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Posts Tagged ‘Latino Politics’

Huff Post

Posted: 07/09/13 EDT

WASHINGTON — As the immigration reform debate begins in earnest in the House, one of the biggest issues is the math. The bill needs 218 votes to pass. Democratic leaders said they think they can convince most of their party’s 201 members to vote in favor. That means they’d need around 20 Republicans to join them. But House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has repeatedly insisted he will only allow the House to vote on an immigration reform plan if a majority of Republicans support it.

That would mean finding about 120 Republicans willing to back a plan that includes a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, which former GOP leadership aides said is almost impossible. Somewhere between 50 and 80 is a more realistic number, they said — which means a potentially overwhelming majority of House members in favor of reform.

If it becomes clear that the House has far more votes than needed to pass comprehensive immigration reform, the pressure on Boehner to “let the House work its will,” as he’s fond of saying, increases exponentially. That pressure may be the only way to get comprehensive immigration legislation through the House that includes a pathway to citizenship, along with border security and changes to legal immigration and enforcement policies.

HuffPost will be tracking support as the debate goes on. The following count is based on the combined intelligence of several immigration groups and informed House staffers, along with a look at lawmakers’ past votes, public statements and district demographics. It maps out which House members will either support immigration reform or, at the very least, remain quiet on it. If Boehner refuses, as he has said he will, to pass the bill without a majority of Republicans, below are the politicians reformers will try to win over, including some skeptical Democrats and those likely entrenched on either side.

This is not a final count, and will continue to be updated as more information becomes available. If your representative has sent you a letter or made a statement on immigration, please email it to us here with “immigration whip count” in the subject line.

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Elise Foley

Posted: 06/15/2012  9:41 am Updated: 06/15/2012  1:12 pm

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration responded to years of pressure from immigrants rights groups on Friday with an announcement that it will stop deportations and begin granting work permits for some Dream Act-eligible students.

Some 800,000 people are expected to come forward to receive deferred action from deportation, as first reported by the Associated Press on Friday morning. The policy change will apply to young undocumented immigrants who entered the United States as children, along the same lines as the Dream Act, a decade-old bill that passed in the House of Representatives but failed in the Senate in 2010.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told reporters that the policy change is part of a general shift by the Obama administration to focus on deporting high-priority undocumented immigrants.

“This grant of deferred action is not immunity,” she said. “It is not amnesty. It is an exercise of discretion so that these young people are not in the removal system. It will help us to continue to streamline immigration enforcement and ensure that resources are not spent pursuing the removal of low-priority cases involving productive young people.”

“More important, I believe this action is the right thing to do,” she continued.

The policy change will effectively enable Dream Act-eligible young people, often called DREAMers, to stay in the United States without fear of deportation, and without legislation from a Congress that is unlikely to pass a bill.

Undocumented immigrants who came to the United States under the age of 16 and have lived in the country for at least five years can apply for the relief, so long as they are under the age of 30, according to a memo from DHS. They also must be either an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or armed forces, or a student who has graduated from high school or obtained a GED. Immigrants will not be eligible if they “post a threat to national security or public safety,” including having been convicted of a felony, a “significant” misdemeanor or multiple misdemeanors.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement, as well as Customs and Border Protection, were instructed in a memo to immediately react by reviewing individual cases and preventing eligible immigrants from being put in removal proceedings. Those already in proceedings could be granted deferred action for two years, and then may apply for renewal. They will be given work authorization on a case-by-case basis.

A senior administration official told reporters on the condition of anonymity that most eligible undocumented immigrants will be required to go to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services to provide documents and pay a fee.

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Elise Foley  Posted: 05/08/2012 1:06 pm Updated: 05/08/2012 3:17 pm

A Latino-vote outreach program on Tuesday plans to stress to voters that the president has failed on immigration reform and deported a record number of people, said the Republican National Committee’s top Hispanic outreach coordinator.

But so far, it doesn’t have a message on what Republicans would do on the issue themselves, and specifically the plans of presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney. In fact, coordinator Bettina Inclan told reporters, Romney didn’t have his immigration policy mapped out and the RNC would not yet be able to talk about it to Latino voters.

The RNC quickly tried to take back the statement, telling reporters who tweeted it that Inclan’s words were misunderstood — or that she was misquoted. Kirsten Kukowski, a spokeswoman for the RNC, said message coordination between the RNC and the Romney campaign is still in its early stages because challenger Rick Santorum only dropped out of the race two weeks ago.

Still, the statement by Inclan seemed to indicate the RNC’s lack of message on immigration, despite an increased effort to turn out Latino voters. Below is the full quote from Inclan, that Kukowski would later say was misconstrued:

I think that as a candidate, to my understanding that he’s still deciding what his position on immigration is, so I can’t talk about what his proposal is going to be because I don’t know what Romney exactly — he’s talked about different issues, and what we saw in the Republican primary is that there’s a diverse opinion on how to deal with immigration. I can’t talk about something that I don’t know what his position is.

A few minutes later, after apparently reading tweets from reporters on the phone and in the room, Kukowski said they were misreporting the statement.

“I want to clear something up. As far as what Governor Romney’s positions are on immigration, that is for him and his campaign to talk about, and they will tell you what their policies are,” she said. “In this room right now, and what we do at the RNC from a Hispanic outreach perspective, is on-the-ground community outreach in the Hispanic community.”

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