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Immigration Policy

June 27, 2012 | By Morgan Little
WASHINGTON -- President Obama's shift on immigration has boosted the president's support in a few key battleground states, with a new poll placing the president and his revised policy ahead of Mitt Romney in Pennsylvania and Ohio, while Obama holds a slight advantage in a neck-and-neck battle in Florida. The poll was conducted by Quinnipiac University after the Obama administration announced that young immigrants who had entered the country illegally before the age of 16 would be allowed to apply for work permits and not be subject to deportation, provided they had spent five years in the United States and met other criteria . In Florida, which has a larger Latino population than the other two states, the effect of Obama's immigration stance is key. Hispanic voters in the state currently back the president over Romney 56% to 32%, a five-point jump from a poll conducted before the immigration announcement , which had Obama ahead of Romney 49% to 39%. And the immigration policy itself has wide support, favored 58% to 33% by Floridians.
April 5, 2014 | By Michael McGough
In a dramatic show of support for immigration reform, some U.S. Roman Catholic bishops celebrated Mass Tuesday at the border fence in Nogales, Ariz. The ceremony produced some poignant imagery, including the bishops' distribution of Holy Communion through gaps in the fence's steel slats. In his homily , Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston invoked Jesus' parable of the Good Samaritan and the Epistle to the Hebrews. The author of that New Testament letter, he noted, “urges us to practice hospitality, for through it some have unknowingly entertained angels.” Without actually using that hackneyed catchphrase, O'Malley asked: What would Jesus do about immigrants who come to this country without permission?
June 15, 2012 | By Michael A. Memoli
WASHINGTON -- Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa applauded President Obama for "doing what's right by our values" after the administration announced it would halt deportations for some illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children, a priority for Latino voters. "This is the right thing to do. I applaud the president for doing it, and I think it's going to mean a great deal to the many families who live in terror that their kids may get deported through no fault of their own," Villaraigosa, one of the most prominent Latino surrogates for Obama's reelection campaign, said during a conference call with reporters Friday.
March 14, 2014 | By Kathleen Hennessey and Brian Bennett
WASHINGTON - Under orders by President Obama to enforce immigration laws "more humanely," Homeland Security officials are focusing on at least two major policy changes that would slow the pace of deportations of immigrants in the U.S. illegally. But the White House has tentatively rejected proposals to expand an Obama administration program to allow the parents of young people who were brought to the country illegally to stay. Officials said Friday that the changes under review would effectively stop most deportations of foreigners with no criminal convictions other than immigration violations, and focus enforcement efforts instead mostly at those charged or convicted of felony crimes or who pose more of a threat to public safety.
August 3, 1999
Re "Final $1.2 Million Added to Thai Workers' Settlement," July 29: There's a wonderful young man in England, my nephew, who has wanted to come to this country for so long that he would be glad to work a spell in a sweatshop in exchange for a green card. He wouldn't even expect to be paid big bucks for breaking our laws and coming to the U.S. illegally. Sadly, America has no room for Western Europeans. The U.S. Embassy in London won't even take an application. It seems the only way to do it is to come here illegally and then find a gimmick.
June 19, 2012 | By Meredith Blake
On Monday night, Stephen Colbert praised President Obama's immigration policy change and pushed back at skeptics who suggested the about-face was a cynical ploy to appeal to Latino voters in a contentious election year. Obama announced on Friday that his administration would no longer deport illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. as children, providing they have a high school diploma and no criminal record. “This of course replaces our long-standing policy of not deporting them if they were really good at baseball,” Colbert joked.  “This is shocking: Obama has now thrown open America's doors to people who are already here.” Unlike his hero, Karl Rove, Colbert wasn't entirely convinced by the idea that Obama was making a calculated bid to shore up the Latino vote.  After all, “right now he's barely clinging to a 43-point lead,” he said.  “Sounds impressive, but remember that's in pesos.” After hearing fellow conservatives George Will and Bill Kristol praise the policy shift, Colbert reluctantly conceded it was “the right thing to do.” He also criticized the idea that the president shouldn't make any bold moves during an election year, for fear they might look politically motivated.
July 13, 2011 | By Peter H. Schuck
The U.S. "diversity visa" program — 50,000 green cards allocated by lottery each year to applicants who only need a high school education to qualify — has been generating embarrassing headlines lately. Shortly after notifying this year's lottery winners — out of nearly 15 million applicants — of their entitlement to move permanently to the United States, the government discovered a computer glitch that produced erroneous results. (Instead of a random drawing, 90% of the winners were from entries submitted on the first two days of the 30-day registration period.)
January 21, 2010 | By Erika Lee and Judy Yung
One hundred years ago today, the Angel Island Immigration Station in San Francisco Bay opened its doors. From 1910 to 1940, the "Ellis Island of the West" was the gateway into America for more than half a million immigrants from 80 countries, all seeking the opportunity, freedom and fortune of the American dream. Among them was a Chinese immigrant who carved the following poem into the barrack walls while detained on Angel Island: I clasped my hands in parting with my brothers and classmates.
June 23, 2005
Re "Suspects Chafing in Ankle Monitors," June 21: Requiring undocumented worker Juan Chavez to wear an ankle bracelet and undergo electronic surveillance for 10 weeks because he "got job after job in Northern California without the required work permits" epitomizes the hypocrisy of how our immigration laws are crafted and prosecuted. If Chavez belongs in ankle bracelets, so does the guy who hired him; so do I, and more than likely, so do you, dear citizen reader. Let those who have never hired an undocumented gardener, baby-sitter, farmworker or handyman cast the first stone.
March 13, 2014 | By Christi Parsons and Kathleen Hennessey
WASHINGTON - President Obama is directing top immigration officials to review U.S. deportation practices to see whether they can be carried out "more humanely" while still enforcing the laws on the books. In an evening meeting with Latino lawmakers, Obama said he still wanted to push a comprehensive immigration reform package but that, in the meantime, he had asked the head of the Department of Homeland Security to run an "inventory" of the agency's practices. Obama "emphasized his deep concern about the pain too many families feel from the separation that comes from our broken immigration system," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said in a statement released after the meeting.
March 6, 2014 | By Christi Parsons
WASHINGTON -- President Obama insisted Thursday that he's not the "deporter in chief," as critics have labeled him, but the "champion in chief" of a fairer immigration policy. But until Congress passes a new law, Obama said, he is constrained by current statutes in how he treats immigrants who entered the country illegally. “I cannot ignore those laws any more than I can ignore any of the other laws that are on the books,” Obama said. “That's why it's important to get comprehensive immigration reform done this year.” Support for that view among reform advocates is splintering, a fact becoming clearer by the day. The president of the National Council of La Raza, the country's largest Latino advocacy organization, this week coined the “deporter in chief” term for the Democratic president the group has worked with in the past.
December 19, 2013 | By Brian Bennett
WASHINGTON - The number of immigrants deported from the country decreased this year for the first time since President Obama came into office, reflecting the impact of new policies intended to focus enforcement on immigrants with criminal backgrounds. Both sides in the highly contentious debate over immigration policy seized on the annual figures released Thursday by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. Advocates for immigrants, who have repeatedly criticized the administration for the high levels of deportations under Obama's tenure, said the approximately 369,000 immigrants deported in the 12 months ending Sept.
November 20, 2013 | By Jessica Guynn
SAN FRANCISCO -- Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg is bringing young undocumented immigrants with engineering chops to Silicon Valley to "hack" immigration reform. Twenty young immigrants who came to the U.S. illegally as children are taking part in a "DREAMer Hackathon" on Wednesday at LinkedIn's Mountain View, Calif., headquarters. The young coders will break into small groups to build technology during the marathon programming session to push Congress to pass immigration reform.
August 12, 2013 | By Derrick Morgan
Imagine a major Christian leader citing Scripture while writing about marriage, abortion, divorce or sexual abstinence in a commentary published by a mainstream newspaper. Imagine him encouraging reforms that "reflect biblical principles," noting that "nations will be judged," that Christian lawmakers should "let personal faith replace political fear. " Imagine him arguing that a specific reform "will honor our American values, our biblical values and our God. " Hard to imagine a mainstream, secular publication featuring such a piece, isn't it?
August 10, 2013 | By Brian Bennett and Joseph Tanfani
WASHINGTON - When television ads aired in South Carolina this spring attacking Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham for supporting immigration reform, a GOP group came to his aid. So did the other team. "We came up with the money," said Frank Sharry, founder and executive director of America's Voice, a Washington-based group with close ties to the Obama White House. "We were just frustrated that nobody was doing anything, and Graham was under attack. We said, 'Fine, we will put money in.'" Sharry's group, knowing an ad sponsored by a left-leaning advocacy group could hurt Graham, donated $60,000 to Republicans for Immigration Reform, a super PAC started by President George W. Bush's former Commerce secretary, Carlos Gutierrez, and GOP fundraiser Charlie Spies.
August 10, 2013 | By Cindy Carcamo
TUCSON - When a group of young immigrant rights activists devised a plan last month to stage an unconventional protest at the U.S.-Mexico border to draw attention to the thousands deported under the Obama administration's immigration policy, Lizbeth Mateo was a little afraid that onlookers would react negatively. The protest, after all, could have meant their deportation. Then the letters poured in. Hundreds of them. All positive and addressed to Mateo, 29, and other protesters who, as a result of their daring demonstration, were stopped, handcuffed and taken to an immigration detention facility in south-central Arizona.
August 8, 2013 | Jim Wallis, Jim Wallis is president of the Washington-based Christian organization Sojourners. His new book is "On God's Side: What Religion Forgets and Politics Hasn't Learned About Serving the Common Good."
Some say it will take a miracle for Congress to pass common-sense immigration reform. That miracle may be in the making, helped along by Christians who want to put their faith into action. On July 25, 300 evangelical Christians from 27 states had 110 meetings with their mostly Republican representatives on Capitol Hill to ask them to let personal faith replace political fear. Republican leaders told us we represented a "new factor" in the debate on immigration, a grass-roots constituency for reform that can influence the political right.
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