At One-Year Anniversary of Immigration Actions, Administration Must Vigorously Defend Authority

At One-Year Anniversary of Immigration Actions, Administration Must Vigorously Defend Authority

November 19, 2015

Washington D.C. - Friday, marks the one-year anniversary of President Obama’s announcement of his executive actions on immigration, which at their heart, are first steps towards common-sense reforms to an outdated immigration system.

The series of reforms range from temporary protections for an expanded group of unauthorized young people (expanded DACA) and parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (DAPA), to modernizing and streamlining the visa application process, tonew guidance to better prioritize the immigration agencies’ use of their limited enforcement resources.

While the centerpiece of the executive actions—expanded DACA and DAPA—remains tied up in litigation, the Administration can and should use its uncontested authority to continue refining enforcement priorities and improving the operations and functions of the visa system.  As the deferred action initiatives have become highly-politicized and are yet to achieve their intended goal—keeping families together while ensuring that the government’s enforcement resources are targeted toward real security threats—there is one aspect of these measures that remains unassailable: the President’s authority to take such actions.

Expanded DACA and DAPA are lawful exercises of prosecutorial discretion, the authority to determine enforcement priorities, and the Supreme Court has held that it is well within the executive’s power to decide how and when to enforce the law. States cannot and should not be able to use the courts to raise a policy dispute. The Administration must continue to defend its authority—one that has been used by every Administration since 1956—to shape immigration policy.

Unfortunately, the suspension of the expanded DACA and DAPA initiatives has real-life consequences for the five million immigrants who might qualify for temporary relief from deportation under them. Those who criticize these actions have yet to devise an alternative plan for moving forward on immigration reform. Yet, one year in, the need for meaningful reform—reform that is good for workers, business and families—remains. 

To view our resources, see:

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For more information, contact Wendy Feliz at wfeliz@immcouncil.org or 202-507-7524

Media Contact

Royce Murray, Managing Director of Programs
rmurray@immcouncil.org 

Maria Frausto, Senior Communications Manager 
mfrausto@immcouncil.org

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