The White House is still weeks away from finalizing President Barack Obama's recently announced immigration executive orders, but that hasn't stopped Republicans from calling the moves unconstitutional, or immigrant-rights activists from saying he hasn't gone far enough.
Immigration advocacy groups meeting with the president told the Associated Press that Obama is considering executive orders that would potentially defer deportations or grant work permits to millions of undocumented immigrants. Some possibilities include expanding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program to the parents of DACA recipients (up to 1 million people) or the parents of children born in the U.S. (approximately 3.8 million people).
In the current political environment, Republicans will see this as one more action by a lawless president. According to Politico, legal experts know Republicans don't have a legal case against the president, because they don't have standing — meaning they can't prove that helping undocumented immigrants hurts them.
Of course, that doesn't dampen the urge to sue. “This notion of extending DACA to parents, who were the ones who consciously violated the law, strikes me as ridiculous,” Jan Ting, a lawyer and former immigration official under President Bush, told Politico. Ting argued that Obama “has defaulted on his constitutional obligation to faithfully execute the laws.”
But immigrant-rights activists aren't happy, either. Earlier this month Obama told advocates to "right-size" their expectations of his executive order, something no one wanted to hear after years of waiting for the president to stop waiting for Congress. According to the Associated Press, activists want anyone who would have been granted a path to citizenship under the Senate's immigration reform bill to be included in an executive action — about 9 million people. Those are not right-sized expectations.
Members of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network were also calling for the president to go further, and for the president to meet with actual undocumented immigrants, not just advocacy groups. Politico reported Monday that the organization visited the Center for American Progress and other groups, demanding they boycott immigration meetings with the president until he expanded his meeting pool. “We have one shot to convince him to do the right thing,” read a letter the group sent out to advocacy groups. "It is clear that the people best qualified to make the case to the President are those immigrants who are harmed by status quo.” Not surprisingly, none of the groups committed to a boycott.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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