this pressed for your right to know: Obama’s Immigration Action Has Precedents, but May Set a New One – NYTimes.com

Photo In 1986, Ronald Reagan signed the so-called “amnesty” law passed by Congress that granted legal status to three million undocumented immigrants, and then acted on his own the following year to expand it to about 100,000 more. Credit Ron Edmunds/Associated Press

Obama’s Immigration Action Has Precedents, but May Set a New One

Obama’s Immigration Action Has Precedents, but May Set a New One

By JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVISNOV. 20, 2014

President Obama’s action to shield millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation and grant them work permits opens a new front in the decades-long debate over the scope of presidential authority.

Although Mr. Obama is not breaking new ground by using executive powers to carve out a quasi-legal status for certain categories of unauthorized immigrants — the Republican Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush all did so — his decision will affect as many as five million immigrants, far more than the actions of those presidents.

Mr. Obama’s action is also a far more extensive reshaping of the nation’s immigration system.

“The magnitude and the formality of it is arguably unprecedented,” said Peter J. Spiro, a Temple University law professor. “It’s fair to say that we have never seen anything quite like this before in terms of the scale.”

via Obama’s Immigration Action Has Precedents, but May Set a New One – NYTimes.com.

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