On November 20 and 21, 2014, President Barack Obama announced a series of administrative reforms of immigration policy, collectively called the Immigration Accountability Executive Action. These reforms center on plans to expand eligibility for the current Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative, and to create a Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) initiative for the parents of U.S citizens and lawful permanent residents who meet certain criteria. Both DACA and DAPA derive from the executive branch’s authority to exercise discretion in the prosecution and enforcement of immigration cases. In both instances, the President has authorized the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to defer for three years the deportation of qualified individuals who pose no threat to the United States in the hope that Congress will finally undertake comprehensive, more permanent immigration reform.
Within hours of the announcement, notorious Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio challenged the President’s plan to defer deportations in a Washington, D.C., federal court. Shortly thereafter, representatives of 17 states filed a similar case in a Brownsville, Texas, federal court, with 9 other states later joining the lawsuit. On the other hand, twelve states and the District of Columbia, 33 U.S. cities (led by New York, Chicago, Houston and Los Angeles), and 27 heads of local law enforcement agencies filed “friend-of-the-court” briefs supporting the President’s plan. The cities supporting the President’s program contain more undocumented immigrants than the states opposing it.
The U.S. Government opposed both lawsuits on the grounds that the President’s actions were a lawful use of prosecutorial discretion, and that the plaintiffs lacked “standing” to bring their cases, since plaintiffs were not harmed. Both arguments are supported by a wide range of law professors and experts.Read more...
Published On: Fri, Dec 19, 2014 | Download File