Republicans start year with challenge to Obama’s immigration plan

The Republican dominated House opened the year with votes to fund the Department of Homeland Security and attack President Obama’s executive action granting legal status to “dreamers,” and an estimated 4 million undocumented immigrants. The House voted 236-191,on January 14 in favor of funding the Department of Homeland Security with a budget of $39.7 billion, but added amendments which would overturn President Obama’s latest executive order to grant an estimated 4 million undocumented immigrants lawful permanent residency in the United States. Also, it aims to strike down Obama’s 2012 policy that granted work and lawful residency in the U.S. to another 600,000 persons. Cecilia Muñoz, the White House Domestic Policy Director, speaking in an on-the-record press call January 14 with R. Gil Kerlikowske, Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, said that among the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S., those that were brought as children to the United States and who do not know any other country are equally subject to deportation as those who have been convicted of serious crimes under this bill. The bill, according to Democratic leadership and a few conservatives, may not pass through the Senate, which may jeopardize DHS’s chance of receiving funding before the Feb.

Immigrant rights advocates bring protest, Aztec dance, prayer to free detainee in El Paso

El Paso – Alexi Cruz may not have realized he had friends in this border community until he was on the verge of being deported. Cruz, 24, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico who has lived in the U.S. since he was 14 years old, was detained in early November by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) after his car broke down on the way to Arizona. He was on his way from his home in San Antonio to see his mother in Arizona because authorities had apprehended his sister. His wife, Anayanse Garza, said that Cruz sought help after his car broke down in New Mexico near the Arizona border and was questioned by law enforcement officers about his residential status. The Border Patrol was called to pick him up.