Saturday, November 22, 2014

Memorandum Supporting President's Deferred Action Program

The White House released the memorandum written by the Justice Department detailing the legal support for his deferred action program.  Through this memorandum, President Obama's legal counsel provides analysis on whether it is permissions for: (1) the Department of Homeland Security to prioritize its resources to target undocumented aliens who are criminals; (2) the President to issue deferred action to parents of U.S. citizens and permanent residents; and (3) the President to issue deferred action to parents of DACA recipients.
Interestingly, the Justice Department concludes that while it is permissible to issue deferred action to the parents of U.S. citizens and permanent residents, it would not be permissible to do so for parents of DACA recipients.  The distinction appears to lie in the fact that U.S. citizens and permanent residents have a legal status, whereas DACA recipients do not.
The release of this memorandum would seem to indicate that the President will not expand his deferred action program to cover the parents of DACA recipients later, as some have surmised.  To do so would clearly contradict the advice from his own Justice Department.
It is also interesting to note that this memorandum does not cover the spouses of U.S. citizens or permanent residents.  This is not to say that such undocumented aliens would be ineligible to receive deferred action, merely that this memorandum, and presumably the President's program, will not cover such aliens at this time.
By:  William J. Kovatch, Jr.
(703) 837-8832
(571) 551-6069 (ESP)

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