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Eli Kantor is a labor, employment and immigration law attorney. He has been practicing labor, employment and immigration law for more than 36 years. He has been featured in articles about labor, employment and immigration law in the L.A. Times, Business Week.com and Daily Variety. He is a regular columnist for the Daily Journal. Telephone (310)274-8216; eli@elikantorlaw.com. For more information, visit beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com and and beverlyhillsemploymentlaw.com


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Obama Says Congress Could Eliminate Need for His Immigration Actions

New York Times
By Michael D. Shear
December 9, 2014

President Obama urged Congress on Tuesday to approve a legislative overhaul to the nation’s immigration system, telling a small group of activists here that such a move would eliminate the need for his executive actions that shield millions from deportation.
“If you want Congress to be involved in this process, I welcome it,” Mr. Obama said during an appearance before the activists and entrepreneurs. “But you have to pass a bill.”
The president made his remarks to about 60 people at Casa Azafrán, a community center in Nashville that hosts several immigrant-related nonprofit organizations. White House officials praised the city’s community-based programs and government initiatives, saying they are “empowering and engaging new American community leaders.”
Mr. Obama criticized Republicans in the House, saying they repeatedly blocked immigration legislation over the last year and a half. He dismissed critics who said that his actions upset the balance of power between the executive and legislative branches of government.
“This isn’t amnesty or legalization or even a path to citizenship,” he said. “That can only be done by Congress.” To those who ask whether his actions are legal, he said: “I have one answer — Yes, and pass a bill.”
Mr. Obama’s visit to the community center here is part of an effort by the White House to promote his executive actions in the face of Republican criticism that they constitute an abuse of the presidency.
The actions affect as many as five million immigrants who are living in the country illegally. Parents of United States citizens or legal residents will not be threatened with deportation for three years and will be allowed to work legally. The actions also direct immigration agents to focus on criminals and recent border crossers.
Mr. Obama has said he would have preferred not to act unilaterally, but did so because he had become convinced that Republicans in the House would not consider comprehensive legislation that would address the problem.
In answering questions from the audience, Mr. Obama said he did not believe that a future president would be likely to roll back the actions, even if legislation had not been passed to make the changes permanent.
“Any future administration that tried to punish people for doing the right thing, I think, would not have the support of the American people,” he said. “It’s not likely, politically, that they would reverse everything that we have done.”

But he said the remote possibility that another president could try meant that Democrats and their allies should keep pressure on Republicans to pass legislation.

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