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Former Attorney General Comments on Obama’s Executive Action

By now, we all remember that President Obama used his executive powers to announce and implement the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) back in June 2012. DACA beneficiaries are able to legally remain in the United States without fear of deportation proceedings against them and are also eligible to legally work as well through employment authorization.

According to the President, he is now considering a DACA like approach to a much broader class of people.  Most agree that the President as the power and authority to convey immigration benefits on certain individuals on a case by case basis.  Others, like former Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez, question whether the President has this authority over a broad class of individuals

The key argument is how far the President can take his discretion in exercising control over the immigration laws of the United States.  Gonzalez argues that executive action is meant to be temporary and subject to constitutional limitations and certainly cannot address all the immigration policy issues.

Gonzalez says that the starting point to fix the Nation’s immigration system is, enforcement.  Securing the border, interior enforcement and workplace enforcement.  He favors a solution that will root out the undocumented and deport them, rather than realize they are here under a broken system and not penalize them and their families for it. Gonzalez advocates no breaks for visa overstays or what he calls short-term immigration violators.

Gonzalez and his supports offer a harsh approach to the immigration problem facing the government.  They clearly do not wish to convey any sort of status to the undocumented and argue that the President does not have the authority to do so without Congressional approval.

One silver lining in Mr. Gonzalez’s position is that he believes that the Immigration and Nationality Act needs updating including, but not limited to, bringing back the 245i law that allows immigrants who arrived illegally to adjust their status without having to leave the United States.

Read the OP ED HERE.