U.S. IMMIGRATION REFORM EFFORTS SINCE 2013

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, somewhat exceeding those exercised by prior presidents, and expanding on his 2012 DACA ("Dreamers") program, were blocked by court challenges. Addressing such objections to his actions in advance, Obama told Congress to "pass a bill" instead. There were, however, no further attempts at bipartisan immigration policy overhaul during the remainder of his presidential term.

  In 2016, Donald Trump declared his desire to "have Mexico pay" for building a "wall" on the U.S.-Mexico border. After being elected president that November, he suggested that in places it could be a fence rather than a wall. In September 2017, acting ahead of lawsuits by state attorneys-general, the Trump administration announced that DACA would end after six more months unless Congress formally extended it. A proposed "path to citizenship" for DACA recipients was also part of the White House's "Framework on Immigration Reform and Border Security"  was announced in January 2018, but a moderate variant of it was narrowly blocked in the House of Representatives in June 2018.

  The Democratic Party's winning of a House majority that November was followed by the longest government shutdown in US history, and a new legislative package from the Trump Administration, including a three year extension of DACA and $5.7 mil. in border "wall" funding. In June 2019, the House instead passed the "Dream and Promise" act  to provide "unauthorized immigrants a path to citizenship," which, however, the Senate has yet to proceed with. In June 2020, the Supreme Court ruled that the Department of Homeland Security had not followed proper procedures in seeking to impliment Trump's fall 2017 plan to end DACA.

 
 

  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

 

"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 a choice 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

 

 

COMMENTARY AND ANALYSES

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)

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 18-June-2020