Politics January 19, 2016: Supreme Court to decide fate of President Obama’s immigration executive actions

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Supreme Court to decide fate of President Obama’s immigration executive actions

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Examiner.com, January 19, 2016 9:51 AM MST

The Supreme Court is again going decide a key policy for President Barack Obama's legacy when they decide on immigration executive actions giving legal status to nearly five million illegal immigrants in the country, Jan. 19, 2016
The Supreme Court is again going decide a key policy for President Barack Obama’s legacy when they decide on immigration executive actions giving legal status to nearly five million illegal immigrants in the country, Jan. 19, 2016
Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
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Politics January 4, 2016: Obama fires up Republicans with gun control executive actions announcement

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Obama fires up Republicans with gun control executive actions announcement

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Examiner.com, January 4, 2016 7:58 PM MST

President Barack Obama discussed with reporters his gun control executive actions in the Oval Office, Republicans are already voicing their opposition, Jan. 4, 2016

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President Barack Obama discussed with reporters his gun control executive actions in the Oval Office; Republicans are already voicing their opposition, Jan. 4, 2016
Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images / White House YouTube

Politics March 5, 2015: Obama plans injunction appeal wants to start immigration executive action Monday

Obama plans injunction appeal wants to start immigration executive action Monday

March 5, 2015

Now that President Barack Obama had his way and Congress passed a clean bill funding the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for the rest of the fiscal year, he is looking to start his immigration executive actions. The Obama administration…

Politics February 21, 2015: Obama, Justice Dept seek to lift injunction on immigration executive actions

Obama, Justice Dept seek to lift injunction on immigration executive actions February 21, 2015

President Barack Obama has decided to fight the injunction a federal judge from Texas placed on the president’s immigration executive actions. The White House announced on Friday afternoon, Feb. 20, 2015 that lawyers from the Justice Department intend…

Politics February 17, 2015: Federal judge blocks Obama’s immigration executive actions at 26 states’ request

Federal judge blocks Obama’s immigration executive actions at 26 states’ request February 17, 2015

Congressional Republicans might not need to defund the Department of Homeland Security to prevent President Barack Obama immigration executive actions, a Texas federal judge has granted the requests of 26 states to block those executive actions with a temporary injunction…

Politics December 4, 2014: GOP House passes bill to roll back immigration executive actions Obama vows veto

GOP House passes bill to roll back immigration executive actions Obama vows veto

December 4, 2014, 3:41 PM MST

Speaker John Boehner steered the House of Representatives’ passing of a bill nullifying President Barack Obama sweeping executive action on immigration and deportation, Dec. 4, 2014

Win McNamee/Getty Images

The Republican controlled House of Representatives voted 219 to 197 on Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014 to pass a bill that would scale back President Barack Obama‘s recent executive actions on immigration reform. The bill and its message are mostly symbolic since the lame duck Democratic Senate will not pass the bill and President Obama has promised to veto it.

The bill H.R.5759 entitled “Executive Amnesty Prevention Act of 2014” is meant “To establish a rule of construction clarifying the limitations on executive authority to provide certain forms of immigration relief” basically makes the president’s actions “null and void and without legal effect.” Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla. Sponsored the bill that also had an addition 17 co-sponsors. Of the votes cast three Democrats crossed party lines to vote with Republicans supporting the bill while seven Republicans voted with the Democrats opposing it.

The president’s actions that would pre vent the deportations of 4.7 million illegal immigrants in the country who have children who are citizens or permanent residents of the US. The actions would provide them work permits, social security numbers and allow them to pay taxes for the next three years. The 10-point executive actions essentially give amnesty to the illegal immigrants. Among those in the immigrant community, many feel the actions do not go far enough, and the public in general opposes the president taking unilateral action on this issue.

The Republican Congress and its leadership strongly oppose them. President Obama announced his plans just two weeks after the GOP won more seats in the House and took control of the Senate, Republicans do not believe the president has the mandate or the Constitutional rights to make laws Congress has to decide upon and is their responsibility. Among the GOP’s varied solutions include shutting down the government in an attempt to defund the actions, suing, censuring or even impeaching the president.

President Obama has promised to veto the bill if by any chance it passes the Senate. The White House issued a statement of administration policy against the bill on Thursday. The policy paper accused the GOP’s bill of trying promote lawlessness and cause economic problems, while praising the president’s actions, and declaring “If the President were presented with H.R. 5759, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill.”

The White House listed that “H.R. 5759 would make the broken immigration system worse, not better. By attempting to restrict the Administration’s ability to conduct national security and criminal background checks on undocumented immigrants…. would make the Nation’s communities less safe. By attempting to make it more difficult for undocumented workers to register and pay taxes, the bill would hurt the Nation’s economy as well.”

In an attempt to be dramatic and vilify the GOP as much as possible, the White House also listed all the dire consequences of the bill passing. Continuing, the administration stated; “The bill’s objective is clearly to nullify and block implementation of these executive actions, which would have devastating consequences. It would lead to the separation of families and prevent additional DREAMers from fully contributing to American life. It would also make it more difficult for immigration officials to conduct background checks, for undocumented workers to help the economy by paying taxes, and for the Federal government to focus on removing serious criminals, recent border crossers, and other threats.”

President Obama also personally spoke out against the GOP bill at a College Opportunity Summit on Thursday, emphasizing the effect blocking his actions would have on students. Obama expressed; “But it does not make sense for us to want to push talent out, rather than make sure that they’re staying here and contributing to society. So rather than deport students and separate families and make it harder for law enforcement to do its job, I just want the Congress to work with us to pass a commonsense law to fix that broken immigration system.”

Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-OH stated at the GOP leadership press conference on Thursday the Republican members of the House “will make clear today that we are rejecting unilateral actions.” While House Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise, R-LA commented on why the House voted on the bill, explaining, “The president thinks he can just sit in the Oval Office and make up his own laws. That’s not the way our system of government works. This legislation says you can’t do that, Mr. President. There is a rule of law.”

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Bonnie K. Goodman is the Editor of the Academic Buzz Network, a series of political, academic & education blogs which includes History Musings: History, News & Politics. She has a BA in History & Art History & a Masters in Library and Information Studies, both from McGill University, and has done graduate work in Jewish history at Concordia University as part of the MA in Judaic Studies program. She covers US, Canadian & Israeli politics, with a particular focus on the Obama presidency, Congress, domestic policy, and elections.

Politics December 1, 2014: Obama issues four-point plan to improve minority police relations after Ferguson

Obama issues four-point plan to improve minority police relations after Ferguson

December 1, 2014, 11:48 PM MST

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President Barack Obama announces more executive actions to improve minority police relations, Dec. 1, 2014

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images / The White House

President Barack Obama wants to actively do something to curb the wave of police shootings of unarmed African Americans that seems to be plaguing the country. On Monday, Dec. 1, 2014, President Obama hosted three meetings at the White House to determine best and safest way for both parties to police-minority groups in the country. After the meetings, the president announced a four-point plan including an executive order that he hoped would ease tensions and make sure there is no question about possible indictments like there was in Ferguson, Missouri. This past week a grand jury failed to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the death of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown, afterward the results unleashed riots in Ferguson and all over the country.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Obama is preparing more executive actions and is requesting a total of $263 million from Congress for them. The plan involves purchasing “50,000” body cameras for police to wear. The cameras will be worn on the lapels of police officers, and as ABC News noted police and civil rights leaders had praised the cameras to document police interactions properly. Of the money, the president is requesting that Congress appropriate for these new set of executive actions, $75 million will go to the body cameras.

The president is also creating a “task force on police practices,” called the “Task Force on 21st Century Policing” and appointed as the chairs “Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey and former Assistant Attorney General and George Mason University professor Laurie Robinson.” The task force will create a report due “late February.” They are going to find solutions and ways to “promote effective crime reduction while building public trust.”

The president commissioned a new report and released another report on Monday, entitled “White House Review: Federal Support for Local Law Enforcement Equipment Acquisition.” The report looked at how federal agencies give “military” equipment to law enforcement. The report determined that “tens of thousands” of equipment are transferred each year, only 4 to 5 percent are weapons, the rest office equipment.

Finally, President Obama intends to sign an executive order that will ensure there are uniform guidelines and rules across the government about the transfer and usage of the military equipment to police. The rules will determine which equipment can use by police, require “civilian approval,” proper training, and create a “universal” database” to track the equipment to determine how it is being used by police. The president does not intend to slow down police access to military equipment, but he wants federal agencies to review how they give the military “surplus” equipment to police departments.

President Obama had held three meetings on Monday before the White House announced his plans for the executive actions. The first meeting was with his cabinet; among those in attendance according to CNN were “Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, Attorney General Eric Holder, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, Deputy Defense Secretary Robert O. Work and acting director of the White House Office of National Drug Policy Michael Botticelli.”

The second meeting was with “young civil rights leaders,” among them were “representatives from the Ohio Students Association and the Howard University Student Association” whereas CNN noted the topic was “the broader challenges we still face as a nation, including the mistrust between law enforcement and communities of color.”

The third meeting was with “elected officials, law enforcement officials and community, civil rights and faith leaders.” Among those at this meeting included Rev. Al Sharpton and “representatives from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the National Council of La Raza, the American Civil Liberties Union.”

President Obama delivered remarks “after the meeting with elected officials, community and faith leaders, and law enforcement officials” about “how communities and law enforcement can work together to build trust to strengthen neighborhoods across the country” President Obama outlined his four-point plan. The president also expressed that “this is not a problem simply of Ferguson, Missouri, this is a problem that is national. It is a solvable problem, but it is one that, unfortunately, spikes after one event and then fades into the background until something else happens. What we need is a sustained conversation in which in each region of the country people are talking about this honestly and then can move forward in a constructive fashion.”

President Obama also promised that it would be different in the future, he will make sure the situation improves; “What I try to describe to people is why this time will be different. And part of the reason, this time, will be different is because the President of the United States is deeply invested in making sure this time is different. When I hear the young people around this table talk about their experiences, it violates my belief in what America can be to hear young people feeling marginalized and distrustful, even after they’ve done everything right. That’s not who we are. And I don’t think that’s who the overwhelming majority of Americans want us to be.”

The day was topped with Attorney General Holder appearing at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, GA; Holder spoke about Ferguson to civil rights, community, students leaders at a forum Monday evening. There Holder announced the administration would work to end racial profiling “In the coming days, I will announce updated Justice Department guidance regarding profiling by federal law enforcement. This will institute rigorous new standards – and robust safeguards – to help end racial profiling, once and for all.”

The church was where civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. used to preach. The problems representative in Ferguson shows that King’s civil rights fights are still being fought and despite the election of a two-term African-American president, there is still so much to do for race relations in the country especially the relationship between law enforcement and minorities. Obama concluded his remarks vowed that “in the two years I have to remain as President, I’m going to make sure that we follow through — not to solve every problem, not to tear down every barrier of mistrust that may exist, but to make things better. And that’s how progress is always made in this great country of ours.”

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Bonnie K. Goodman is the Editor of the Academic Buzz Network, a series of political, academic & education blogs which includes History Musings: History, News & Politics. She has a BA in History & Art History & a Masters in Library and Information Studies, both from McGill University, and has done graduate work in Jewish history at Concordia University as part of the MA in Judaic Studies program. She covers US, Canadian & Israeli politics, with a particular focus on the Obama presidency, Congress, domestic policy, and elections.

Politics November 25, 2014: Obama heckled during Chicago immigration speech by protesters over deportations

Politics November 20, 2014: Emperor Obama outlines executive amnesty for nearly 5 million illegal immigrants

Politics November 20, 2014: Obama announces immigration executive actions in speech, McConnell vows battle

Politics November 17, 2014: Never mind government shutdown Obama is looking to be impeached or sued by GOP Congress over immigration reform

Politics November 13, 2014: Obama to announce immigration reform executive actions next week, ignores GOP

Politics September 6, 2014: Obama will not take executive action on immigration until after midterms

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Obama will not take executive action on immigration until after midterms 

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Examiner.com, September 6, 2014, 7:35 PM MST

Presidemnt Barack Obama has decided to delay executive action on immigration reform until after the midterm elections to help the Democrats, Sept. 6, 2014
President Barack Obama has decided to delay executive action on immigration reform until after the midterm elections to help the Democrats, Sept. 6, 2014
Peter Macdiarmid – WPA Pool /Getty Images

Politics June 9, 2014: Obama to sign executive order lifting student loan debt load support Senate bill

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Obama to sign executive order lifting student loan debt load support Senate bill

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Examiner.com, June 9, 2014, 1:05 AM MST

President Barack Obama delivered his weekly address on college affordability, June 7, 2014; Obama supports the Senate refinance bill and plans to sign an executive order to ease the student debt load

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President Barack Obama delivered his weekly address on college affordability, June 7, 2014; Obama supports the Senate refinance bill and plans to sign an executive order to ease the student debt load
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Politics May 18, 2014: Obama’s weekly address urges Congress to act on jobs, transportation bill

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Obama’s weekly address urges Congress to act on jobs, transportation bill

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Examiner.com, May 18, 2014, 1:43 PM MST

President Barack Obama delivers remarks on infrastructure funding in Tarrytown, New York, May 14, 2014; Obama also dedicated his weekly address to the same issue, urging Congress to pass the job creating bill

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President Barack Obama delivers remarks on infrastructure funding in Tarrytown, New York, May 14, 2014; Obama also dedicated his weekly address to the same issue, urging Congress to pass the job creating bill
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Politics May 5, 2014: Obama’s year of action weekly address attacks GOP for unemployment extension

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Obama’s year of action weekly address attacks GOP for unemployment extension

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Examiner.com, May 5, 2014, 4:22 PM MST

President Barack Obama delivers his weekly address on his year of economic action, May 5, 2014; Obama listed the executive orders he signed and criticised the GOP for not passing important economic legislation

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President Barack Obama delivers his weekly address on his year of economic action, May 5, 2014; Obama listed the executive orders he signed and criticised the GOP for not passing important economic legislation
The White House