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Immigration Law

Expert: Obama Has a 'Difficult Decision' to Make on Immigration

"Immigration champion Rep. Luis Gutierrez feels confident that President Barack Obama will use his executive powers to push through reform.  House Speaker John Boehner feels confident that doing so will tank what little support the President has among Republicans on immigration reform.  They're both right, immigration law experts say.  After pushback from immigration activists and some members of his party, the President has directed his administration to reexamine its deportation policy.  The administration could shift noncriminals and minor offenders to the lowest deportation priorities.  "I think the President has a difficult decision to make here," said Stephen Yale-Loehr, a professor at Cornell University Law School.  "The courts have upheld wide discretion on immigration matters ... he could make noncriminals the lowest deportation priorities. ... But there is a penalty he could pay through using executive action rather than waiting for Congress to act on immigration reform." ... [D]espite the popularity the President enjoyed among Hispanics, a minority group that has been vocal about the record-high deportations, using executive action to do more on immigration reform could have negative political consequences, said Yale-Loehr, the Cornell University Law School professor.  "In the short term for Obama himself, it might not matter, but what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander," Yale-Loehr said. "If a Republican president made an executive action and used Obama as an example to say 'I could do what I want,' it could hurt Democrats." - CNN, Apr. 15, 2014.