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Obama May Use Executive Power to Expand the DREAM Act: Congress Urges Against It

By: Andrew Schneidman
Blog Category: Immigration Reform

In 2012, President Obama used his executive power to enact the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.  The DACA program defers the deportation of any undocumented immigrant aged 16 to 31 who was brought the United States as a child, has either graduated from high school or is enrolled in school, and does not have a criminal record.  The controversial program has since been opposed by Arizona, Texas, and Nebraska and challenged in courts as an unconstitutional executive act.

This year, there is a possibility that President Obama will expand the DACA program to include undocumented immigrants of any age, though he has denied he will take such action.  Nevertheless, some members of Congress are concerned about the possibility of executive action and are pressing their Congressional colleagues to swiftly pass a bipartisan immigration reform law to thwart the President’s control of the immigration process.  The members express that any executive action pursuant to immigration reform jeopardizes Congress’s ability to act in good faith to pass a bipartisan immigration reform law.

If the 113th Congress wants to prevent President Obama from taking this immigration matter into his own hands, then it must quickly agree on immigration reform and pass a law.  Given this Congress’s track record, and I say this in the midst of our government’s shutdown, I think it is unlikely that a bipartisan immigration reform law is passed any time soon.

The opinions expressed herein are strictly those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Widener Journal of Law, Economics & Race. 

Sources:

Brad Plumer, Can Obama Legalize 11 Million Immigrants on his Own?, Washington Post, available at http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/08/22/marco-rubio-says-obama-could-legalize-11-million-immigrants-on-his-own-is-that-right.

Stephen Dinan, Obama Urged Not to Expand Nondeportation Policy for Immigrants, Washington Times, available at http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/oct/10/obama-urged-not-to-expand-nondeportation-policy-fo.

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