Obama's Options for Dealing with Deportations
As the Administration works to deflect the negative publicity associated with passing two million deportations since 2009 and after finally admitting that the White House DOES have options at it's disposal, many are now speculating what the President might do.
But even before he acts, he has to weigh what any action might do as far as helping or hurting the prospects for immigration reform legislation passing in the House. Even though it's largely disingenuous, House members are blaming the President as being untrustworthy and therefore passing reform legislation that depends on the President to carry out new enforcement measures will have to wait. Of course, the main reason Republicans are interested in compromising on immigration reform is to repair the damage to their brand with Hispanic voters. So it seems rather odd that they want to continue to make headlines for pursuing policies that are as tough as possible on immigration. The more they push the "untrustworthy" line, the worse their image with Hispanics will get.
So the President may try and hold off pro-immigration advocacy groups for a few more months to see if the House will act. The best window of opportunity is coming soon - probably April through July. After that, the fall campaigns will make getting major legislation passed more difficult. So the President could wait for a few months to give the Republicans a last chance before announcing big initiatives.
Whether the President acts soon or waits several months, the next natural question is what his options actually are. There have been two helpful articles in the last few days worth a read. Elise Foley at Huffington Post has written this article. Nora Caplan-Bricker at The New Republic has written another.
And there's also this leaked USCIS memo from a couple of years ago that lays out the options.
The Administration has indicated they're not inclined to expand DACA which doesn't make a lot of sense to me. They seem to think there's a legal barrier, but if they've determined DACA is legal for one population, then I don't see why broadening it somewhat is a problem.