Two legislative proposals and a lawsuit joined by 17 governors to block the Executive Action on Immigration were announced by President Barack Obama on November 20th, 2014. The President’s executive decision came after years of legislative inaction in the House of Representatives after the Senate introduced a bipartisan, comprehensive proposal for immigration reform.
By means of Presidential executive authority, the White House is currently working on implementing the mandate on immigration, which could halt mass deportations and give millions of undocumented immigrants the right to be issued identification documents and work permits. One blanket provision of this executive decision seeks to protect undocumented immigrants whose parents brought them to the United States when they were very young; another provision seeks to protect immigrant parents of children whose children were born here. These two blanket provisions regarding family immigration are being targeted by partisan politics.
One bill recently approved by the House of Representatives to block the Executive Action claims that President Obama lacks authority to protect such a large number of immigrants, but political analysts see the bill as extremely far-reaching insofar as denying visa applications filed under the auspice of the Violence Against Women Act. The Senate Majority Leader has already stated that his body of Congress will not vote on this bill, which was introduced by a Republican legislator. Another bill also introduced by a Republican in the House of Representatives does not seek to stop deferred action for deportation; however, it aims to stop the issuance of work permits.
The lawsuit filed by 17 governors, 16 of which are Republicans, challenges President Obama’s legal authority on a Constitutional basis. The leader of the coalition of states against the Executive Action on Immigration is Gregg Abbott, Attorney General for the State of Texas, one of the states with the largest populations of undocumented immigrants. Large sections of the lawsuit essentially echo the dissenting opinions from some Members of Congress in the wake of President Obama’s announcement on immigration. Legal analysts are already pondering on the tangible value of this lawsuit, which seems to be largely symbolic.
Notwithstanding the true validity of the bills and lawsuit mentioned above, they may temporarily affect the provisions of the Executive Action from an administrative point of view, which means that undocumented immigrants who could benefit from the new provisions should stay in touch with their law firms with regard to their status.
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