Last year, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said amnesty advocates would try to get legislation passed in the spring of 2014, after many of the GOP primaries have passed. The tech lobby has also reportedly been gearing up for a spring offensive in which they will spend millions of dollars to sway lawmakers to pass amnesty legislation.
According to Politico, Obama and the pro-amnesty activists “discussed the idea of an upcoming 90-day window to pass legislation.”
“It’s clear that there is a window that he believes is still viable,” Janet Murguia, president of the National Council of La Raza, reportedly said. “It’s not clear what the percentages are there, but he does believe that there is a window for the House to act.”
Obama and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) have said they would like to get immigration reform done this year. It was the topic on which they agreed most when they met at the White House. After the House GOP leadership released its “immigration principles,” some, including Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Jeff Sessions (R-AL), blasted the document as “amnesty,” and momentum stalled. GOP leaders declared they would not move forward with immigration reform until they could trust Obama to enforce the country’s immigration laws.
Skeptics, though, saw this as a potential stalling tactic to cool the temperature so the House GOP leadership could secure more votes for amnesty. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) conceded the House leadership does not have the votes right now to pass such legislation, but they are “working hard to find” where the consensus lies to get the votes.
Obama declared last week that he would ask the Department of Homeland Security to review what the administration can do to aid illegal immigrants in the United States and avoid deportation.Those plans have reportedly been in the works since Homeland Secretary Jeh Johnson came on board in December.
According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, though the White House has “tentatively rejected proposals to expand an Obama administration program to allow the parents of young people who were brought to the country illegally to stay,” the Obama administration will seek to end the Secure Communities program. This will “effectively stop most deportations of foreigners with no criminal convictions other than immigration violations, and focus enforcement efforts instead mostly at those charged or convicted of felony crimes or who pose more of a threat to public safety.” That means that thousands of people who “have overstayed their visas or entered the country illegally but have broken no other laws” may get a reprieve.
The Secure Communities program requires cities to perform citizenship checks on those they have detained for crimes and to transfer those who are here illegally to federal authorities.
Other activists reportedly echoed Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and said that if the House does not pass amnesty legislation, they will try to force Obama to unilaterally flout the country’s immigration laws.
“It’s crystal clear where the issue of immigration reform is headed, and Republicans have only two choices to make,” Schumer wrote on his Facebook page on Friday. As Breitbart News noted, Schumer said Republicans “can either help pass comprehensive reform,” or “they can sit idly by and watch the President greatly curtail deportations while 11 million continue to live in limbo here in America.”