Dozens of protesters blocked the road Tuesday, so buses full of undocumented immigrants couldn’t make their way to a U.S. Border Patrol Station in Murrieta, California. About 140 people were flown into San Diego from Texas and bused to Murrieta with more expected to arrive every three days or so.
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement buses eventually left Murrieta and headed south to a detention facility in San Ysidro. Murrieta was one of the cities chosen to help process the immigrants because it has a federal border protection facility.
The increase in border crossings is linked to rumors in Central America that children are eligible for legal U.S. residency. The surge has also been prompted by violence and extortion from gangs in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.
Murrieta held a town hall meeting Monday where Mayor Alan Long assured residents the immigrants have no criminal backgrounds and that health screenings will be done. Still, he urged residents to call their elected officials and voice opposition to the plan.
Speaking to a Latino group in Las Vegas Wednesday, Senator Harry Reid blamed House Speaker John Boehner for telling President Barack Obama that he won’t bring immigration up for a vote this year as well as Congressman Joe Heck, for not putting more pressure on the GOP leadership.
“It’s gone until next year,” Reid, said at a brief news conference after his talk to ‘Hispanics in Politics.’
Reid added, however, that there’s a slim possibility of getting something done following the November 4th general election.
“Maybe we’ll get something in the lame-duck (session.) The Republicans should suffer at the ballot box,” Reid said, adding of Heck, “He’s not been helpful.”
Heck is running for re-election to a third term in Nevada’s 3rd Congressional District. Meantime, Reid is backing Heck’s Democratic opponent, Erin Bilbray, in the race.
Reid added the immigrant children need to be taken care of, although the law isn’t clear on what the U.S. should do with them.
“We can’t use the children as pawns,” Reid claimed.
However, by tying the ‘humanitarian-crisis’ to the upcoming elections, Reid has in effect made the kids’ ‘pawns.’
Obama is vowing to act on his own due to House inaction on immigration reform that proponents say could help address a wave of illegal alien children crossing the border from Mexico. Obama argues has to act in large part because of the recent surge in unaccompanied Central American children showing up by the thousands at the U.S.-Mexico border and the GOP-controlled House’s unwillingness to vote on the issue until at least after the November elections.
“American cannot wait forever … ,” Obama said Monday. “That is why, today, I am beginning a new effort to fix as much of our immigration system as I can on my own, without Congress.”
But there are limits to the power of his cell phone and pen, according to CNN.
He can redress rules on who to rank and prosecute in deportation hearings; send more border patrol agents as well as members of the National Guard to the affected areas; continue to allow illegal aliens who were brought to the U.S. as kids to stay; continue using ankle bracelets or weekly mandatory check-ins with immigration officials as an alternative to detention; and increase the amount of free legal help to illegal aliens in deportation hearings.
But he can’t bar people from applying for political asylum. Those guidelines are set by the United Nations Refugee Convention, which the U.S. has signed; he can’t increase the number eligible for green cards because their spouses or parents are U.S. citizens; eliminate judicial review for people ordered deported; round-up all illegal immigrants and deport them without some sort of legal hearing; or issue a blanket executive action legalizing all illegal aliens.
They fail to mention ‘closing the border,’ however. Then there is also the fact Obama tends to ‘act on his own.’
Since January 2012, the Obama administration has suffered at least 13 unanimous defeats in cases it argued, according to the Cato Institute. Ilya Shapiro, a senior fellow in constitutional studies at the Institute, said unanimous decisions are “indicative of an administration that pushes and breaks through the envelope in its assertion of federal power.”
Obama will likely sidestep Congress on immigration reform by expanding on his so-called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals memorandum, which essentially allows young illegal immigrants to stay in the United States if they were brought into the country illegally by their parents and have not been convicted of a major crime, Federation for American Immigration Reform spokesman Ira Mehlman predicted.
“I expect him to continue to ignore U.S. immigration law,” Mehlman said. “This can all be traced back to the DACA program…under the guise of not splitting up families.”