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Posted by on Jun 27, 2016 in Immigration, Law, Migrants, Politics | 8 comments

What does the U.S. care about?

Compared to their inaction on other agenda items, the U.S. Senate is brilliant.

The one issue it had success with was to block President Obama’s immigration plans by not allowing a hearing or a vote for the ninth Supreme Court justice.

President Obama by an executive order had allowed children born in the U.S. of undocumented parents and their parents to remain the U.S. The reasoning was that the children were born in the U.S., but the parents were still undocumented—some call it the children “anchor” babies—and by returning the parents to their native country, it would impact their children’s lives.

Refusing to discuss the ninth justice left eight justices. The 4–4 vote, liberals v. conservatives, essentially defeated the President’s executive order. The tie vote lets stand rulings by federal appeals courts. The vacancy was created with the death of Associate Justice Antonin Scalia in April.

If Donald Trump were to be elected, he would nominate a right-wing justice who would undo much of President Obama’s policies, tilting the Court to a 5–4¬¬ conservative; all actions would probably be supported by the Republican majority of the Senate.

If Hillary Clinton were to be elected, she would nominate a justice who would tilt the Court liberal. However, with that 5–4 Supreme Court majority and the conservative majority in the Senate, the president’s action would still be blocked or reversed.

Those who would be immediately affected in Pennsylvania would be about 136,000; about 19,000 undocumented children 16 years or younger when they came to the U.S. and 32,000 parents would also be affected, according to the Migrant Policy Institute (MPI). Most of the rest are undocumented workers without children and children born in the U.S., who are legal citizens.

In New Jersey are about 510,000 undocumented individuals, about 200,000 of them children under 16 and their parents.

The President’s order affects about half of the 11.3 million undocumented immigrants. About 60 percent of undocumented immigrants live in six states: California, Florida, New York, New Jersey and Illinois, and Texas. Most of all undocumented workers, 5 percent of the U,S. population, are employed and pay taxes.

The President’s executive order directly affects those who have not entered the U.S. For the next seven months, those in the country would not be deported. However, the President’s powers do include those who come to the U.S., and he has broad discretionary powers, all of which related to immigration would be reversed by Trump.

“In November,” said the President, “Americans are going to have to make a decision about what we care about and who we are.”

[Dr. Brasch is an award-winning journalist and a professor emeritus from the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. He is the author of 20 books; his latest is Fracking America.]

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  • Brownies girl

    Mr. Brasch, I’ve read your article several times — each time absorbing more of the heartfelt strength you displayed in writing it. It’s a great article and thanks for writing it. I’m Canadian — I hang out here (and at other political websites) and so am well aware of what a lot of Americans DON’T care about — or perhaps better said, what they ‘don’t want to see resulting from the upcoming election’. But nobody’s answered you — I wish they had.

    I’d really like to know what they care about too. What’s important to them, not just what they’re against. The positive side, I mean. Maybe in the next few months, after the conventions take place, maybe they’ll be better able to extrapolate on that. Hope they do. Meantime, all best to you — and thanks for the article! BG

    • SteveK

      * * * * *

      Thanks BG… it’s a shame… A shame.
      ’nuff said.

  • Slamfu

    You want to know what people care about? I think the best way to do that is look how they spend their energy and money. If you gave someone $10,000, what do they do with it? They’ll do with it as dictated by their interests.

    Who do they vote for, and why? Do they not vote? Why? And as always, if you really want to get to know someone, find out who their enemies are. Almost no one is clever or subtle enough to make enemies just to set up a smokescreen for their real intentions.

  • “What Does the U.S. Care About?”

    Perhaps a little off-topic, but I believe the U.S. — and Americans — really care about our neighbors to the North.

    Here’s to you and “yours” — the Canadians — BG (John Kerry speaking):

    On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I offer my warm congratulations to the Canadian people on the 149th anniversary of the founding of the Canadian Confederation on July 1.

    We are proud to count ourselves among Canada’s closest friends, partners, and allies. We are also very fortunate to call you our neighbor.

    Our shared border is the envy of nations and is a daily reminder of the intimate economic, security, and people-to-people ties that bind us together and strengthen both our countries.

    In March, the United States was honored to welcome Prime Minister Trudeau to Washington. We were also inspired by the North American Leaders Summit you hosted this week.

    These visits reflect the many interests we share and the broad cooperation that exists between our nations. In particular, I’m grateful for the work we do together to combat climate change, advance our shared clean energy agenda, counter the threat of violent extremism, promote international peace, and uphold democratic values.

    As you celebrate with your families and friends, allow me to wish you Happy Canada Day!

    • Brownies girl

      Thanks Dorian, for your good wishes on this National Birthday! Yes, we are now 149 years old. Seems young, compared to the US, but we’re doing just swell. I have the back doors open to the deck, a soft cool breeze flows though and I can hear the sounds of fireworks going off everywhere. Neighbours still around their back yards and front yards, chatting quietly, toasting the day. We’re all grateful that the huge thunderstorm that drifted through this aft left in time, so as not to spoil the evening’s entertainment. The sky is lit up over the back fence to the west, showing the downtown all lit up. The CNN tower is lit in red and white and it’s stunning to look at — it’s been a great day. We’re hoping for many more.

      Wish all you Yanks a fabulous 4th of July — will be thinking of you and hoping the delicious aroma of BBQ’d whatever floats north so we can enjoy it too. No matter what happens in the next 6 months or so, in your country or mine – one thing is for sure. We will all survive. That’s the hope I cling to. If I could send all of you huge bouquets of red and green maple leaves — I’d do it! Have a wonderful holiday, all best to y’all! BG

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