It took a while, but Congress and the media finally convinced President Obama that immigration reform is dead. On Monday, Obama said he's done waiting for Congress and expects recommendations for executive orders from the Homeland Security Secretary and Attorney General by the end of the summer. He also requested additional funds from Congress to handle the "humanitarian crisis" at the border by providing additional immigration lawyers, judges, asylum officers and to expand the Department of Homeland Security's ability to deport minors.
But while this is the moment activists, Congress and the president have been anticipating, it's a solution no one really wanted. Everyone seems to be hurt by it as much as they benefit.
Obama's midterm year strategy: "Winning" might be pushing it, but activists have been calling on the president to act on immigration for months now. While most solutions will involve legislative fixes, this is better than doing nothing.
Immigration advocates: Executive action isn't as powerful as a bill, but past orders — like the 2012 decision to defer the deportations of individuals brought to the U.S. illegally as children — have made a difference. Advocates have been pushing the president to stop waiting for Congress for months.
Republican's midterm year strategy: It's hard to get labelled as an amnesty supporter when there's no immigration reform to support. Immigration reform was the sort of divisive issue the party wanted to avoid during a midterm year, and the GOP got its wish.
Undocumented immigrants: We don't know what executive orders the president will enact at the end of the summer, but so far he's requested money from Congress for asylum lawyers, immigration lawyers and immigration judges. This would speed up the process for many undocumented immigrants currently waiting for their case to be heard — assuming the funding is approved.
Obama's immigration policy: Immigration reform was one of the big policy initiatives the president wanted to pass, and now even he has to admit it's not gonna happen this year. The Washington Post noted that "the collapse of perhaps his biggest second-term priority represented a low point for him."
Immigration advocates: The problematic aspect of Obama's executive action requests is that he wants to give Homeland Security more authority to deport minors. That doesn't exactly gel with the idea that many of the children are refugees fleeing gang violence at home. "The administration's move has sparked outrage among advocates for children and refugees and immigrant rights advocates and for good reason," Marielena Hincapie, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, said during a conference call with reporters.
Republican's Latino outreach: The GOP now finds itself facing the same problem it had in 2012 — their policies are less appealing to Hispanic voters. "In the short term, Republicans are going to avoid an internal civil war over an issue over which they are bitterly divided," Stuart Rothenberg, a nonpartisan political analyst, told The Wall Street Journal. "But in the longer term, Republicans will not have resolved an issue that is a huge problem for them in a presidential election year."
Immigrants: The issues that have led to over 52,000 unaccompanied minors entering the U.S. illegally — violence back home, separation from relatives in the U.S., a complicated, unreformed immigration system — are still at large.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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