As the White House awaits a recommendation from the Director of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson, in response to President’s Obama’s request that Johnson provide him with his options for curtailing deportations of undocumented aliens, a debate has ensued concerning how much authority the President has to act without Congressional involvement and what political effect any actions he may take may in fact have. The concern among the President’s advisers stem from statements made by Republican members in the House that predicate their reluctance to move forward on a comprehensive immigration reform package – as the Senate did last year – on the notion that they cannot trust the President to enforce immigration laws in the country. Ironically at the same time, immigration activists view President Obama’s record on deportations as proof that he is the “deporter-in-chief.
In some ways this reprises the period prior to the inception of DACA in 2012. At the time the President claimed that he lacked the authority to curtail deportations. After meeting with activists and consulting legal counsel, he approved a Homeland Security directive to commence the deferred action program permitting certain DREAMers the chance to stay in the country and obtain a temporary work permit. Now, according to an article in the New York Times, officials claim that Homeland Security will recommend new guidelines for law enforcement agents to make it clear that immigrants who are part of a family settled in this country should not be priorities for deportation, especially if the family includes American citizens. Other options include limiting enforcement to focus on criminals and recent border crossers, and away from people with clean records.
Such a policy would likely affect tens of thousands of undocumented aliens. It may also spur some Republicans to seek judicial intervention to stop any new limits on deportations. But many legal scholars predict courts would not place limits on the Executive Branch’s authority to prioritize deportation cases. However, some Democrats, including Senator Chuck Schumer from New York, predict that, if the President does order new limitations on who should be deported from the country, the chances to achieve comprehensive immigration reform will diminish greatly.
The Shulman Law Group endeavors to ensure its clients be kept abreast of all significant developments relating to the process of naturalization to the United States. Edward Shulman, Esq, founder of The Shulman Law Group, LLC is a national speaker for the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). AILA is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, and to advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice. In the course of Mr. Shulman’s involvement with AILA, he has been dedicated to educating other immigration attorneys about the import of helping intending immigrants to navigate a new cultural system. He meticulously follows all of the developments occurring in the battle over immigration reform so that he will be prepared to effectively assist his clients obtain residency if a new system is enacted.