Saturday, February 21, 2015

Why Obama’s Immigration Order Was Blocked

The injunction isn’t about prosecutorial discretion. It is about granting illegal aliens benefits not allowed by law.
Late Monday night, a federal district court in Brownsville, Texas, entered an order prohibiting enforcement of the Obama administration’s program granting lawful status to some four million or five million undocumented aliens. Administration supporters immediately filled the airwaves with claims that the decision was a political stunt by a George W. Bush -appointed judge and would quickly be reversed.
Read the Court Opinion HERE
They should read U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen ’s order.
The 123-page memorandum opinion carefully lays out the legal case against the program, concluding that the Obama administration lacks statutory authority to change the law without congressional action, and that the administration did not comply with the minimal procedural requirements of public notice and comment under the Administrative Procedure Act.
The program, called “Deferred Action for Parents of Americans” (DAPA), grants work authorization, Social Security eligibility, and eligibility for important federal and state benefits to virtually all aliens who have been in the U.S. since 2010, had a baby in this country, and have not committed felonies. The program was to go into effect Wednesday.
Under the Immigration and Naturalization Act, undocumented-immigrant parents of U.S. citizens are required to wait until the child turns 21, and then must leave the country for 10 years before applying for a change of immigration status on account of that child. Those requirements have been part of statutory law for 60 years. DAPA dispensed with those requirements for an estimated 4.3 million persons.
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The Obama administration argued that DAPA is a routine application of “prosecutorial discretion”—the authority of executive officials to set priorities for enforcement of the law and to refrain from enforcement in cases where the public interest is least urgent. The district court recognized, however, that prosecutorial discretion is limited to nonenforcement and doesn’t entitle the executive branch to grant affirmative benefits such as work permits and welfare without statutory authority and notice-and-comment rule-making.
As the court explained, “DHS has not instructed its officers to merely refrain from arresting, ordering the removal of, or prosecuting unlawfully-present aliens.” Instead the department “has enacted a wide-ranging program that awards legal presence, to individuals Congress has deemed deportable or removable, as well as the ability to obtain Social Security numbers, work authorization permits, and the ability to travel.”
Read the rest of the story HERE.

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