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H.R. 5759 (113th): Preventing Executive Overreach on Immigration Act of 2014

The text of the bill below is as of Dec 4, 2014 (Passed the House).



2d Session

H. R. 5759



To establish a rule of construction clarifying the limitations on executive authority to provide certain forms of immigration relief.


Short title

This Act may be cited as the Preventing Executive Overreach on Immigration Act of 2014 .



The Congress finds as follows:


Under article I, section 8, of the Constitution, the Congress has the power to establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization. As the Supreme Court found in Galvan v. Press, that the formulation of * * * policies [pertaining to the entry of aliens and their right to remain here] is entrusted exclusively to Congress has become about as firmly imbedded in the legislative and judicial tissues of our body politic as any aspect of our government.


Under article II, section 3, of the Constitution, the President is required to take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.


Historically, executive branch officials have legitimately exercised their prosecutorial discretion through their constitutional power over foreign affairs to permit individuals or narrow groups of noncitizens to remain in the United States temporarily due to extraordinary circumstances in their country of origin that pose an imminent threat to the individuals’ life or physical safety.


Prosecutorial discretion generally ought to be applied on a case-by-case basis and not to whole categories of persons.


President Obama himself has stated at least 22 times in the past that he can’t ignore existing immigration law or create his own immigration law.


President Obama’s grant of deferred action to more than 4,000,000 unlawfully present aliens, as directed in a November 20, 2014, memorandum issued by Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Charles Johnson, is without any constitutional or statutory basis.


Rule of construction


In general

Notwithstanding any other law, the executive branch of the Government shall not—


exempt or defer, by Executive order, regulation, or any other means, categories of aliens considered under the immigration laws (as defined in section 101(a)(17) of the Immigration and Nationality Act ( 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(17) )) to be unlawfully present in the United States from removal under such laws;


treat such aliens as if they were lawfully present or had a lawful immigration status; or


treat such aliens other than as unauthorized aliens (as defined in section 274A(h)(3) of the Immigration and Nationality Act ( 8 U.S.C. 1324a(h)(3) )).



Subsection (a) shall apply except—


to the extent prohibited by the Constitution;


upon the request of Federal, State, or local law enforcement agencies, for purposes of maintaining aliens in the United States to be tried for crimes or to be witnesses at trial; or


for humanitarian purposes where the aliens are at imminent risk of serious bodily harm or death.


Effect of executive action

Any action by the executive branch with the purpose of circumventing the objectives of this section shall be null and void and without legal effect.


Effective date

This section shall take effect as if enacted on November 20, 2014, and shall apply to requests (regardless of whether the request is original or for reopening of a previously denied request) submitted on or after such date for—


work authorization; or


exemption from, or deferral of, removal.

Passed the House of Representatives December 4, 2014.

Karen L. Haas,