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Tag: President Obama

Homeland Security Secretary Responds to President Obama’s Immigration Plan in Letter

Jeh Johnson

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson issued a letter last week after President Obama unveiled a new immigration plan.

Tonight, President Obama will announce a series of executive actions to begin to fix our immigration system. The President views these actions as a first step toward the reform of the system, and continues to count on Congress for the more comprehensive reform that only changes in law can provide.

I support and recommended to the President each of the reforms to the immigration system that he will announce today. These recommendations were in turn the result of candid and extended consultations between me and the leadership of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), as well as outside stakeholders. Along the way, I listened to members of the workforce who implement and enforce the law to hear their views. In my own view, any significant change in policy requires the insight of those who administer the system. I believe we have done that here.

The executive actions the President will announce will reform and improve the system in a number of respects. These executive actions are well within our legal authority to direct and implement.

Many of the actions the President will announce tonight must be implemented by you. Today I visited USCIS to explain those actions to the workforce there, and to others by video teleconference. Tomorrow, the leadership of CBP, ICE and USCIS and I will travel to McAllen Station, Texas, to review the executive actions with the workforce in South Texas. In the coming days, I or other leaders of this Department will also brief many of you around the country about the reforms, in person, by video teleconference or otherwise.

Thank you in advance for your attention to these new policies, and thank you again for all the good work you do for the American people.

Sincerely,

Jeh Charles Johnson
Secretary of Homeland Security

Full Video of President Obama’s Speech on Reforming Immigration Laws

President Obama delivered a 15-minute speech in which he unveiled his immigration plan Thursday evening.

“Today our immigration is broken, and everyone knows it,” Obama said.

Washington Post: President Obama’s Executive Order Is ‘Convenient Reinterpretation of Tradition’

By Michael Gerson 
Opinion Writer for Washington Post

There are any number of marvelous things one might do as president, if Congress were not such a checked and balanced mess. But future presidents now have a new method at their disposal: Declare a long-running debate to be a national emergency. Challenge Congress, under threat of unilateral executive action, to legislate on the topic before your term runs out. And when lawmakers refuse, act with the most expansive definition of presidential power.

The supporting arguments for this approach come down to the claim that the American political system is broken — incapable of action on urgent matters because of obstructionism, bad faith and the abuse of legislative procedure. It is the political philosophy of “something must be done.”

The arguments against this approach often come down to institutionalism. Major policy shifts, in this view, deserve legislative hearings and an open amendment process. The White House should make its views known and issue veto threats. There should be a negotiation between the House and Senate to reconcile a bill. There should be a presidential signature, or a veto and an override debate. The machinery is admittedly creaky, but it manufactures democratic legitimacy.

President Obama has ably and sequentially defended both these positions. A year ago, during another immigration speech, a heckler insisted, “You have a power to stop deportations.” Obama replied: “Actually, I don’t, and that’s why we’re here. . . . What you need to know, when I’m speaking as president of the United States and I come to this community, is that if, in fact, I could solve all these problems without passing laws in Congress, then I would do so. But we’re also a nation of laws. That’s part of our tradition. And so the easy way out is to try to yell and pretend like I can do something by violating our laws. And what I’m proposing is the harder path, which is to use our democratic processes to achieve the same goal that you want to achieve.”

Obama has now officially abandoned the harder path — not because the issues surrounding immigration will never be resolved (a case no one has adequately made) but because he wants to be the president to resolve them. Since our democratic process has proved disappointing during his time in office, we get a convenient reinterpretation of tradition — using a history of reasonable discretion in tying up the loose ends of a law to justify a major policy shift in the absence of law. This is motivated reasoning on steroids — and future presidents of both parties will likely find it appealing, on a variety of issues.

By crossing this particular Rubicon, Obama has given up on politics, which is, from one perspective, understandable. He doesn’t do it well. He has always viewed the political process as sullied, compared with the reasonableness of his policy insights. In the aftermath of his party’s midterm defeat, he diagnosed a problem of salesmanship. “It’s not enough just to build a better mousetrap,” he said. “People don’t automatically come beating to your door. We’ve got to sell it.”

To read more click here.

President Obama’s Immigration Plan Would Shield 5 Million People from Deportation

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Obama unveiled his plan to reshape the nation’s immigration system during a 15-minute address from the White House.

Tired of Congressional gridlock, Obama said he is issuing an executive order and all but challenged Republicans to come up with a different plan, the New York Times reports.

Under his plan, up to five million people will be shielded from deportation, but the president offered no path to citizenship.

“The actions I’m taking are not only lawful, they’re the kinds of actions taken by every single Republican president and every Democratic president for the past half-century,” Obama said. “To those members of Congress who question my authority to make our immigration system work better, or question the wisdom of me acting where Congress has failed, I have one answer: Pass a bill.”

President Obama is expected to spend the next several months convincing Americans that his plan is good and lawful. He’ll be speaking today at a high school in Las Vegas, where Hispanics have growing influence.

Republicans argue the president is abusing his office and pledged a Congressional battle.

 

President Obama to Unveil New Immigration Plan Tonight During Speech on TV

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Obama plans to reveal his plan today to overhaul the immigration system in what is likely to set off a contentious debate with Republicans, CNN reports.

Obama’s plan will involve new rules for deportations, a move that will have ramifications for millions of undocumented immigrants.

Obama is expected to announce the deferment of deportation for the parents of U.S. citizens.

“Everybody agrees that our immigration system is broken. Unfortunately, Washington has allowed the problem to fester for far too long,” Obama said in a video posted on his Facebook page Wednesday. “And so what I’m going to be laying out is the things that I can do with my lawful authority as President to make the system work better, even as I continue to work with Congress to encourage them to get a bipartisan, comprehensive bill that can solve the entire problem.”

Obama is taking action with an executive order, as opposed to waiting for Congress.

Obama will address the nation live during a speech at 8 p.m. tonight.

FBI Agents Association Voices Support for Attorney General Nominee Loretta Lynch

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch seems to be getting a fair share of support from the law enforcement community.

The FBI Agents Association issued a statement after her nomination by President Obama:

“The FBIAA appreciates the importance of Attorney General leadership, and we look forward to working with Ms. Lynch, who has been a strong supporter of FBI Agents from her days as a trial attorney to her time as United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York”

Secret Service Blasted for Problems That Allowed Fence Jumper to access White House

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The man who jumped over a White House fence and burst into the White House in September managed to avoid security because of a litany of problems with the Secret Service, CNN reports.

A Homeland Security report found numerous failures that allowed Omar Gonzalez to so easily access the White House. The problems involved lack of training, disorganization and miscommunication.

After Gonzalez jumped over the fence, the radio and alarm systems weren’t working as planned. The canine handler responded too late because he was talking on his personal cell phone.

The canine officer “gave Gonzalez the required verbal warning about the canine, caught a glimpse of Gonzalez heading toward the bushes, and gave his canine the command to apprehend Gonzalez,” the review said.

“The canine, however, did not have enough time to lock onto Gonzalez and may not have seen Gonzalez at all,” it said.

The incident drew harsh criticism of the agency.

“A combination of technical missteps, lack of radio discipline, improper use of equipment and aging infrastructure,” as well as an improper setting on the Secret Service’s radio system, contributed to those problems, it said.

Other Stories of Interest


Opinion: Loretta Lynch Is Experienced, Skilled & Ready to Lead Justice Department

By Democrat & Chronicle
Editorial Board
 
After the shellacking that President Obama took in last week’s midterm elections, the last thing he needs is another fight. That’s why he was wise to nominate Loretta Lynch as the nation’s next attorney general.

The Senate, which switches to Republican control starting in January, should have little difficulty confirming Lynch, who has a track record of being a top-notch federal prosecutor.

And because Lynch has been given Senate clearance twice in recent decades to serve as U.S. Attorney for the Brooklyn-based Eastern District, and was found to be apolitical for the most part, she should be confirmed before year’s end.

Otherwise, there could be a protracted confirmation process next year that, no doubt, could have much more to do with GOP disdain for retiring Attorney General Eric Holder than Lynch.

Obama, cognizant of how disliked Holder is among Republicans, chose in Lynch someone who, unlike his current attorney general, is not close to him. Rather, the Harvard Law School graduate’s record of accomplishment speaks volumes for her.

The highest profile case Lynch guided was the successful prosecution of New York police officers accused of beating and sodomizing a Haitian immigrant in the late 1990s. But her legal portfolio is wide-ranging, including major cases involving public corruption, terrorism, civil rights, financial fraud and cybercrime.

Some Republicans have expressed concerns about Lynch’s preparedness to leap from being a U.S. attorney to taking over as U.S. attorney general. Yes, it is a considerable jump in scope. But having served as a U.S. attorney both during the Clinton years and the past four under Obama has given Lynch solid executive experience that equips her for the top job.

To read more click here.

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