Not to put too cynical a point on it, but in a last-minute reelection year ‘Hail Mary’ pass over hard-nosed Republican opponents of Obama’s “DREAM Act” legislation, the President yesterday issued an Executive Order permitting young migrants who came here as children to remain in the U.S.
Now this Executive Order is more “Dream Act-Lite” than Dream Act. But of the stalled Dream Act, I still say it’s inane to lock the barn door after the horse has gotten out. This is why I support the Dream Act and agree in particular, with that pundit who asked, “We educated these children, shouldn’t they give back to our economy?“
Predictably, President Obama’s new immigration policy via executive order wasn’t welcomed by everyone. Under the “deferred action” policy, the Department of Homeland Security will no longer initiate the deportation of illegal immigrants who came to the United States before age 16; who have lived here for at least 5 years; who are under 30; in school; or high school graduates; or those with a GED or equivalent; or who have been in military service with an honorable discharge; and who have clean criminal records.
But as concerns undocumented law school grads: Sergio Garcia, Cesar Vargas, and Jose Godinez-Samperio, with a stroke of the presidential pen, there’ll now be one more reason — not just six why undocumented law school grads should be admitted to the bar.
The change has potentially positive implications for the legal arguments made by Sergio Garcia, Cesar Vargas and Jose Godinez-Samperio in their still pending petitions to gain admission to practice law. Since the 3 undocumented immigrant law school graduates appear to satisfy the new policy’s announced criteria, the licensing authorities will no longer find themselves in the previously and embarrassingly likely circumstance of having just approved new lawyers on the eve of their deportations. Furthermore, the policy change may provide state supreme courts and apprehensive lawyer licensing boards with additional legal and political cover.
In announcing the new policy change, the president explained that “eligible individuals who do not present a risk to national security or public safety will be able to request temporary relief from deportation proceedings and apply for work authorization.”
Fingering the finger-waggers.
Obama’s political opponents are hissing fitting and stepping on each others’ heads in condemnation. For one, Arizona’s finger wagging Jan Brewer called Obama’s immigration announcement “outrageous.” And in a line a staffer must’ve fed the governor — who shares the same empty-headed erudition as Paris Hilton — Brewer described the president’s action as “backdoor amnesty.”
The news also found at least one lawmaker threatening to sue over it. And let’s not even delve into the haters who think the solution to illegal immigration are such life-threatening measures as laying minefields at the Mexican border.
So of course the new policy directive leaves Obama open to the accusation of shamelessly pandering for Latino votes in November. The Executive Order comes only now in the waning months of his first term.
Moreover, the Executive Order may be short-lived. It will be hawked out faster than a cocker spaniel biting a jalapeño by ole Mitt should Obama lose reelection. Nevertheless, it buoys the president’s base and infuriates his opponents — and it may yet boost the chances of at least 3 lawyers-in-waiting.