According to American Immigration Council, “U.S. law professors sent a letter to the White House stating that President Obama has wide legal authority to make needed changes to immigration enforcement policy. The president is considering how to use his authority to mitigate the damage caused by our dysfunctional immigration system and protect certain individuals from deportation.
The letter was written by Stephen H. Legomsky, John S. Lehmann University Professor at Washington University School of Law and former U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Chief Counsel; Hiroshi Motomura, Susan Westerberg Prager Professor at UCLA School of Law; and Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia, Samuel Weiss Faculty Scholar at Penn State Law. It was signed by professors from 32 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. In their letter, the law professors point out that “The administration has the legal authority to use prosecutorial discretion as a tool for managing resources and protecting individuals residing in and contributing to the United States in meaningful ways.” The letter goes on to explain that presidents from both parties have used prosecutorial discretion to prevent specific, and often large, groups of immigrants from being deported.”
Furthermore, Amanda Paterson Beadle with AIC writes that a new report from the Center for American Progress (CAP), The Fiscal Benefits of Temporary Work Permits by Patrick Oakford, explains, “providing temporary deportation relief to potentially millions of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. would allow them to come out of the shadows and register to receive work permits. That would also trigger significant economic benefits through the payroll taxes these workers would pay. “Today, slightly more than one-third of undocumented workers and their employers are contributing payroll taxes,” Oakford writes. “Providing work permits would create a legal avenue for workers and employers to contribute taxes.” Additionally, offering undocumented immigrants a way to work legally will lead to higher wages—as well as higher payroll taxes—and allow them to move around in the work force to find a job that best fits their skills.”
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