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Letters of the Week: Mar 09 - Mar 13

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  1. Nolan Rappaport's Avatar
    You may already know about this. It's not new. But I didn't know about it until a few minutes ago.

    The Congressional Research Service (CRS) determined that Congress can block funding for the president?s plan to hand out work permits for illegal aliens, Breitbart reports. House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers, R-Ky., had claimed that Congress did not have to power to remove funding because the agency under which work permits and other documents are distributed is funded by applicant fees.

    The CRS analysis, which Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., requested and provided to Breitbart, said:

    ?In light of Congress?s constitutional power over the purse, the Supreme Court has recognized that ?Congress may always circumscribe agency discretion to allocate resources by putting restrictions in the operative statutes. Where Congress has done so, ?an agency is not free simply to disregard statutory responsibilities.? Therefore, if a statute were enacted which prohibited appropriated funds from being used for some specified purposes, then the relevant funds would be unavailable to be obligated or expended for those purposes?(A)mounts received as fees by federal agencies must still be appropriated by Congress to that agency in order to be available for obligation or expenditure by the agency?(T)he funds available to the agency through fee collections would be subject to the same potential restrictions imposed by Congress on the use of its appropriations as any other type of appropriated funds.?
  2. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    First, is there any point to quoting the likes of Breitbart and Jeff Sessions as authorities in any discussion of immigration? Wouldn't that be equivalent to quoting Alabama Governor George Wallace as an authority on race relations or civil rights in the 1960's?

    Granted, the CRS is reputable, regardless of who requested its study, but what are the chances that Congress would actually pass a bill preventing DHS from using its funds to implement Obama's executive action on immigration, or that such a bill would ever be signed into law?

    I respectfully refer Nolan to someone who might be willing to share some recent experience with him about trying to get such a law passed - by the name of John Boehner.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 03-11-2015 at 05:29 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  3. Nolan Rappaport's Avatar
    I didn't quote Breitbart or Sessions as authorities on anything, and I didn't say that Congress will pass a bill preventing DHS from using its funds to implement President Obama's immigration executive actions. I just reported that CRS had said that Congress has the authority to pass such a bill. I though that was interesting and passed it on to ILW.com readers. I do agree with one of Roger's comments though. CRS is a reputable authority.
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