[Blogger’s note: This article is reprinted with permission from the February 22, 2012 edition of The New York Law Journal.  ©2010 ALM Properties Inc. All rights reserved. Further duplication without permission is prohibited. The authors thank the Journal for permission to reprint this article.]  


No More Waiting on Legal Immigration

By Angelo A. Paparelli and Ted J. Chiappari 

President Barack Obama has professed a new strategy of impatience. With the economy still in malaise, and the unemployment outlook only a tad improved, the White House has begun to implement a reelection gambit entitled, “We Can’t Wait.” The waiting is not for Godot, but rather for a moribund Congress to pass his largely ignored proposal, the American Jobs Act:

Without a doubt, the most urgent challenge that we face right now is getting our economy to grow faster and to create more jobs…. we can’t wait for an increasingly dysfunctional Congress to do its job. Where they won’t act, I will.

—President Obama, October 24, 2011.

In an effort to jumpstart the economy, the approach taps his exclusive authority over federal departments to craft executive orders. Hoping to avoid the fate of Jimmy Carter, a one-term Democrat who also faced malaise, Mr. Obama’s first foray into economy-goosing executive orders has involved housing, education and veterans’ affairs. His more recent jobs-focused directives have begun (albeit too timidly and slowly in the authors’ view) to address administrative reforms to America’s system of legal immigration.

 As this article will show, an assertive President Obama, with his eyes transfixed on the reelection prize, can do much more to improve our immigration regulations and agency practices, which the President oversees through the Departments of Homeland Security, State, Justice and Labor. With presidential orders on legal immigration, he can recharge the economy in countless ways while protecting American jobs and creating hundreds of thousands of new ones.

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