Echoes of Ellis Island


Background (to date):
    In June 2013, with support of then U.S. President Barack Obama,
the U.S. Senate passed a bipartisan immigration "overhaul bill" which was more comprehensive than unsuccessful proposals of Obama's predecessor George W. Bush (who had sought "legal status over time" for undocumented immigrants, without another "blanket amnesty" as in 1986). The Republican controlled House of Representatives, however, did not act on the 2013 Senate bill.

    In November 2014, Obama announced "deferred actions" enabling about half of undocumented immigrants to legally live and work in America. These measures, not unprecedented, expanded on his 2012 DACA ("Dreamers") program but were blocked by court challenges. Addressing such objections in advance, Obama told Congress to "pass a bill" instead. There were, however, no further attempts at bipartisan policy overhaul during the remainder of his presidential term.

   In 2016, Donald Trump declared his desire to "have Mexico pay" for building a "wall," or (later) "fences," on the U.S.-Mexico border. In 2017, acting ahead of lawsuits by state attorneys-general, his presidential administration announced plans to end DACA. A proposed "path to citizenship" was part of the later "Framework on Immigration Reform and Border Security" but a moderate variant of it was narrowly blocked in the House. After the longest government shutdown in US history (late 2018), a new legislative package from the administration included extending DACA and further funding the border "wall." In 2019, the "Dream and Promise" act, to provide "unauthorized migrants a path to citizenship", passed the House but not the Senate. In 2020, the Supreme Court ruled against Trump admininistration's plans to end DACA.

  Joe Biden's administration has been challenged since 2021 by a surge in Central American asylum seekers entering the US through Mexico.


  General articles here below

  Specific analyses, listed to the left* here, and in

  Commentary section at bottom of this page

   *Smartphone users see here, under "Migration today / US Immigration...", for links


(Proposed) "US Citizenship Act of 2021"  (CMS, March, 2021)


"Supreme Court blocks Trump's bid to end DACA"

(Washington Post, June, 2020)


"Dream and Promise Act" (HR6) passes House  (Vox, June, 2019)

"...the much harder work of comprehensive immigration reform is yet to come"


"Decades of Dodging Hard Decisions" (Economist, July, 2018)


"Immigration Debate Shines Spotlight on Divided House GOP"

(NPR, June, 2018)


"Dreamers," Mistrust in Congress

(New York Times, January, 2018)


Democrat deal with Trump on "Dreamers" ?

(NPR, Sept, 2017)


"A giant exercise in ignoring reality"

(Congress failing to acknowledge choices limited to

(a) failed executive actions, (b) failed immigration policy, or

(c) enacting "something like DACA,"  Economist, Sept, 2017)


Proposal to make E-verify mandatory for new hires

("Legal Workforce Act" introduced, House of Reps, Sept, 2017)


Minding the door (proposed RAISE Act of 2017)

(Economist,  February, 2017)


Latinos, immigration and the White House, 2016

(New York Times interview of Jorge Ramos, March, 2016)


GOP's immigration "crossroads"

(Brooks, New York Times, November, 2015)


Court battle over executive actions

(Vox, February, 2015)


Delaying executive action until after mid-term elections

(Wall Street Journal, August, 2014)


Executive action instead of legislation

(New York Times, June, 2014)


No U.S. immigration policy overhaul in 2014

(New York Times, February, 2014)


The Case for Republican Inaction

(National Review, January, 2014)


Republican List of Principles

(New York Times, January, 2014)


Receding Roar?

(Brooks, New York Times, July, 2013)


Republicans shun 2013 bill

(Horsey, Los Angeles Times, July, 2013)


2013 "Immigration overhaul" bill in the U.S. Congress


2013 "Immigration overhaul" bill: historical perspective

(Keeling, Los Angeles Times, July, 2013)


President Obama's speech on 2013 immigration bill

(White House website, June, 2013)


"The Gang of Eight's Immigration Fight"

(New Yorker, May, 2013)


Background on the 2013 "Immigration Overhaul" bill




NY Times: Bankrolling anti-immigration agendas (Aug-19)

Atlantic: How to fix a broken system (Nov-18)

Economist: Migrants maybe (May-14)

Economist: Legalization without citizenship IV (Nov-13)

Cruz (R-TX): Legalization without citizenship III (Sep-13)

Pearce (R-NM): Legalization without citizenship II (Aug-13)

NY Times: The role of business (Jul-13)

White House / CBO: Econ. benefits of reform (Jul-13)

Ezra Klein: Legalization without citizenship I

("A cynical solution to the immigration impass," Washington Post, 10-Jul-13)

Economist: "Of Fences and Good Sense" (Jul-13)


This page last updated 30-Sep 2022