Call Us for a Consultation(847) 564-0712
Call Now: (847) 564-0712

What Happened to Immigration Reform in State of the Union Address?

Written By The Shapiro Law Group on February 06, 2015

In the past few months, there have been several positive developments in terms of immigration reform, most notably the President’s executive actions announced last November. As we have discussed here and here, the President expanded eligibility for the Deferred Childhood Action Program (DACA), expanded eligibility for deferred action to parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (DAPA), and revised deportation policies, and among other measures designed to improve the lives of millions of immigrants in this country.

Nonetheless, President Obama only made a briefly mentioned immigration reform in his State of the Union address on January 19, 2015, stating the following:

“Yes, passions still fly on immigration, but surely we can all see something of ourselves in the striving young student, and agree that no one benefits when a hardworking mom is taken from her child, and that it’s possible to shape a law that upholds our tradition as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants.”

As this CNN article points out, paying mere lip service to immigration reform stands in stark contrast to his State of the Union address in 2013 when it called on Congress to “get this done.” The CNN article speculates that his lack of attention to immigration reform in the address may be due to his recent executive actions.

“On this issue, however, Obama may be feeling less urgency because he’s already done some of the work on his own, with his executive action delaying deportations for millions of immigrant families last year. But the omission underscores what a prickly subject it remains politically, one that’s already the center of another spending fight on Capitol Hill that will come to a head next month.”

As we reported last month, the President’s executive actions are not necessarily enough to stand on their own and will require legislative action to take full effect.  The Wall Street Journal recently reported that House Republicans plan to “vote in the coming week on an expansive rollback of President Barack Obama’s immigration policy, subjecting more illegal immigrants to deportation and unraveling policies that prioritize removing criminals and recent border crossers.” Accordingly, the implementation of the executive actions is still somewhat uncertain, and we will continue to monitor any developments.

Contact an Immigration Lawyer

The Chicago immigration attorney at the Shapiro Law Group stands ready and able to help foreign nationals seek deferred action or obtain the necessary immigration documents that they need. We support immigration reform, which is designed to make the immigration system more efficient and effective. If you would like additional information about the President’s executive orders on immigration, contact our office at (847)564-0712 to speak with an immigration attorney.