December 17, 2014

States Challenge President’s Immigration Actions

As reported by CNN last week, 24 states (led by Texas) are suing President Obama over his executive actions on immigration announced in November.  (Maine is the only state from New England to have joined the lawsuit.) These states allege that the President’s immigration initiatives violate the U.S. Constitution and federal law.  The lawsuit was filed in a federal district court in Texas.

A Congressional Research Service (CRS) report from November sheds some light on the legal issues surrounding the President’s immigration actions.  The report summarizes the President’s initiative and addresses several other questions about the issue, including (1) the legal authority for the administration’s actions, (2) whether there are constitutional constraints on the executive’s discretionary authority over immigration, and (3) other legal issues that may be raised by the administration’s actions.

The report, which is dated November 24 (four days after the President announced his immigration initiative), states that its “answers are necessarily preliminary.” CRS expects to update this report although their reports are not always publicly available.