House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith has introduced the HALT Act (“Hinder the Administration’s Legalization Temptation” — love it!) to prevent the White House from following through on its plans to amnesty large numbers of illegal aliens through administrative means, without legislative consent. The measure would strip the administration of the authority to exercise certain forms of prosecutorial discretion (listed at the end of this post). Admittedly, this is a blunt instrument, because there’s always the need for wiggle room in enforcing the law — but this administration wants to use such wiggle room as a tool of policy, and Congress can only respond with a sweeping ban (which would expire in January 2013). Though such a bill could well pass the House, and Senator Vitter is introducing a similar measure, it doesn’t seem likely it would ever make it to the president’s desk, or that he’d sign it. But it does serve to put him on notice that Congress is watching and won’t let him get away with the backdoor amnesty that his supporters and subordinates have been advocating.