According to news reports, President Obama will announce next week a broad overhaul of the nation’s immigration enforcement policy that will protect up to five million unauthorized immigrants from the threat of deportation and provide many of them with work permits.
President Obama will ignore angry protests from Republicans and announce as soon as next week a broad overhaul of the nation’s immigration enforcement system that will protect up to five million unauthorized immigrants from the threat of deportation and provide many of them with work permits, according to administration officials who have direct knowledge of the plan.
Asserting his authority as president to enforce the nation’s laws with discretion, Mr. Obama intends to order changes that will significantly refocus the activities of the government’s 12,000 immigration agents. One key piece of the order, officials said, will allow many parents of children who are American citizens or legal residents to obtain legal work documents and no longer worry about being discovered, separated from their families and sent away.
That part of Mr. Obama’s plan alone could affect as many as 3.3 million people who have been living in the United States illegally for at least five years, according to an analysis by the Migration Policy Institute, an immigration research organization in Washington. But the White House is also considering a stricter policy that would limit the benefits to people who have lived in the country for at least 10 years, or about 2.5 million people.
Expect a political battle to erupt should he act. Washington Post:
The path is built on the long-accepted principle, going at least as far back as the 1970s, that any administration should have wide discretion over how it deals with those who are in this country illegally. Obama, however, is poised to take that leeway significantly farther than before.
The move is certain to bring criticism that Obama has gone too far — ignoring the intent of Congress in passing the nation’s immigration statutes and violating the constitutional requirement that the president “shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.”
But it is unclear whether the courts would be willing to intervene, given their traditional reluctance to get in the middle of disputes between the two other branches of government.
That means Obama will, in essence, be daring Congress to stop him — and betting that it won’t. “They have the ability, the authority, the control to supersede anything I do through my executive authority by simply carrying out their functions over there,” Obama said in an interview with CBS’s “Face the Nation.