Monday, November 24, 2014
A good talking point today would be the legality of the Presidents Executive action. The main question, is it constitutional? What the President did was to make a whole new class of beneficiaries. It appears that the one thing that makes President Obama's action legal, is that it is considered 'deferred action'. The President is not saying that he is changing the status of anyone, but what he is saying is that for these particular applicants, we are going to defer action. It appears to be for an indefinite period of time, as up front he states for 3 years, well after the next general election, but the catcher here is that the action can renew. People who fall under deferred action can get a drivers license. What this does not bring is a path to citizenship. Now going back in history, according to the 1986 law, if you have deferred action, you can work. The agency has the authority to issue work permits to anyone who has deferred action. This authority has been around for decades. Reagan used this authority, George W. Bush used it, and it's pretty clear stuff. It appears that the President did do his homework before announcing his plan for illegal immigrants. So there is a little history for you.
Some will say that it is not that clear. First, the President does have broad discretion. But the problem may be just how the President went about this. If the President would have said for example, that we have 11.3 million illegal immigrants, and the department of Homeland Security tells me that I can only deport 400,000 per year but we just don't have the resources, so if the President would have focused on border security, national security or on public safety, stating his case as a resource issue, then maybe that would have been a better way to approach this issue. The President clearly left those ideas out of his speech, and was likely told to do exactly that with his legal council.
Posted in the last article was the President's speech. There were no legal arguments stated in the speech. What do you think? Should President Obama have added legal grounds within his speech for his case for executive action in favor of illegal immigrants? Everyone in the country had the same question in mind before he actually made the speech, including me; "IS this legal?" He did not answer that question in his speech, but let's face it, the President did do his homework here. He is an attorney, a scholar of law, previously serving as a professor in one of the most prestigious schools in the nation - Harvard. The polls may state that he is not doing the will of the people, at least that is what many Republicans are claiming, just to discredit the President. But why didn't he state the reasoning that his own justice department gave him before he decided to go forward with deferred action? I believe that President Obama then would have been completely in the clear, because there is allot of case law that confirms what he is doing is right, but it just begs the proof that it is just, which the Republican party will now bring up over and over again.
The President of the United States is obviously a very smart man. He knows what is coming. He has already played out in his mind all the different kinds of reactions by the Republican party and his opponents. Still, he was given the advice to move forward by his legal counsel, and that is exactly what he did. Will the Supreme Court hear complaints made by Republicans regarding the legality of the Presidents actions. Most likely they will, and this is exactly what the President wants to see happen. Why, because he wants to further point out that he is for the Hispanics and illegals who now have the right to "leave the shadows', as President Obama stated in his speech. The Democratic party will gain this minority vote for the 2016 election, which is something that the winning party MUST have to win the election.
The President gave a speech completely disconnected from the legal grounding, but now I do not believe that it makes any difference, because popular opinion is growing about this Executive Action, and it will definitely be something for the next Democratic candidate for President to run on, and that is immigration.