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12/05/14 | Immigration Council Strongly Reaffirms Research on Reagan-Bush Family Fairness Policy

Washington D.C. - This week, the Washington Post issued another editorial in its campaign against President Obama’s decision to authorize temporary deportation relief for several million undocumented parents of U.S citizen children. In particular, the Post argues that there is no historical precedent for President Obama’s action, discounting the parallel that the President and many others have drawn between past executive actions, such as the Family Fairness program instituted by Presidents Reagan and Bush, Sr. In fact, the Post called this analogy indefensible, essentially arguing that supporters of the Immigration Accountability Executive Action were attempting to recast history in an exaggerated attempt to justify the President’s overreach. The opposite is true. As the first organization to publicly lay out the case for the strong precedent for executive action in immigration, we believe it is important to set the Post, and the record, straight on the political significance of the Family Fairness program and why actions from almost a quarter of a century ago matter today.

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11/21/14 | American Immigration Council Executive Director, Ben Johnson Comments on Executive Action

Washington D.C. - Ben Johnson, Executive Director of the American Immigration Council offers the following quotes on the policies released yesterday by the Obama Administration:

What this all means: "After decades of congressional neglect, President Obama took a crucial and courageous step toward reforming our immigration system. He announced that he will provide immediate relief for many of those impacted by of our broken system, and he is offering Congress an architecture for the permanent reforms that our country desperately needs."

Legality of the Action: "Both the Courts and current immigration law empower the Department of Homeland Security to make choices about immigration enforcement. Since at least 1956, every U.S. President has granted temporary immigration relief to one or more groups in need of assistance. Like his predecessors, President Obama is not providing a permanent legal status to anyone – only Congress can do that."

Economic Benefits of this Executive Action: "The majority of economic literature has long-pointed to the fact that when workers work legally, they earn more and spend more, thereby growing the economy and expanding the labor market. Their tax contributions also increase and positively impact both state and federal coffers.  Bringing millions of workers who are already living and working here out of the shadows and into the full, open economy will be good for American workers and for local economies around the nation."

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11/20/14 | President Provides Immediate Relief, Creates Architecture for Reform

Washington D.C. - After decades of congressional neglect, tonight President Obama took a crucial and courageous step toward reforming our immigration system. He announced that he will provide immediate relief for many of those impacted by of our broken system, and he is offering Congress an architecture for the permanent reforms that our country desperately needs.

Under the new policies announced, the Obama Administration will build on the successful Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program by providing temporary relief for the parents of U.S. Citizens and lawful permanent residents. The new program, to be called Deferred Action for Parents (DAP), will ensure that millions of U.S. Citizen and lawful permanent resident children will remain unified with their parents. The President also announced new enforcement policies and steps to improve the adjudication of business and family visas.  

Mindful that the full impact of the President’s announcement will reveal itself in the months ahead, the American Immigration Council will keep a close watch over how the agencies administer these new policies. We will work to ensure that they are implemented in a way that respects fundamental principles of fairness and due process. 

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The Council in the News

Patrick Taurel, Legal Fellow at the American Immigration Council, was recently quoted in the Washington Post article "Obama’s 2012 DACA move offers a window into pros and cons of executive action."

The article discusses the successful Deferred Action for Childhood Arrrivals (DACA) program, the lessons learned from it, and the need for Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform.

“We know it [DACA] has made a tremendous beneficial impact in the lives of hundreds of thousands of people,’’ said Patrick Taurel, a legal fellow at the American Immigration Council, a pro-immigration group. “But it’s not enough. We ultimately need Congress to step in and create a permanent solution.’’

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Washington Post | 12/01/14

Citing a report by the American Immigration Council detailing 36 examples of executive actons taken on immigration by every president since 1956, the Associated Press highlighted executive actions taken by Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush to shield immigrants from deportation.

Mark Noferi, Enforcement Fellow at the American Immigration Council, was also quoted in the article on the similarities between President Obama's possible executive order on immigration:

"It's a striking parallel," said Mark Noferi of the pro-immigration American Immigration Council. "Bush Sr. went big at the time. He protected about 40 percent of the unauthorized population. Back then that was up to 1.5 million. Today that would be about 5 million."

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Associated Press | 11/15/14

Highlighting data from the American Immigration Council's report "Executive Grants of Temporary Immigration Relief, 1956-Present" NBC News Latino covered the historical precedent of executive action on immigration in the article "Report: Since Eisenhower, Executive Action Used for Immigration":

When President Barack Obama takes executive action to make immigration reforms, he will be following the lead of several other presidents, an immigration group said in a recently released report.

The report by the American Immigration Council states that every U.S. president since at least 1956 has granted temporary immigration relief of some form.

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NBC News | 10/06/14