President Obama has been warned about enacting immigration reform by members of the Republican party in Congress; however, Senator Barbara Boxer has released a public letter to the president saying that he should ignore the warnings and proceed with taking executive action on the issue.
The four-time senator pointed to a recent study from USC in her letter, which found that the Californian economy would receive an annual injection of $8bn if immigration reform included giving undocumented immigrants a pathway to US citizenship; such action would also create around 900,000 new jobs across the United States.
Boxer also pointed to data from the Center for American Progress and the American Immigration Council, which shows that 11 former presidents, including Republican presidents such as George H W Bush and Ronald Reagan, have over the last 60 years made use of their executive authority to deal with immigration issues and reunite immigrant families. The two presidents who acted alone on the issue were both Republican, with Reagan and Bush giving amnesty to family members not included in the 1986 overhaul of immigration laws ‒ the last seen in the United States. “To me, it doesn’t matter if it’s done December or January … the sooner the better, especially for us here in California,” Boxer says. Republicans in Congress have threatened to thwart the president’s plans, with some suggesting that he could face impeachment.