President Barack Obama has taken Executive Action to temporarily provide relief from deportation for about 5 million undocumented immigrants. Most of the beneficiaries include parents of American Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents through DAPA and people who came to the United States before their 16th birthday as of January 1, 2010. Conservative leaders have strongly opposed this measure and have consistently voiced their concerns for what they call “Executive Amnesty”.
Representative Ted Yoho from Florida introduced the Executive Amnesty Act last month, which reads:
“No law shall be interpreted or applied to authorize the executive branch of the Government to exempt, by Executive order, regulation, or any other means, categories of persons unlawfully present in the United States from removal under the immigration laws.”
The language of this bill is very preoccupying for immigration lawyers, including Attorney Amna Shirazi from the Shirazi Law Group, Inc based in Atlanta. She believes there are many other cases that might fit this description aside from the undocumented families benefiting from the President’s Executive Action. As discussed before on articles about Prosecutorial Discretion and Cancellation of Removal Proceedings, immigration law gives federal authorities broad discretion to defer deportations. Some of these cases include victims of crimes through U-Visas and battered spouses or abused children protected under the Violence Against Women Act. Furthermore, this bill could even affect those seeking to adjust their legal status through marriage.
In conclusion, this bill threatens a lot of other discretionary liberties of USCIS and ICE that expand far beyond the 5 million immigrants eligible for relief under the new Deferred Action programs. Many Republican leaders on Capitol Hill have rallied behind Representative Yoho as a way to combat the President’s Executive Action and the bill is currently being tweaked in the House Judiciary Committee, but even if passed in the House of Representatives, it will probably not even come to a vote in the (still) Democratic Senate.
The politics of immigration reform make the type of executive actions taken by the President very fragile. There are so many families that currently live in a legal limbo that could be affected by bills like this one; this is exactly why Congress needs to finish the job on immigration reform and pass a bill.
If you have questions about DAPA or DACA and any other immigration law programs, please contact Immigration Attorney Amna Shirazi at the Shirazi Law Group, INC (404-523-3611). We are experts on handling deportations, Naturalization applications (N-400), Work Authorization applications, Permanent Residence applications (Green Cards) and National Visa Center processes; among others.