volume iv, issue 2 - Squarespace

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) scheme was first announced by President Barack Obama in 2012, and subsequently extended in 2014. DACA allows for illegal immigrants who meet certain criteria to apply for deferred action status, which exempts them from deportation proceedings for two-year periods.
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UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO UNDERGRADUATE LAW REVIEW

VOLUME IV, ISSUE 2 WINTER 2015

I. Deferred Immigration Action and the Limits of Executive Enforcement Discretion By Yuan Yi Zhu...................................................................................Page 52

II. Judges, Jurors, and Punitive Damage Awards: Avoiding Over-Deterrence

By Alec Konstantin............................................................................Page 67

III. Autonomous Automobile Liability

By Evan Zimmerman.........................................................................Page 78

IV. On the Regulation of Conflict Minerals

By Michael Kinzer.............................................................................Page 89

Editor-in-Chief Managing Editors

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Adam Swingle Shashwat Koirala Katherine Shen Frank Yan Jacklyn Liu

Executive Articles Editor

Darius Bergkamp

Articles Editors

Joey LoCascio Jacob Romeo Luke Wetterstrom Evan Zimmerman

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Francisca Gomez Edward Huh Catherine Martinez Rachel Scharff Adia Sykes Peggy Xu Andrew Young Alida Miranda-Wolff

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52 | Deferred Immigration Action

Deferred Immigration Action and the Limits of Executive Enforcement Discretion Yuan Yi Zhu† The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) scheme was first announced by President Barack Obama in 2012, and subsequently extended in 2014. DACA allows for illegal immigrants who meet certain criteria to apply for deferred action status, which exempts them from deportation proceedings for two-year periods. From its inception, the Administration has justified DACA’s legality based on the notion of “prosecutorial discretion,” that is, the wide latitude given to the government in deciding whether to initiate prosecutions for legal violations. Nevertheless, DACA has been the subject of fierce controversy since 2012: critics of the Administration maintain that it represents an impermissible abdication of the President’s constitutional duties, and amounts to a unconstitutional act of law-making by the President. This article argues that DACA represents a lawful exercise of prosecutorial discretion, but that President Obama’s overuse of the concept may have unwelcome consequences for the constitutionally-enacted balance of power between Congress and the President.

UCULR Volume IV, Issue 2 | 53

I. Introduction The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals scheme (hereafter referred to as “DACA” or “deferred action”) was first announced by President Barack Obama on June 15th 2012. DACA allows illegal immigrants who meet certain criteria to apply for deferred action status, which exempts them from deportation proceedings for two-year periods and allows them to receive work permits.1 On November 20th 2014, Obama announced an expansion of the DACA scheme, which involved the removal of age restrictions for applicants and the extension of the deportation exemption period from two to three years. Furthermore, the program was extended to parents of U.S. citizens or legal residents who lack legal status. They are subject to the same residency and criminal history requirements as those included in the original DACA announcement.2 DACA lacks a statutory basis. From its inception, the Administration has justified its legality based on the notion of “prosecutorial discretion”— the wide latitude given to the government in deciding whether or not to prosecute legal violations.3 In the Administration’s view, DACA represents a permissible exercise of prosecutorial discretion, and is within the President’s †: Yuan Yi Zhu is a fourth-year at McGill University, majoring in Political Science   and History. 1: The original requirements were: applicants must have come to the U