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Obama & Immigration - On the Edge of a Dilemma

Immigration? President Obama is on the edge of a dilemma. If Mr. Obama does nothing about immigration, he risks losing support among the already disgruntled Latino and immigration advocate communities. On the other hand, the Republican Party has made it abundantly clear that, if he takes any action on his own without the support of Congress, they will attack. It is not certain what form the attack make take. The Republicans (and the conservative media) have been talking about impeachment. Of course, the chances of such action being successful are ultimately zero. They have also been talking about bringing a lawsuit in Federal Court.

My reading of the situation is that the Republicans have been engaged in obstructing every thing the Obama administration has attempted from very beginning. After all, it was Mitch McConnell, (R.-KY) who, in January 2009, told the National Journal "The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president." So, if President Obama were to do nothing on immigration issues, is it likely that the Republicans will suddenly take of the banner of immigration reform? Not likely.

To be certain, President Obama cannot take action that would be permanent. That is the province of Congress. However, he can and should make changes that would significantly expand the sweep of the DACA program implemented June 2012 that granted two-year relief from deportation for those who came to the United States before their 16th birthday (among other criteria).

He could also narrow and require the Department of Homeland Security to adhere to the immigration enforcement priorities detailed in the "Morton Memos" from 2011. In those memos, the then-Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton laid out the agency's immigration priorities. There were three: immigrants posing a national security or public safety risk, recent illegal entrants (meaning those apprehended within three years of coming to the U.S.), and those with prior immigration violations. Sadly, ICE has not been adhering to those memos.

We, at Miley & Brown, P.C., applaud any efforts by the House Republicans to engage in bi-partisan efforts to move immigration reform forward. You can help make this happen by visit us at http://www.mileybrown.com where you can contact Congress to tell them you want immigration reform now.

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