A U.S. Representative from the Midwest says that a lawsuit challenging President Obama’s shift in immigration policy for young undocumented immigrants could be filed in a few weeks. The lawmaker seeks to challenge the legal authority of the administration’s policy on immigration that will provide work permits to up to 800,000 immigrants who entered the country as children. This blog has previously discussed the new immigration policy, which is still under construction in the Department of Homeland Security.
Immigration law has been a hot button issue in Florida and in the nation’s capitol in recent years, although lawmakers have run into gridlock on a number of subjects. President Obama announced his new immigration policy that will help qualifying immigrants to potentially avoid deportation proceedings in June. Now, a Midwestern federal lawmaker is seeking to challenge the immigration policy in federal litigation.
The Iowa Representative who plans to challenge the immigration policy says that he fears the policy could set a “dangerous precedent.” The lawmaker believes that the president cannot constitutionally create the new immigration policy under executive order. He says that the executive order bypasses Congress in creating a new law.
The man hoping to challenge the policy says that his ideal remedy in federal litigation would be to have the court order the administration to enforce existing immigration law under the legal process of seeking a writ of mandamus.
Generally, a writ of mandamus is a court order that directs a government entity or official to do something that the entity or official is legally obligated to perform. The Iowa lawmaker says that the executive branch is legally required to enforce existing immigration law.
The lawmaker knows that seeking a writ of mandamus ordering the president to enforce immigration laws would be a difficult task. As his backup plan, the man seeks a court order blocking implementation of the new immigration policy. He believes that the president’s use of an executive order oversteps the president’s authority.
No lawsuit has yet been filed. In the meantime, the Department of Homeland Security continues to work on regulations for implementing the president’s new immigration policy. The administration says that work permits will be made available for undocumented immigrants who are currently under the age of 30, and who entered the country before their sixteenth birthday.
The work permits would be good for two years, and renewable. To qualify, a young immigrant would have to have no criminal history, be a graduate from a U.S. high school or have earned a GED, or have served in the U.S. military.
Source: Fox News Latino, “Lawsuit Against Obama Immigration Policy Weeks Away, Steve King Says,” July 16, 2012