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Obama’s Proposed Immigration Actions May Be Unpopular but They Are Not Illegal

The vast majority of right-wing conservatives are unhappy with the way President Obama is handling the issue of immigration reform in the United States. One element of the issue that has them particularly displeased is his unapologetic claim that he may use his executive authority to keep undocumented immigrants from being deported. The stalemate status of immigration reform for 2014 seems to be a foregone conclusion at this point and it remains to be seen what plans, if any, the current administration has for addressing it in 2015. But despite the outcry from both sides of the aisle regarding immigration, from a legal standpoint President has not crossed any lines in his moves toward legalizing undocumented immigrants.

Would Obama’s Moves Make Deportation a Thing of the Past?

There has been little indication of what specific actions President Obama may take toward protecting illegals from being sent back to their home countries but there has been speculation that he will order any action against undocumented immigrants who have children that are US citizens or have been consistently employed in the country to be deferred. In essence this would mean that the nearly 5 million illegal immigrants currently in the United States would not be pursued for deportation but would instead be notified that they will not be pursued for a specified period of time and will be allowed to work in the country during the interim.

Public reaction to the President’s proposed actions has been icy at best, with some reports accusing him of engaging in what they call “domestic Caesarism” and committing an “extraordinary abuse of office” that is essentially the equivalent of taking it upon himself to rewrite immigration laws. On the other hand, there are those who offer a reminder that existing laws don’t preclude him from doing the things that is threatening to do. There is a bevy of statutory authority that gives the President sweeping power to take certain actions such as those which would allow undocumented immigrants to remain in the country for as yet unspecified periods of time.

Legalizing and Failing to Prosecute are Not One and the Same

The issuance of work permits, to hear conservatives tell it, would essentially result in the legalization of the undocumented immigrants who receive those permits. Other disagree with this assertion by saying that barring the enactment of laws that would allow such immigrants permanent residence in the United States, subsequent presidents could just as easily nullify those work permits and deport the individuals to whom they were issued.

But when all is said and done, it is more cost effective to allow illegal immigrants to remain in the country than to deport them. The process of deportation is a long, arduous, convoluted, and expensive one. Many feel that if illegals are going to remain in the United States that they should be given the resources they need to establish gainful employment and make a social and monetary contribution to the country rather than rely on government handouts.

If you or someone you know is in need of legal counsel regarding an immigration issue, please contact the immigration attorney at the Lyttle Law Firm in Austin, Texas or call their offices at 512-215-5225.

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