Obama right on deportation policy

November 22, 2011

In "Hoping for Reprieve: Md. immigrants await new policy" (Nov. 19), The Sun reports a statement made by Republican Rep. Andy Harris that "If the president doesn't like the current law, he should have … worked with Congress to change it, not doing yet another unconstitutional end run around our immigration law."

As the congressman knows or at least should know, the Constitution (Article II, Section 3) assigns responsibility for the execution of federal law (and, implicitly, for setting prosecutorial priorities) to the executive branch of government, which the president leads. Directing prosecutors to focus their deportation efforts on immigrants who have committed crimes or pose a security threat is not only legitimately within the scope of presidential power (and thus, constitutional), it's a common sense approach to a difficult problem.

Martha Somerville, Baltimore

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