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Leading Editorial Boards: Supreme Court Should Uphold Immigration Executive Actions

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A number of leading editorial boards are calling on the Supreme Court to uphold US v Texas, the case to decide the fate of DAPA/DACA expansion executive action immigration programs. As the below editorials make clear, the immigration executive action programs are legal and built on historical precedent, including the immigration executive actions of recent Republican presidents.

The new round of supportive editorials, excerpted below, follow on the heels of last week’s pro-executive action editorials from such leading outlets as the New York Times and the largest circulation Spanish language newspaper, La Opinión.  See below for links and excerpts to supportive editorials from the Boston Globe, Miami Herald, Los Angeles TimesBloomberg View, and Baltimore Sun:   

Boston Globe Editorial, “Obama’s Immigration Order Should Stand”: 

“The federal government isn’t going to deport all 11 million illegal immigrants living in the United States, no matter who wins next year’s election. Given that reality, it’s vital that the president retain the leeway to set sensible priorities about how to tailor the law enforcement response. Once you put aside the political hot air, that’s what’s at stake in a case the Supreme Court agreed on Tuesday to hear this spring.

…As the administration has argued, there’s ample precedent for the order. Presidents of both parties have protected certain classes of immigrants from deportation over the years. Obama’s action differs only in size, not in substance, from past orders; it would cover about 4 million immigrants. But headed into an election year, the dispute has taken on a heavy partisan hue, with Republicans keen on portraying Obama as a president recklessly abusing his power.

Americans rely on the court to rise above politics on hot-button issues, as the justices did when they upheld Obamacare from politically motivated attacks in the run-up to the 2012 election. Likewise, the court should turn aside the Texas complaint, which looks more like a political stunt than a serious legal challenge, and could hobble the executive branch’s ability to respond to immigration crises in the future.”

Miami Herald Editorial, “Immigration is the President’s Job”:

“It’s no secret that America’s immigration system is a confused and disorderly mess. Now the U.S. Supreme Court has a chance to inject a needed dose of clarity into the picture by upholding President Obama’s priorities on who stays and who goes. Presidents, as well as prosecutors and law-enforcement officers, have always had the authority to exercise discretion in carrying out the law. Who gets a ticket and who gets a warning. Who gets charged with a felony and who gets charged with a misdemeanor. How far over the speed limit can you drive without getting a ticket?

This is the same sort of authority Mr. Obama relied on in November 2014 when he issued an order on deportation declaring that the government would target criminals, such as gang members, while giving a three-year reprieve to other individuals. Those excluded are people whose children are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents, who have been here at least since 2010 and who do not have criminal records. The reasons for Mr. Obama’s order are the same ones that compel police and prosecutors to exercise discretion: limited resources and practicality. It is simply not possible to deport the 11 million individuals who are here without the proper documentation, and it’s silly to pretend otherwise.

…President Reagan in 1987 excluded from deportation the minor children of immigrants who had already been granted amnesty the year before. Three years later, the first President Bush allowed more than 1 million to stay as part of a “family fairness” process. Neither one consulted Congress.

… [T]he court has consistently upheld presidential authority in realm of immigration. As late as 2012, the court ruled against an Arizona law that allowed the state to detain individuals who were in the country illegally. Essentially, the court said, that’s the president’s job. That was true then, and it should still be true today.” 

 Los Angeles Times Editorial, “Supreme Court Should Recognize The President’s Power To Defer The Deportation Of Immigrants”: 

“We are heartened that the justices said they would look specifically at the question of whether the president’s actions violate the constitutional admonition that the president must “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” In our view, that is just what he is doing in prioritizing targets for deportation.

Not only is the president on sound legal ground, but he is adopting cogent public policy that shouldn’t be hamstrung by politically motivated court challenges. The battle over immigration reform is a political fight that would ideally be resolved through legislation, but it has been left to dangle because of Congress’ repeated failure to address it.”

Bloomberg View Editorial, “Obama’s Gamble on Immigration Can Still Pay Off”:

“[The] courts have never curtailed the executive branch’s authority to manage immigration. In 1930, President Herbert Hoover stopped immigration of all people except those with the means to support themselves, even though he had no explicit legislative authority to do so. Since then, presidents of both parties have used their authority to allow immigration, and block deportation, outside of legislatively granted channels. The Supreme Court should not curtail the president’s authority to manage the country’s borders in the absence of enabling legislation.

The court’s decision will probably come after the two parties have selected their presidential nominees. It will inevitably split the parties and keep immigration at the center of the presidential debate, which is right where it belongs — because whichever way the Supreme Court rules, legislation remains necessary to fixing the problem.

The Obama administration’s immigration legacy will be at best a temporary fix to part of the problem. But it’s a legacy that should stand until Congress, not the court, acts.”

Baltimore Sun Editorial, “Last Word On Immigration”:

“White House officials expressed confidence that the Supreme Court will come down on their side, and there are reasons to believe that’s true. At the core of the debate are presidential actions in 2014 to protect certain immigrants from deportation and to provide them with work permits, and both would appear to fit with the sort of discretionary choices that administrations have taken in the past.

Essentially what Mr. Obama has tried to do is prioritize deportation hearings, and given the number of undocumented immigrants in this country — about 11 million — such triage has always been necessary. What distinguishes the president’s approach is that he’s attempted to set the nation on a more rational policy course, providing guidelines to immigration enforcement authorities not to deport millions who were brought into this country as children — and allowing those otherwise law-abiding individuals who have been here a significant amount of time to legally hold a job. The effect is not only to protect a group often referred to as the “dreamers” but to use finite resources of enforcement to go after convicted criminals and other undocumented individuals who pose a more serious threat to public safety.”