Friday, October 18, 2019

Report Cites Considerable Precedent for President to Act on Immigration Reform Through Executive Action

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American Bridge, a democratic research firm released a memo this week that revealed there is considerable precedent for the president to use his executive authority to address immigration policy. Republicans in Congress have criticized the president heavily for his allegedly reckless use of executive authority, yet the report debunks these criticisms by highlighting the many instances in which presidents in recent memory have acted unilaterally on immigration.

Marshall Fitz, director of immigration policy at the Center for American Progress notes that, “Any president…that is ultimately responsible for law enforcement has wide, wide latitude in focusing and channeling resources toward priorities.”

The memo provides a comprehensive review of immigration policy under President Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton. The aforementioned presidents all used executive action in a variety of capacities and scope to ease immigration laws in response to crises abroad and in some instances special humanitarian situations. President Obama however, has used his executive authority less than any other president since the 19th century, according to the report.

Fitz believes that in the face of Republican inaction on the issue and as President Obama continues to weigh his options for a far-reaching deportation relief policy, the need and, “scope of the executive action has increased kind of proportionately.”

The Huffington Post