Marshall Fitz: Setting Deportation Priorities Legal, Wise

Marshall Fitz: Setting Deportation Priorities Legal, Wise

"House Republicans held their third hearing related to the Department of Homeland Security’s prosecutorial discretion policies, including a smart new initiative announced by Secretary Napolitano on August 18. Seeing as how the first two didn’t go so well for the Republicans, one would expect crackerjack witness testimony from the majority for yesterday’s hearing. But the third time was no charm: The witnesses’ weak arguments reinforced that this series of hearings is little more than crass partisan gamesmanship by House Republicans.  Claims that President Barack Obama has performed an end-run around Congress are by now common fare from the right-wing crowd. The complaint du jour is that the Department of Homeland Security’s plan to focus agency resources on removing burglars rather than busboys ignores the president’s obligation to faithfully enforce the laws that Congress passes.One of the majority witnesses, David Rivkin Jr., argued that this prosecutorial discretion initiative violates the Constitution’s separation of powers. One would have hoped for care and precision in his legal analysis given that Rivkin was a former Justice Department lawyer. Sadly, his error-plagued testimony delivered neither."

Marshall Fitz, Oct. 13, 2011.