Source: Senate GOP Refuses to Strategize Against Obama

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By Joel Gehrke
December 2, 2014 5:55 PM

Senate Republicans had no appetite for discussing how to thwart President Obama’s executive orders on immigration during the conference’s weekly lunch, according to a source familiar with the meeting.

Senator Mike Lee (R., Utah) and Senator David Vitter (R., La.) tried to broach the topic, but were ignored.

“At different times, Lee and Vitter stood up and tried to begin a discussion about what the plan was and asked leadership about what their strategy was to deal with the spending bill and respond to Obama executive amnesty, and the reply was always an effort to try to change the subject to the ozone rule from the EPA or some other issue, and it was just bizarre,” the source said.

“What made it bizarre was that it was like [Lee and Vitter] were standing up and speaking in Latin,” the source continued, saying that other senators would respond to the immigration-related remarks with “a bizarre attempt to segue into a different issue.”

REPUBLICANS LEAVE TOWN WITHOUT A PLAN TO FIGHT OBAMA

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President Obama’s announcement tonight may bring a “constitutional crisis,” in the words of Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID), but Republicans in Congress haven’t the damndest idea what they’ll do about it.
As they departed the House floor, many en route to the airport for a Thanksgiving recess, many GOP lawmakers seemed as interested in explaining why options floated by colleagues from their own party wouldn’t work as denouncing what they describe as an unprecedented power grab by a president they just decimated at the ballot box.
“That’s the hundred million dollar question,” said Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-OH), “How do you stop an inaction? That’s the tough question that I don’t have the answer to today….Just to go a step further: ‘shut the government down.’ That doesn’t stop this inaction. Don’t fund immigration service. That doesn’t stop this inaction. How do you stop this inaction?”
House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers attempted to throw cold water on the idea of using spending bills to prohibit funding for employment documents for illegal aliens, saying that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is funded by fees it collects, inuring itself from a shutdown.
“To alter or change the fee matter, it would take a change of law – an authorization – to change the immigration act that setup the fee structure. It would take an act of Congress,” Rogers told reporters.
Censuring Obama, a non-binding step short of impeachment suggested by top immigration hawk Rep. Steve King (R-IA), is finding quick opposition among more senior members.
“That doesn’t stop the action of the executive order. That’s what we have to be smart about this. I think he wants us to do that. In a really weird way, I think he wants us to be fighting him on a personal level and not focused on the issues, because he got beat on the issues in the November election. If we make this about him – which I think he wants us to, that’s why he’s doing this – it’s a huge distraction on all the policy issues, [like] repealing pieces of Obamacare,” Tiberi said.
One avenue thought to hold promise even by more establishment-type Republicans is legal action, although it could take years to see resolution.
“Ultimately this fight might end up at the Supreme Court,” Tiberi said.
Conservatives have floated a number of plans, beginning with targeting the administration’s ability to use funds to legalize aliens.
They’ve also discussed resolutions of disapproval, censure – an unnamed lawmaker was collecting cosponsors for a yet-to-be-released censure resolution, a colleague said – and even impeachment.
“We need to be evaluating how many of our available weapons we want to use. It’s my belief that we should use every single one in our arsenal. We should challenge the president in court, to the extent his executive order violates any constitutional or federal statutory provisions. We should encourage state and other governments to join in that effort to force the president to obey the law. We should look at our funding mechanisms and pass whatever legislation is necessary and advisable to force the president to obey the law. We should censure the president. If the president’s conduct rises to the level of high crimes and misdemeanors, which is a very high level, then we should consider impeachment,” said Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL).
Sophomore Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) introduced a bill Thursday that attempts to rescind any discretion by the executive branch as it relates to exempting categories of illegal aliens from prosecution and deportation.
“It’s in contrast to the appropriations fix, which is only a short-term fix with an expiration date. This fixes it so that any president from here on out cannot wield his pen, or his phone, to make these changes,” Yoho said.
The many disparate ideas leave Republicans without any clear course of action after the president moves forward. And neither will most of them be present in Washington since Congress has recessed.
Many lawmakers have gone home, others to fundraising events, like several near Boca Raton, FL, where the Republican Governors Association convened a meeting this week. This afternoon, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy is participating in a panel discussion and reception at the Hoover Institute with former Bush Secretary of State Condaleeza Rice.
The lack of a concrete plan may leave Republicans scrambling to respond after the president acts, some lawmakers fear.
“What I’ve seen in my two years here is, everything is crisis management because we don’t get out in front of it. We’re in a football game and we’re worried about the next down. We don’t know where the goalpost is,” said Yoho.

MEXICAN GOV’T PAYING TO HELP SHIELD ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS IN THE U.S. FROM DEPORTATION

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The government of Mexico is paying to help its citizens who are living illegally in the United States avoid deportation.

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The government of Mexico is paying to help its citizens who are living illegally in the United States avoid deportation.
According to a report from National Public Radio, the Mexican government through its 50 consulates around the United States has been helping to fund low-income illegal immigrants to apply for President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA — which shields illegal immigrants from deportation and allows them to work in the U.S.
NPR’s report details the story of Tania Guzman, an illegal immigrant who said the cost of applying for DACA worried her, but she was able to afford it after her pro-bono lawyer from Public Counsel told her she could access financial help from the Mexican Consulate in Los Angeles.
Mexico paid for all Guzman’s attorney fees and application fees, according to NPR. In the end Guzman told NPR she paid just $50.
The report explains that since 2012, the year DACA began, the Mexican Consulate in Los Angeles has assisted more then 260 Mexican illegal immigrants apply for protections under DACA.

Julian Escutia, an official with the Mexican Embassy in Washington, told NPR that it does not keep track of how many illegal immigrants’ DACA applications they fund, and that funding is “on a case-by case basis.”
“Our main objective is the well-being of our nationals wherever they are,” he said. “So what we want for them is that they are successful and really continue contributing to this country [the U.S.],” she told NPR.
Escutia added to NPR that the heated political debate surrounding the program is an issue for the U.S. to deal with.
“We are not entering into the political debate about DACA,” he said. “It’s one option that is available to our nationals, and if they choose to apply for it, we are certainly happy to help them.”
And while the practice may seem inappropriate, it is not illegal. As NPR reports, a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services official said it has “no way of knowing where any fees might have originated.”

SIX MONTHS: 37,477 ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT KIDS RELEASED, 280 DEPORTED

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Obama builds Democratic voting base

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The Obama administration has released a huge majority of illegal immigrant children who poured over the U.S.-Mexico border earlier this year into dozens of tony counties without notifying the public, while deporting just 280, according to new reports.

The Health and Human Services Department released a list of 126 counties 29,890 of the kids were placed into, sometimes with their parents who are also in the United States illegally.

Those counties include some of the most exclusive in the nation, including the Washington suburbs of Fairfax and Loudoun in Virginia and Howard and Montgomery in Maryland. Fairfax received 1,023.

States like California and New York were given large numbers of the unaccompanied children, while President Obama’s home state of Illinois, where experts expected many to go, received only 175, according to the list.

The HHS statistics covered only January to July. Federal officials expect another huge surge of children from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala to begin next week when the temperatures cool. One independent expert said that the second wave this year could include another 30,000 illegal children.

And next year could be even worse. Federal officials who predicted that 90,000 illegals immigrant children will enter the United States this year from Latin America are projecting that to increase to 142,000 next year.

Longtime immigration expert Jessica M. Vaughan said that the tiny number of deportations, which she cited in a report this week, encourages illegal immigrants to rush into the United States believing that they will be able to stay.

“The priority of the administration is to release the individuals to the United States,” said Vaughan, policy director with the Center for Immigration Studies. “They are not trying to persuade people from coming here.”

In its list of county-by-county releases, HHS said that they keep the identities secret. The children are expected to attend future immigration proceedings.