President Obama’s State of the Union Address on Immigration
In his seventh State of the Union speech on January 20, 2015, President Barack Obama said that Congress cannot afford to be “refighting past battles on immigration when we’ve got a system to fix” and stated that he will veto any effort to roll back his executive order, announced last November, to provide relief to millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation. Stating that “it’s possible to shape a law that upholds our tradition as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants,”
President Obama asked the Republican-controlled Congress not to end funding for the Department of Homeland Security. This largely referred to legislation passed in the House tied to the funding of DHS, which expires on February 28, 2015, and would end a 2012 program granting temporary legal protection to hundreds of thousands of children of illegal immigrants. The bill also would block President Obama’s executive order granting similar protections to many of the parents of those children.
The House-passed bill is not expected to survive in the Senate, where the votes appear to be more closely divided and Democrats may have enough votes to filibuster it. President Obama, in his speech, left immigration reform up to lawmakers to propose and negotiate new spending legislation.