This week, one Border Patrol agent was wounded and another was killed in Arizona near the Mexico border. According to news reports, the agents had been responding to a tripped ground sensor in a drug trafficking corridor. Arizona Governor Jan Brewer criticized "the federal failure and political stalemate that has left our border unsecured and our Border Patrol in harm's way."
In June, President Obama announced that his administration would grant temporary amnesty from deportation to young people brought into the U.S. illegally by their parents, if they met certain criteria. To qualify for the program, illegal immigrants must be under 31 years old and have come to the U.S. before they were 16. Applicants are required to show that they have lived here continuously since June 15, 2007, and be currently in school or have earned a high school diploma, or have been honorably discharged from the military. Additionally, they must pass a background check to show they do not have any significant criminal record or pose a threat to national security.
Additionally, in July, it was announced that the U.S. Customs and Border Protection is closing 9 border patrol stations in California, Montana, Idaho and Texas. The stations were reportedly closed in order to reassign agents to higher-priority areas closer to the border.
Opponents of these decisions have criticized the administration for thwarting Congress' constitutional authority to enact laws regarding immigration, including whether taxpayers would be responsible for covering the cost of the deferred deportation program, how the Department of Homeland Security will prevent fraud and abuse in the process of verifying applications, and how officials would be able to continue border security and enforce federal immigration laws.
Question of the week: Which immigration reform proposals do you support? (Multi-Answer)
( ) Stricter enforcement of existing laws combating illegal immigration
( ) Enhanced border security
( ) Focusing more resources on border states
( ) Allowing states to enact immigration laws
( ) Making it easier for illegal immigrants to obtain citizenship
( ) Enhanced focus on deportation of illegal immigrants
( ) Granting amnesty to the children of illegal immigrants
( ) Ending birthright citizenship amnesty
( ) Eliminating the per-country caps on employment-based green cards
( ) Requiring all U.S. employers to use E-Verify
( ) Providing green cards for foreign graduates of U.S. universities with advanced degrees in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).
( ) Decreasing the immigration application backlog
( ) Easing the adoption process for foreign children adopted by U.S. citizens
( ) Other (share your thoughts below)