States Unite to Sue President Obama
When Senator Barack Obama ran for President in 2008 he promised to pass an immigration reform bill on his first year in office. Unfortunately, for many reasons he has not been able to do this, the closest step to this goal has been the comprehensive immigration reform bill that passed the Senate but is stuck in the House of Representatives. President Obama’s only viable option to keep his promise has been using Executive Action to defer the deportation of undocumented immigrants until a bill is passed; however, it seems like he is getting sued for this.
17 States of the Union, including Georgia, have joined forces to file a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of President Obama’s Executive Action on Immigration. President Obama has taken action on several aspects to reform the American Immigration system, namely he has created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and the Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA). But these states argue that his actions:
“violated his constitutional duty to enforce the laws and illegally placed new burdens on state budgets” –Published in the New York Times
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott who believes that this Executive Order would allow more human trafficking and force states to spend more resources on healthcare, education and law enforcement is spearheading the Coalition. In Georgia, the attorney General Sam Olens has said:
“President Obama’s unconstitutional, short-term action only adds to uncertainty faced by those wishing to live in our country.”
-Published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle
Most constitutional law experts and immigration lawyers, Including Attorney Amna Shirazi from the Shirazi Law Group, INC, believe that President Obama has acted within his power and affirm that many other Presidents have taken action without congress to temporarily or permanently relief undocumented immigrants from deportation. President Obama is not doing anything new here. Being sheltered from deportation until a bill is passed is not adding more uncertainty to people’s lives, the only uncertainty is if a Republican President would undo these actions and whether or not Congress will finish the job and pass a bill.
The most interesting aspect of this lawsuit is these States’ claim that if they had a way to fix these problems, they would, but since the authority over immigration falls on the Federal Government, their only choice is to seek reparation through the courts. The lawsuit cites the Supreme Court’s decision on SB 1070 Arizona v. United States, on this case the court ruled in favor of the Executive Branch’s discretionary power to administer authority over immigration enforcement. In conclusion, the states are saying that the Federal Government has the authority to do exactly what they are suing the President for.
Lastly, it is ironic to see States like Texas, Georgia, South Carolina, Louisiana and other Southern States that often claim to be the best places to do business but at the same time are being so hostile to immigrants. The possibility of giving work authorization cards to immigrants who have been here for a long time and will be able to drive, work and pay taxes could only help businesses grow.