- Chinese Death Star: The moon cited as the perfect launch pad for ballistic missiles
- Help wanted: Homeland Security plagued by vacancies at the top
- We are not amused: Queen’s protection officers warned to keep ‘sticky fingers’ off the royal cashews
- Unleash the crossbows: Gov. Scott Walker creates new hunting season
- Bubonic plague kills 20 in Madagascar
- G-20 diplomats fell for hacker attack promising nude photos of former French first lady Carla Bruni
- Minnesota guardsman charged with stealing private soldier data for fake IDs
- Florida appeals court rules universities can’t regulate guns
- Vladimir Putin defends Russian conservative values
- Tea Party Patriots call key GOP firing a declaration of war
Romney hits ‘timing’ of Obama’s decision on illegals
GOP hopeful won’t say if he’d undo deportation halt
Question of the Day
Presumed Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Sunday refused to say whether he would revoke President Obama’s decision to categorically stop deporting young-adult illegal immigrants as the ramifications of the administration’s election-year move last week continued to reverberate.
Some Republicans in Congress have vowed to sue to force Mr. Obama to back down, saying his decision to stop deportations flies in the face of the law.
But the White House — which for the last three years had told those on both sides of the issue it didn’t have the power to categorically halt deportations for young adults said it now feels on solid legal ground.
“Our attorney, the Homeland Security attorneys, are absolutely confident this is within our authority to use some discretion,” White House political strategist David Plouffe told ABC’s “This Week” program, putting the move in the context of the progression the Obama administration has made over the past three years to expand its claims of prosecutorial discretion.
Friday’s reversal took everyone by surprise.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said she would categorically stop deporting illegal immigrants under age 30 who were brought to the country before age 16, have been here for at least five years and have completed high school, earned an equivalency diploma or joined the U.S. military.
Those are similar to criteria contained in the Dream Act legislation that never passed Congress, but that would have granted a path to citizenship to most illegal immigrants under 30.
Estimates for those that would qualify range into the millions though Republicans say given the chances for fraud, it’s impossible to tell how many might make a claim.
The move doesn’t grant the illegal immigrants permanent legal status but does end their risk of being deported, and will likely earn many of them legal work rights.
It also puts Mr. Romney on the political defensive.
After taking a hard-line stance on immigration during the primary, including vowing to veto the Dream Act, the former Massachusetts governor said Sunday he will pursue a broader immigration solution but refused to say whether he would leave the nondeportation policy in place in the meantime.
“The timing is pretty clear,” Mr. Romney said. “If he really wanted to make a solution that dealt with these children or with illegal immigration in America, then this is something he would have taken up in his first 3½ years, not in his last few months.”
Indeed, for three years Mr. Obama and Ms. Napolitano have denied they had the authority they exercised Friday. They were even asked point-blank whether they had executive authority to halt deportations for students who would have been eligible for the Dream Act, and they said no.
“There are enough laws on the books by Congress that are very clear in terms of how we have to enforce our immigration system that for me to simply through executive order ignore those congressional mandates would not conform with my appropriate role as president,” Mr. Obama told Univision in a town-hall meeting in 2011.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Stephen Dinan can be reached at email@example.com.
- Federal deficit shrinks 20 percent in fiscal 2014
- Wind farms: Interior Department sacrifices eagle protection for alternative energy
- Activists urge Obama to go rogue, sidestep Congress
- Bipartisan House votes against 'patent trolls' who file lawsuits against innovators
- Bipartisan House votes to stop patent 'trolls'
Latest Blog Entries
By Matt Kibbe
The short-term deal will assure long-term overspending
- Obama's Afghanistan experts stumped on U.S. death toll, war costs during hearing
- Comma on!: Twitter erupts over Obama-Castro 'marriage'
- NAPOLITANO: A conspiracy so vast
- N. Korean news agency: Kim Jong Un's uncle executed
- All-out war breaks out in GOP over budget pact
- White House improvises again on patchy Obamacare rollout
- Biden guarantees victory on immigration reform
- Jane Fonda Foundation fails to make single contribution in 5 years: report
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- VEGAS RULES: Harry Reid pushed feds to change ruling for casino's big-money foreigners
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Born in 1930 in rural Missouri, Charles Vandegriffe, Sr., brings his time and place to the Communities.
Columns from Voices around the World talking about the events, people, politics and social issues that concern us wherever, and whoever, we are.
Chef Mary Moran discusses the food we eat, where it comes from and what it does for us.
An informed and often humorous take on the world of advertising, public relations and social media. 100% Pure. Not from concentrate.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow