WASHINGTON – There is no doubt in my mind that the United States is by far, the greatest nation in the world. Yet, the country still faces many unresolved dilemmas such as illegal immigration. When it comes to the matter, the nation remains divided between conservative and liberal opinions. Conservatives strictly believe in legal immigration thus oppose amnesty for immigrants who enter the country within “illegal” status. Unlike Conservatives, Liberals support amnesty towards undocumented immigrants; especially for those who are parents to children born within U.S. soil.
On June 23, 2016, the Supreme Court announced a deadlock in the case of President Obama’s immigration plan. A program designed to grant five million undocumented immigrants work permits as well as protection from deportation called the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (aka DAPA). However, the 4-4 tie imposed the Supreme Court from reaching a final decision. During a press conference, President Obama said the court’s ruling is partly the consequence of Republicans’ failure to give Judge Merrick B. Garland a fair hearing within the court. Judge Garland was said to be the president’s nominee for filling the vacant spot created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. His approval would have been the tie breaker needed to further proceed. Therefore, no final decision will be made until the vacant spot is filled. According to The New York Times:
“… the court’s ruling may mean that the next president will again need to seek a congressional compromise to overhaul the nation’s immigration problem.”
So what now? The case has once again taken a major set-back forcing undocumented immigrants to remain hidden within the shadows of the law. This does not surprise me at all whatsoever! As a matter of fact, President Barrack Obama has once again failed to deliver his promise towards Latinos. The book Take A Stand: Lesson from Rebels, author Jorge Ramos further explains the president’s unkept promise.
Prior to the 2008 elections, Jorge Ramos sat with Barrack Obama in a face-to-face interview. He questioned the candidate about his plans for proposing an immigration reform bill. As a response, Barrack Obama promised to push towards a comprehensive immigration bill before congress within the first year of his term. In fact, his promise landed him 67 percent of the Latino vote but his actions proved to be disappointing.
Once in office, President Obama failed to recognize just how serious of a problem illegal immigration has become in America. Instead, he prioritized on the current economic crisis and health-care reformation. During the first year of his term, President Obama strictly focused on the debate over the Affordable Care Act-Obamacare- in which left Congress hopelessly divided due to a series of legislative maneuvers conducted to pass the bill. Its passage left Republicans highly resentful towards the president and diminished the hopes of presenting before congress a comprehensive immigration reform. Overall, his failure to acknowledge illegal immigration caused Republicans to block any possibility of legalizing undocumented immigrants.
Afterwards, President Obama tried gaining Republican support by increasing the number of deportations from 2009 to 2011. (Approximately, a total of 1.2 million deportations carried out). Meanwhile, thousands of Hispanic families became torn apart by such an arrogant strategy.
Such failure caused anger and resentment within the Latino community. However, such deception also forced thousands of undocumented students known as the DREAMers to take a stand against the president and his legislatives demanding protection from deportation. Their courage forced President Obama to act immediately in preceding with a new reformation bill.
It was then, on November 20, 2014, the U.S. president announced the most important immigration policy move since the 1960s; the deferred-action program known today as DAPA.
It was thought to be an initial victory step for Latinos but Republicans within Congress remain opposed to DAPA. All which bring us to current events. The Supreme Court’s inability to reach a final decision has yet again left Hispanic activists disappointed and upset with President Obama’s efforts. At this point of his second term, the U.S. president cannot amend his failures to carry out his promise. Within the Latino community, he will always be known as the “Deporter-in-Chief.”
Anyhow, this major set-back will not prevent DREAMers from continuing to fight against such social injustice. Sooner or later, the U.S. government will pass an immigration reform bill in which will provide amnesty for undocumented immigrants. For now, like the DREAMers, we must remain strong, continue to fight, and stand up for what we believe.
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Liptak, Adam, and Michael D. Shear. “Supreme Court Ties Block Obama Immigration Plan.” The New York Times. The New York Times Company, 24 June 2016. Web. 27 June 2016. <www.nytimes.com/2016/06/24/us/supreme-court-immigration-obama-dapa.html?_r=0>.
Ramos, Jorge. “Barrack Obama’s (Unkept) Promise.” Take A Stand: Lessons from Rebels. New York: New American Library, 2016. 31+. Print.