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Ahead of Court Decision on Executive Action, Support for the President’s Immigration Policies Grows

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As we await a decision from Federal Judge Andrew Hanenon the Republican state legal challenge to President’s Obama’s immigration actions, more and more sensible voices continue to weigh in with their analysis of the law and policy.

Yesterday David Leopold, former president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), took to the pages of the Huffington Post to explain why Texas’s lawsuit lacks legal standing and deserves to be thrown out entirely.  Leopold explains:

First, and perhaps most importantly, the State of Texas has filed a bogus complaint; it reads more like a factually inaccurate press release than a legal document. It fails to describe exactly how the plaintiff states are or will be concretely harmed by the temporary deportation reprieves; especially when the Administration has used all resources allocated to it annually by Congress to detain and deport undocumented immigrants — approximately 400,000 people a year — leading some to label President Obama the ‘deporter-in-chief.’…

…Second, there’s no question Judge Hanen is extremely frustrated with DHS’s policy of reuniting unaccompanied minors with their undocumented parents in the U.S. But his opinion in Navara-Martinez was just that, an opinion. While reasonable minds may differ as to the prudence of using a judicial forum to express such views, nothing Judge Hanen did exceeded the bounds of his authority as a federal judge. Indeed, he noted judges are not authorized to make policy. ‘This Court takes no position on the topic of immigration reform,’ Judge Hanen wrote, ‘nor should one read this opinion as a commentary on that issue. That is a subject laced with controversy and is a matter of much political debate which is not the province of the judicial branch.’

Third, while Judge Hanen severely criticized what he termed the Administration’s ‘failure to enforce current United States law,’ he did so in the context of an alien smuggling prosecution. Whether or not one agrees with the judge’s views, it’s clear he was neither criticizing the Administration’s civil immigration enforcement priorities nor questioning prosecutorial discretion in general, including deferred action on deportations…

…Judge Hanen, like all federal judges, has sworn to ‘faithfully and impartially discharge and perform’ his duties under the Constitution. That is a serious oath which requires him to fairly apply the law — regardless of whether or not he personally agrees with the President’s executive actions on deportations. In the meantime many will take comfort in knowing that whatever Judge Hanen decides he will not likely have the last word. That’s all but certain to come from the appellate courts.

Additionally, Kelly Eleveld at DailyKos lifts up the fact that 230 legal experts, law enforcement authorities and elected officials are on record supporting the President’s use of executive action in this regard.  The complete list can be read here.