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Law Professors to Obama: Legal to Include Parents of DREAMers in Executive Action

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Recently, more than a hundred law professors published a letter emphasizing President Obama’s legal authority to announce executive action, stressing the executive branch’s long history of precedent and explaining the concept of prosecutorial discretion.

Today, four of those professors have released another letter saying that it would be legal for Obama’s action to go even further, by also covering the undocumented parents of DREAMers.  As they wrote, “there is no legal requirement that the executive branch limit deferred action or any other exercise of prosecutorial discretion to individuals whose dependents are lawfully present in the United States.”

The story at NBC News continued:

The lawyers said they were not taking a position on who should have been included in the president’s executive action. But they insisted that the president was not limited in using prosecutorial discretion by whether an immigrant’s children are lawful residents or citizens. Such decisions “are policy choices, not legal constraints,” the lawyers said.

The President’s current executive action will broaden DACA (the program for DREAMers) and protect the undocumented parents of US citizens and legal residents.  But it will not cover the undocumented parents of DREAMers, something that President Obama continues to be criticized about.

Signing today’s letter were Profs. Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia, Pennsylvania State Dickinson School of Law; Stephen Legomsky, Washington University School of Law; Hiroshi Motomura, University of California, Los Angeles School of Law and Michael Olivas, University of Houston Law Center.

Read their letter below:

Wh Letter Final November 20142