It's becoming clear to political observers that libertarians are emerging as a key swing vote, if not an official party. Republicans may have won a number of close races by appealing to these libertarians, so their views on policy cannot be ignored.
Prosecutorial discretion -- the power of the executive to determine when to enforce the law -- is one of the most well-established traditions in American law. Prosecutorial discretion is, in particular, central to the enforcement of immigration law against removable noncitizens.
President Obama should be applauded for defending America's greatest values and challenging the nation to be a welcoming place for the stranger. For in the face of the stranger we see the face of God.
Perhaps the reason no one can pass a solid immigration reform bill is because the conditions that motivate the immigration are so poorly understood. The mainstream discourse surrounding immigration today is entirely misguided.
I recently interviewed Harry DeMell, an immigration lawyer since 1977 and a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, about the current immigration crisis.
President Obama on Thursday made it clear that, if a gridlocked Congress won't do its job on immigration reform, he will do that job himself. Now we should hope that he can also turn attention to an immigration challenge that falls under his own branch of government: immigration courts.
We need the president to go beyond familial ties and deliver a broad executive order that recognizes all the distinct barriers that uniquely vulnerable LGBT immigrants face. When deported, many LGBT individuals experience threats, violence, rape, and even death in their countries of origin. They need a safe haven, not a return to the persecution they fled.
At stake here is the fact that the president is promoting a policy that tries to keep children and parents together, and stops the detention and deportation of parents who have U.S. citizen children. Can the GOP honestly face Latino voters and say, "We want the federal government to continue deporting parents who have young children"?
To deport 11 million people would make the Trail of Tears look like a Sunday picnic. We are not capable of such cruelty today. We must find a way to give them hope for a fair shot at U.S. citizenship. There is no viable alternative.
If the Republican leadership can sell it to enough of its members, it could be a way out of the perpetual crisis machine that the budget has become. By separating the politics from the actual real-world results, it allows both factions of the Republican Party to get what they want.
Immigrant farm, food and commercial workers gathered in Lafayette Square across from the White House the week before Thanksgiving Day to remind their fellow Americans of the flesh-and-blood human beings who are behind the great bounty of food all of us share on this celebrated holiday.
Finally, President Obama is playing offense on immigration reform -- and it will pay dividends to both the country and his own political standing. Republicans who thought Obama would be a rug they could stomp on to 2016 are now on defense.
Today, we are at a different moment. For the first time, we heard from the president's mouth that he has deported people who should have not been deported, and defended his ability to stop those deportations.
As the president continues to determine what shape any final executive action will take, the local impact of his decision should be front and center. To that end, I believe our country must finally do away with Secure Communities, a deeply flawed immigration enforcement program.
It is a common mistake to overestimate the contribution of immigration to the increase in poverty. This week's purveyor of this erroneous association is the Washington Post's Robert Samuelson, who writes in the context of a discussion about immigration reform.
We've waited this long, I think we can afford to wait another couple of weeks. It might not change anything -- it might not influence congressional Republicans in the slightest -- but there is a chance that it could. That chance is worth taking.