What to Watch for in Immigration - Week of November 18, 2013

Are Democrats rooting for the failure of comprehensive immigration reform?  That's what some in the media have theorized.  Could it be that immigration reform will be for Democrats what abortion was for Republicans for so many years?  An issue the party never really takes many positive steps towards resolving, but just by talking about it guarantees support for certain sectors?  Who knows?  Let's just get this passed already.

Is immigration reform delayed or defeated?  With John Boehner's announcement this week that there would be no immigration reform in 2013, many have declare immigration reform dead for the time being.  It makes sense.  Many have felt that if reform didn't happen in 2013, it sure wouldn't happen in 2014, an election year.  Still, others aren't so sure and they have a few good historical examples to back them up.

Lawsuits.  On Friday, civil rights groups filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for a failure to investigate the alleged rape of an immigration who was in the Department's custody.  Needless to say to anyone who has followed the immigration debate for any length of time, but allegations such as these are not uncommon.  Here's hoping they get things figured out soon.

If immigration reform is dead, how will the administration react?  Immigration advocates have long begged President Obama to use his executive powers to bring relief to immigrant communities.  Perhaps the most famous example in recent history is deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA) announced in June 2012.  However, shortly following Boehner's announcement on immigration reform, the Obama administration struck back, directing the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services to extend parole-in-place immigrant spouses, children and parents of U.S. service members, reservists and parents.  While parole-in-place for family members of U.S. military service members has been around for a couple of years, it has only been available to active-duty service men and women.  The change is expected to impact thousands and could be a preview of things to come.

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