Does Mr. Obama’s reference to “immigration rights” suggest executive action is imminent?

In light of the President’s Labor Day speech it’s a reasonable question to ask.

Mr. Obama’s inclusion of the “immigration rights” with the epic struggles of American democracy–civil rights, women’s rights, voting rights, gay rights and workers’ rights–suggests Mr. Obama sees the struggle for immigration reform as an historic movement not tied to party or politics but inherent to the American democratic experience.

Notice the President used the term “immigration rights” not “immigrants’ rights”?

“Immigration rights” carries with it political, social and cultural significance while “immigrants’ rights” is a more direct reference to redress of rights through the courts.

Mr. Obama’s use of the phrase is significant because if he truly views “immigration rights” with the same reverence he does “civil rights” he can neither politically nor morally justify further delaying the the use of his lawful authority to make the immigration system work better until Congress acts.

Importantly, it suggests executive action is imminent.  After all, how can Mr. Obama postpone protecting any right?

About David Leopold
Past President American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), In-the-Trenches practicing immigration Attorney, Blogger, Activist, Photographer, Educator, World Traveler. All opinions are my own.

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