Is President Obama's immigration move legal?
Legal panel weighs in on controversy
- Duration 5:17
- Date Jun 18, 2012
Legal panel weighs in on controversy
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-- sort of back in session on the docket today the president's big move on immigration.
On Friday President Obama announced that his administration will declined to deport some 800000.
Young illegal immigrants.
Known sometime as dreamers.
Name for the so called DREAM Act that would have granted them a path to citizenship but which congress rejected.
The president's move already raising some eyebrows since mr.
Obama was asked about granting this type of administrative relief for dreamers a year ago.
And here's what he said then.
You have to -- numbered doors and vote.
On the side of grunting I mean these are people relief for dreamers we are doing our part it is time to -- yours except for.
He can be alive I just have to continue to say this notion that somehow I can just change the laws unilaterally.
Is just not true.
We've we are doing everything we can administrative.
The fact of the matter is.
There -- laws on the books that I have to enforce.
And I think that there's been.
A great disservice done to the cause.
The DREAM Act passed in getting conference's immigration passed by perpetrating the notion that somehow.
By myself I can go into the -- It's just not true.
So was the president right back in 2011.
Or is he right now.
Joining me now immigration attorney Francisco Hernandez and immigration attorney and president a Federation for American Immigration Reform.
Dan Stein and let me start with you on this.
-- are the two positions inconsistent and which one if so was right.
Well basically -- the fact of the matter is the president has the same legal team that he had now nothing's changed since March -- to a point eleven when he said he didn't have the authority.
This is an outrageous.
Power grab I will defend to my dying day.
The right of congress to make the decisions on who gets to come to this country and who does not the president's responsibility.
Is to faithfully execute.
The laws -- the United States he does not have the right to completely rewrite the immigration law.
Give out these kind of benefits in fact every time congress is looked at it since about the mid 1990s.
They have tried to tighten up.
Any discretion made it very clear that there is no discretion or very little discretion it's -- -- very tightly confined in granting extraordinary relief.
So what he's done essentially is shown that he can be cowed by a radical wing of his party.
For political reasons hijack our immigration policy for partisan electoral reasons against the basic core principle that our constitution gives the congress -- A right to make these decisions.
Thank goodness I had Francisco acted as if that's a lot of pent up anger mr.
Stein normally you I'm not really -- -- with the principles.
But but but we all know that the president has every right to.
Exercise his his executive discretion it's done all the time is prosecutorial discretion they President Bush stated they've done it.
Even in immigration cases all the time.
What President Obama was talking about about the DREAM Act is that there -- lot of provisions.
Including this citizenship provision that he does not clearly have the authority.
To do and an administrative executive order you're correct about that but the what he has passed now doesn't it any path to citizenship.
Quite frankly what you were arguing for against the argued against the DREAM -- it was.
Two big gave too much.
All all -- -- -- is tip off on kids we're talking about kids they were brought here -- break from the heat.
About -- -- -- legalities that -- have policy Friday the day we're talking illegalities and we took we -- to talk policy that's the question -- is whether he has the legal right because the president and his team argues.
They have prosecutorial discretion they have the discretion to literally work.
Prosecutions of this term.
Megan -- prosecutorial discretion does not appear anywhere the immigration law he does not have that authority it's not something that you can apply the immigration law.
I remember there's you know no definable and let him finish the way the president articulated the legal standard Megan there's no definable limit.
To the executive -- ability to lead in or allowed to stay I'm limited millions and millions of people here illegally illegal aliens from all over he sets an arbitrary line at thirty years old now nothing in the immigration statutes about that.
I says why you gotta get a GE.
-- obviously has the parity obviously recognizes his limit because if it were to him he would go and grant that residency to green cards.
Ali and you get an oh port -- I'm gonna.
I had and I later grant them of these set in that's clearly illegal we do it on and on for remembered -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Francisco -- -- -- We do it all the time every president -- President Bush did it.
It's it's perfectly -- we do it all the time for victims of crimes for cooperating -- Defendants in the drug traffic will give even the real -- of the things that I break.
Congress repeatedly rejected the DREAM Act -- for the president's power in this area is at its low -- doesn't have the right to substitute his judgment really congress'.
There are really doesn't like congress party saying they're going to Israel over this is a court we'll have the final say -- through yeah.
Thank you both will be.