President Barack Obama and members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus met at the White House yesterday to discuss the bleak future of immigration reform in Congress. Both sides agreed that amnesty is likely dead for the next two years, but Obama that he would veto any immigration enforcement legislation.
Incoming House Judiciary Chair Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and House Immigration Subcommittee Chair Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) have already outlined immigration enforcement bills they would like to pursue during the next Congress. Should legislation that mandates E-Verify or attempts to secure the border pass through both Chambers, Pres. Obama told the Congressional Hispanic Caucus he would veto them.
Pres. Obama also said he would make immigration reform one of the topics of his State of the Union address in January.
Other things the President could do include issuing executive actions to help the illegal aliens who could have been impacted by passage of the DREAM Act. For instance, Obama could cancel any removal proceedings against DREAM applicants, but it's unknown whether or not he'll try to use his executive powers to extend some of the other benefits offered to illegal aliens through the DREAM Act like work authorization, access to social services, and access to financial aid.
Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), who championed the pro-Amnesty movement in the House, has said that he's given up on legislative solutions to legalizing the nation's 11-18 million illegal aliens and has said he's taking his fight to the streets. With the make-up of the next Congress, it is highly unlikely any type of amnesty legislation would make it through Congress. Furthermore, new decennial census information released today shows that several seats in the House of Representatives could be shifting from pro-Amnesty leaning states to pro-enforcement states.