Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Today, the American Immigration Council released The President’s Discretion, Immigration Enforcement, and the Rule of Law by Hiroshi Motomura, a Professor of Law at UCLA.
Professor Motomura’s paper discusses the President’s broad legal authority to make a significant number of unauthorized migrants eligible for temporary relief from deportation. He makes clear that the President has broad prosecutorial discretion as to setting enforcement priorities, given our current enforcement system in which all 11 million unauthorized immigrants could not practically be deported. Moreover, Motomura shows that providing a system for applying prosecutorial discretion—with formal criteria and a process—is more consistent with the rule of law. Doing so makes discretionary enforcement decisions more uniform and predictable, and forestalls individual agent’s actions based on discrimination or race. The paper rebuts critics that have accused President Obama of overstepping his authority as he considers measures to defer the deportation of millions of families.