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House Committee Begins Witch Hunt Over DACA, Other Executive Action. By Roger Algase

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Just in case anyone still believes that the House Judiciary Committee, chaired by former immigration lawyer turned reform opponent Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) is serious about working on "piecemeal" immigration reform bills, that committee is now showing its true anti-reform, "deport-em all" colors. Laura Matthews writes in the November 27 International Business Times that the very same House Judiciary Committee which some immigration advocates once expected to produce a gorgeous "necklace" of piecemeal immigration reform bills is now launching an investigation witch hunt (my term, not hers) against DACA, President Obama's Deferred Action program to give relief from deportation to DREAMERS.

See Immigration Reform 2013: House Judiciary To Challenge Obama on Deferred Action, And Obamacare.

www.ibtimes.com/immigration-reform-2013-house-judiciary-challenge-obama-deferred-action-obamacare-1487356.

Matthews writes:

"A day after a pro-immigration reform activist confronted President Barack Obama and challenged him to use executive power to stop all deportations, the House Judiciary Committee announced plans to investigate whether the president is a faithful steward of the law. A hearing is expected for 10:00 am next Tuesday, and the full committee is expected to attend."

DACA, according to Matthews, is high on the list of actions which the Committee is planning to investigate for possible presidential "overreach".

Instead of reform, which would allow more people to receive at least some form of legal status or protection against deportation (forget about citizenship - that has not been the real issue, as I wrote in my post a few days ago), the House Republicans are now aiming their guns at the 450,000 young people who have already received provisional relief from deportation through executive action in order to kick them out of the US.

President Obama has justly been called a hypocrite for pretending that he has no power to extend DACA to other groups of immigrants through executive action, when he has in fact very recently done exactly that, as Matt Kolken pointed out in his November 26 post, and when numerous court decisions support executive action regarding deportation, as I pointed out on November 27.

But the House Republicans are trying one-upmanship on Obama to show that they can be even greater hypocrites by pretending to be working on reform (but just not this year, thank you), when their only real goal is to deport 11 million brown people.

The main purpose of the witch hunt can only be to try to intimidate the president from taking any further executive action to grant relief from deportation. There is little if any legal basis for this move.

This is obvious, not only from the Congressional Research Service report which I discussed in my November 27 post, but the comments of legal scholars referred to in the Matthews article, including David A. Martin, a law professor at the University of Virginia, and Kevin R. Johnson, Dean of the UC Davis law school (who, incidentally, has written extensively about the influence of race and class in US immigration law and whose articles are well worth reading).

The only possible limitation that these and other scholars mentioned in the article see is that executive power might not extend to granting relief from deportation to all 11 million unauthorized immigrants. Instead, additional groups of immigrants would have to be given relief incrementally, or, to use another word, piecemeal.

And why should the Republicans have any problem with that? Weren't they the ones who came up with the idea of doing reform "piecemeal' in the first place?


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Updated 11-29-2013 at 08:18 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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