Posts Tagged ‘immigration’

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),

Is Immigration Reform Dead?

November 18th, 2013 No comments

By: Christopher King
Blog Category: Immigration Reform

The prospect that immigration reform will pass Congress anytime in the near future seems to have dimmed significantly as the House gang of seven immigration plan almost certainly will not be introduced this fall as promised.  Although politically the gang of seven immigration plan is significantly to the right of the Senate immigration bill, it has been largely been viewed as a potential compromise that could conceivably garner votes from a number of congressional Republicans.  The demise of this bipartisan plan appears to be due to the lack of support that the Republicans in the gang of seven have received from House Republican leaders.

While there is a small possibility that immigration reform could find its way onto the House agenda for the fall, House Republican leaders appear unwilling to hold a vote on any legislation that is not supported by a majority of House Republicans, further limiting the possibility of real bipartisan reform.  The more likely outcome is that House Republican leaders will simply let immigration reform die and, once again, fail to address a serious national problem that both sides of the aisle agree needs to be resolved.

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.


Greg Sargent, In Blow to Immigration Reform, House ‘Gang of Seven’ Bill Looks Dead, Washington Post (Sept. 11, 2013),

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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

Fall 2013 Blog Topics

October 13th, 2013 No comments

new shield

 The Widener Journal of Law, Economics and Race would like to announce our Fall 2013 Blogs


Our blogs will feature the following four topics:

      1)  Racial Implications of Recent Supreme Court Decisions

2)  Immigration Reform

3)  Race and Healthcare

4)  Minimum Wage and the Economy


New blog entries will be added every Monday. Thank you for supporting the Widener Journal of Law, Economics & Race!

Consideration of Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals Process

December 10th, 2012 No comments

By: *Kayla Butz

Blog Category: Immigration

The Secretary of Homeland Security recently announced the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which will defer removal action for non-citizen children of illegal immigrants for two years if the applicant meets certain requirements.[1]  Some of these requirements include: (1) being under the age of thirty one as of June 15, 2012; (2) having entered the United States before turning sixteen years old; and (3) current enrollment in school, a high school diploma or GED, or honorable discharge from the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States.[2]

The benefits of this program include allowing young adults to remain in the U.S. for the opportunities to work or get an advanced education. Although the applicants for deferred action originate from another countries, they moved to the U.S. at a young age and view this as their “adoptive country.”[3]  The concern with the onset of this program was summarized by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, a Republican from Texas, who stated that “[w]hile potentially millions of illegal immigrants will be permitted to compete with American workers for scarce jobs, there seems to be little if any mechanism in place for vetting fraudulent applications and documentation submitted by illegal immigrants.”[4]  Lastly, some believe this executive order was signed by President Obama as a maneuver to gain the vote in the November election of the fastest-growing immigrant population in the country: Latinos.[5]



*Kayla Butz is currently a staff member on the Widener Journal of Law, Economics and Race on the Harrisburg campus. To learn more about Kayla Butz, click the following link to view her page: Kayla Butz

[1] For more requirements, see Consideration for Childhood Arrivals Process, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, (last visited October 14, 2012).

[2] Id.

[3] Andres Gonzalez & Alicia A. Caldwell, Obama Immigration Program, Begins Taking Applications, Huffington Post, (last visited October 14, 2012).

[4] Id.

[5] CNN Wire Staff, Program Granting Work Rights for Childhood Immigrants Begins Wednesday, (last visited October 14, 2012).

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