Tag Archives: executive action

President Obama Outlines, Defends Gun Control Executive Orders

On Tuesday, President Obama announced and outlined the executive orders that he will sign to unilaterally implement new gun control regulations.

Each time this comes up, we are fed the excuse that common-sense reforms like background checks might not have stopped the last massacre, or the one before that, or the one before that, so why bother trying. I reject that thinking,” said President Obama in a White House address according to CNN.

He added, “We know we can’t stop every act of violence, every act of evil in the world. But maybe we could try to stop one act of evil, one act of violence.

Obama’s orders will mandate that anyone who sells firearms at all, including online or at gun shows, obtain a license and perform background checks. The New York Times notes that the White House claims that this rule could even affect individuals selling only one or two guns.

[RELATED: New California Law Allows Seizure of Legal Guns Without Notice in 2016]

Another order will mandate background checks when guns are purchased through a trust or corporation.

Obama’s executive actions include steps that he claims will improve criminal record sharing between states to beef up the nation’s background check system. He will also hire 200 more ATF agents and over 230 more National Instant Criminal Background Check System examiners to enforce gun regulations.

The Social Security Administration will also begin analyzing recipients of mental health disability payments to determine if their gun rights should be suspended.

[RELATED: President Obama to Announce Executive Action for Gun Control]

Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan issued a statement on the orders and said, “From day one, the president has never respected the right to safe and legal gun ownership that our nation has valued since its founding. He knows full well that the law already says that people who make their living selling firearms must be licensed, regardless of venue. Still, rather than focus on criminals and terrorists, he goes after the most law-abiding of citizens. His words and actions amount to a form of intimidation that undermines liberty.

Ryan continued, “His executive order will no doubt be challenged in the courts. Ultimately, everything the president has done can be overturned by a Republican president, which is another reason we must win in November.”

President Obama said in his address, “Congress still needs to act. … Because once Congress gets on board with common-sense gun safety measures, we can reduce gun violence a whole lot. But we also can’t wait. Until we have the Congress that’s in line with the majority of Americans, there are actions within my legal authority that we can take to help reduce gun violence and save more lives.

The Blaze captured screenshots of a White House fact sheet outlining the executive actions in detail, which can be seen below.

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Senate Democrats Agree to DHS Funding Bill to Protect Obama’s Immigration Order

On Wednesday, the Senate voted 98-2 on a bill that would continue to fund the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The bill, which comes three days before a partial DHS shutdown, has created controversy between Democrats and Republicans in the Senate, and was only agreed upon after Majority Leader, Republican Mitch McConnell, removed provisions added by the House that would have reversed President Obama’s executive immigration action.

The Hill reported that the two votes against the bill were from Republican Senators James Inhofe of Oklahoma and Jeff Sessions of Alabama.

Senate Minority Leader, Democrat Harry Reid, called the bill a “clean Homeland Security funding substitute,” and said that Democrats in the Senate would only support it on the condition that it did not reverse Obama’s immigration order.

According to the Huffington Post, under the agreement presented by McConnell, the Senate will “resolve the DHS funding issue and then vote on a separate bill” from Republican Senator Susan Collins “to block Obama’s executive actions.

The Associated Press noted that the bill will now be sent to the House, where some conservatives called the new plan a “surrender to the White House.”

The Hill reported that several Republicans criticized this “clean” plan, and many of them vowed they would “not vote to fund agencies that would be carrying out Obama’s immigration order.”

As previously reported, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson addressed the possibility of a shutdown, while on Meet the Press on Sunday. While also commenting on threats made against the Mall of America by Islamist militants in Somalia, Johnson said it was “bizarre and absurd” that the U.S. government was having this discussion “in these challenging times.”

Following Johnson’s comments, DHS spokeswoman Marsha Catron released a statement admitting that the department was not “aware of any specific, credible plot against the Mall of America or any other domestic commercial shopping center.”

DHS Delays Funding on Obama’s Immigration Plan after TX Judge Grants Injunction

Following a temporary restraining order from a federal judge in Texas on Monday, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced on Tuesday that it will not go forward with its original plan to implement President Obama’s executive immigration order on Wednesday.

The New York Times reported that the injunction, which was filed by judge Andrew Hanen of the Federal District Court for the Southern District of Texas, “prohibited the Obama administration from carrying out programs the president announced on Nov. 20 that would offer protection from deportation and work permits to as many as five million undocumented immigrants.”

Texas is not alone in its efforts to halt Obama’s executive order, and is part of a coalition of 26 states that have filed a lawsuit against the federal government to block the order on immigration.

According to the Huffington Post, while the injunction is “not a final ruling on the constitutionality of Obama’s action,” it will “prevent the policies from moving forward as the lawsuit proceeds.

DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson said that although he “strongly disagrees” with the injunction, the DHS recognizes that it “must comply” and will suspend the expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, along with the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) program.

“Accordingly, the Department of Homeland Security will not begin accepting requests for the expansion of DACA tomorrow, February 18, as originally planned,” said Johnson. “Until further notice, we will also suspend the plan to accept requests for DAPA.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky, said that Senate Democrats, “especially those who’ve voiced opposition to the president’s executive overreach,” should end their “partisan filibuster” of DHS funding.

Senator Chuck Schumer, a Democrat from New York, said that he felt this ruling was “very unlikely to be upheld.

It’s perfectly appropriate to take this issue to court,” said Schumer. “But it is completely unacceptable for Republicans to hold up funding for the Department of Homeland Security while the case wends its way through the legal system.”

House Speaker John Boehner, a Republican from Ohio, said he will continue to “follow the case as it moves through the legal process.”

The president said 22 times he did not have the authority to take the very action on immigration he eventually did, so it is no surprise that at least one court has agreed,” said Boehner. “Hopefully, Senate Democrats who claim to oppose this executive overreach will now let the Senate begin debate on a bill to fund the Homeland Security department.”

In a video from Reuters, Obama addressed the injunction, saying that he disagrees with Hanen’s ruling and the Justice Department will appeal:

New study finds more non-Mexicans are caught entering US

The Pew Research Center released a report which has found, for the first time in over 60 years, the Border Patrol has captured more non-Mexican immigrants crossing the Mexican-American border than Mexican immigrants.

The number of non-Mexican immigrants who were captured totaled 257,000 while the number of Mexican immigrants captured was slightly less, at 229,000.

This is a huge shift in numbers compared to the year 2007 when close to 809,000 Mexican immigrants were captured while attempting to cross the border, as compared to the 68,000 non-Mexican immigrants who were captured.

Jens Manuel Krogstad, co-author of the Pew report, told VICE News, “It is a pretty striking milestone… It’s the first time on record this has happened.”

What the research also found was the number of Mexican immigrants coming to America illegally seemed to drop drastically around the 2008 recession.

That’s been for a variety of reasons,” said Krogstad. “Some of them are economic, there are fewer jobs in the US, and economic conditions in Mexico also contributed. Also, there’s increased border enforcement.”

Another reason for the increase in non-Mexican immigrants is attributed to the number of children from other Central and South American countries who have made the trek to America. Some experts are claiming the violence in these countries is driving some immigrants out of their homelands.

Wendy Feliz, a spokeswoman for the American Immigration Council, said, “It’s no surprise given how violent it’s gotten in Central America that those numbers are up… It used to be all economic reasons, now it’s gotten to the point where people are actually seeking safety.”

The number of child immigrants coming to America has sparked a lot of debate in DC and across the country about what to do with the children.

In November, President Obama passed an executive action which relieves about 4 million of the 11 million immigrants in America from the threat of deportation.