Mon Jul 27, 2015
ARTICLE: Deferred Action, Supervised Enforcement Discretion, and the Rule of Law Basis for Executive Action on Immigration, 63 UCLA Law Review Discourse 58 (2015)
As the scale of the expansive and fragmented immigration enforcement regime has grown to such enormous levels — making the interrelated challenges of ensuring consistent execution of the law and fidelity to enforcement priorities more formidable — the need for effective mechanisms to supervise the discretion exercised by rank-and-file officials has only grown more important. But even as it purports to respect the government’s enforcement priorities, the logic of Judge Hanen’s ruling would largely disable policymaking officials from implementing such mechanisms, requiring them instead to let the vagaries of the bureaucracy reign supreme. The decision therefore not only inhibits the agency’s ability to establish enforcement priorities and manage its scarce resources, but also fails to acknowledge the importance of rule of law values such as consistency, transparency, accountability, and nonarbitrariness in the execution of the immigration laws.