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District Court Judge Opines on Constitutionality of Immigration Actions Without Hearing or Even a Lawsuit

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Immigration Law Experts Available to Explain What His Unsolicited Opinion Does and Does NOT Mean

In the wake of the President’s recent action on immigration, there has been much attention surrounding the legality of such administrative relief. Today, a District Court in Pennsylvania became the first to issue a ruling on the action. While the court declared President Obama’s actions unconstitutional, David Leopold, the former President of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), argues that the case actually has no impact on the legal standing of the Administration’s actions:

The case in Pennsylvania is not about President Obama’s immigration executive actions, it’s a criminal case involving a defendant who pled guilty to illegal reentry after deportation, a federal felony.  The issue before the judge had nothing to do with whether or not the defendant qualified for a deportation reprieve under President Obama’s executive actions—he clearly did not—it was the appropriate sentence to be imposed it light of his guilty plea.  It’s shocking that a federal judge would use an unrelated criminal case to take it upon himself to declare the lawful, discretionary decisions of a sitting President unconstitutional. 

In regards to public reaction to the ruling, Leopold added:

I’m confident that this ill-advised and poorly reasoned opinion will be corrected by the Court of Appeals. It is important to note that the judge did not issue an injunction against the executive actions — so the decision does not do anything to stop Obama’s actions from being implemented, for now. The public should rest assured that President Obama’s executive actions are unassailably legal and today’s order will be corrected by responsible judicial oversight.