Posts Tagged ‘Government Shutdown’

Government Shutdown Standing in the Way of Immigration Reform

January 13th, 2014 No comments

By: Joesph Squadroni
Blog Category: Immigration Reform

Advocates of getting a comprehensive immigration reform billed passed in the House of Representatives in 2013 saw their hopes dashed because of the government shutdown.  Prior to the shutdown, reform of the nation’s immigration laws seemed promising with more and more House Republicans advancing pro-reform positions and turning mere rhetoric into action.  That momentum has since died down however, as attention turned toward raising the debt ceiling and ending the shutdown.

Aside from the government shutdown, another issue preventing a reform bill from passing the House is the inclusion of an amnesty provision. Under this provision, current illegal immigrants would be provided a pathway to becoming a citizen—something to which many challengers to immigration reform are diametrically opposed.[1]  Whatever the reasons may be for the delay in getting immigration reform passed, the consequences of not doing so remain the same.  This year is an election year for many members of Congress, and the longer it takes to reform immigration laws, the worse those running for reelection will fare in the eyes of the Latino community—the “fastest growing slice of the electorate.”[2]  On a more human level, an estimated 1,120 undocumented persons are deported from the country each day.[3]  Many of these people have spent the bulk of their lives in this country, raising families here, and would benefit greatly from immigration reform.  Each day this issue goes unresolved is another day they risk deportation.

The opinions expressed herein are strictly those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Widener Journal of Law, Economics & Race.

[1] Laura Matthews, 2013 Immigration Reform: Another Casualty of Government Shutdown?, International Business Times , (Oct. 9, 2013),

[2] Pili Tobar, By the Numbers: Key Immigration-Related Promises & Consequences, America’s Voice, (Oct. 10, 2013),

[3] Id.

National Day of Immigrant Dignity and Respect

December 16th, 2013 No comments

By: Konstantinos Patsiopoulos
Blog Category: Immigration Reform

On October 5, 2013, over 50,000 people nationwide congregated to advocate for immigration reform.  However, their intended audience, Congress, was likely side-tracked by the higher priority of ending the federal government shutdown.  Nevertheless, that did not stop these advocates from rallying “at more than 150 sites in 40 states” on a day that they designated as “National Day of Immigrant Dignity and Respect.”  Immigrant groups rallied from Los Angeles to Boston and all the way to Rogers, Arkansas, all carrying the same message, “[w]e don’t want any more deportations.”

In an effort to construct a pathway for immigrants to obtain citizenship, Democrats in the House of Representatives introduced a bill that included “a path to citizenship for most of an estimated 11.7 million immigrants in the country illegally.”  However, the bipartisan House failed to attract any Republican support, thus leaving immigration advocates with another hurdle to surmount while continuing on their pathway to citizenship.  Yet, as evidenced by the “Si, se puede” (“Yes, we can”) chants of the Californian advocates, immigrants remain optimistic that a resolution is on the horizon.

The opinions expressed herein are strictly those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Widener Journal of Law, Economics & Race.  


Julia Preston, Thousand Rally Nationwide in Support of an Immigration Overhaul, New York Times (October 5, 2013),

Obama May Use Executive Power to Expand the DREAM Act: Congress Urges Against It

October 21st, 2013 No comments

By: Andrew Schneidman
Blog Category: Immigration Reform

In 2012, President Obama used his executive power to enact the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.  The DACA program defers the deportation of any undocumented immigrant aged 16 to 31 who was brought the United States as a child, has either graduated from high school or is enrolled in school, and does not have a criminal record.  The controversial program has since been opposed by Arizona, Texas, and Nebraska and challenged in courts as an unconstitutional executive act.

This year, there is a possibility that President Obama will expand the DACA program to include undocumented immigrants of any age, though he has denied he will take such action.  Nevertheless, some members of Congress are concerned about the possibility of executive action and are pressing their Congressional colleagues to swiftly pass a bipartisan immigration reform law to thwart the President’s control of the immigration process.  The members express that any executive action pursuant to immigration reform jeopardizes Congress’s ability to act in good faith to pass a bipartisan immigration reform law.

If the 113th Congress wants to prevent President Obama from taking this immigration matter into his own hands, then it must quickly agree on immigration reform and pass a law.  Given this Congress’s track record, and I say this in the midst of our government’s shutdown, I think it is unlikely that a bipartisan immigration reform law is passed any time soon.

The opinions expressed herein are strictly those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Widener Journal of Law, Economics & Race. 


Brad Plumer, Can Obama Legalize 11 Million Immigrants on his Own?, Washington Post, available at

Stephen Dinan, Obama Urged Not to Expand Nondeportation Policy for Immigrants, Washington Times, available at