Friday, November 21, 2014

BEHIND THE RHETORIC, READ: Obama's Immigration-Related Executive Actions CANNOT Apply To Parents of DACA Recipients (DREAMers), Dept. Of Justice Memo Analyzing Legal Basis Determines

(This article contributed by Arizona attorney Paul Weich.)

Behind the rhetoric, the White House has released two Presidential memoranda regarding immigration today, and it took the somewhat unusual step of releasing the Office of Legal Counsel memo analyzing the legal bases for the executive actions.

In that 32 1/2 page memo (below), dated Wedenesday, Karl R. Thompson - the Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Counsel - determines that the Department of Homeland Security's proposed prioritization and deferred prosecution "for parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents WOULD be legally permissible", but that similar action for parents of DACA recipients WOULD NOT be permissible.

The memo's logic for not including parents of DACA recipients is chiefly that DACA recipients themselves are here under deferred action and have no legal status; therefore, the family unity policy of U.S. immigration law would not have a foundation to grant the parents deferred action.

As for the executive orders themselves, the White House website has posted two Presidential Memoranda, but no far-reaching Executive Orders.  The Memoranda (below) establish a White House Task Force on New Americans, and directing various agencies to come up with recommendations for "modernizing and streamlining the U.S. Immigrant visa system."

(This article contributed by Arizona attorney Paul Weich.)

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