[JURIST] Congressman Steve King (R-IA) [official website] said Friday that President Barack Obama’s plan to issue an executive order implementing policies of the DREAM Act is unconstitutional and he plans to sue the Obama administration [press release] to delay its implementation. King claims that this executive order would effectively implement a law that was rejected by Congress and, therefore, Obama does not have the power to issue it. Obama spoke [transcript] on Friday following an announcement by Department of Homeland Security (DHS) [official website] Secretary Janet Napolitano [official profile] that the department would be exercising “prosecutorial discretion” [JURIST report] by not deporting anyone under the age of 30 who was brought here as a child. Obama defended the executive branch’s actions, saying that this is not amnesty, immunity, a path to citizenship or a permanent fix, but a “temporary stopgap measure that lets us focus our resources wisely while giving a degree of relief and hope to talented, driven, patriotic young people.”
Immigration has been a hot button issue in the US lately, especially with a presidential election coming up in November. Earlier this week, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website] called for the release [JURIST report] of illegal immigrants being held in an Arizona prison, alleging that the conditions in the prison are unsanitary and in violation of the US Constitution [text]. Earlier this month, a federal judge heard arguments on whether Arizona citizens can join a class action lawsuit challenging Arizona’s controversial immigration law. That law is also currently being challenged in the US Supreme Court [official website], where oral arguments [JURIST report] were heard in April.