Reports are rampant that President Obama will sign an executive order as soon as this week that will allow up to 5 million undocumented immigrants to avoid deportation. Signing such an order would have explosive political consequences — it would not only reshape the near-term fights in Congress but also have a potentially profound effect on the two parties’ national coalitions heading into the 2016 election and beyond.
Republicans have made it clear that if Obama goes forward, it would be the equivalent of giving the middle finger to their incoming majority — and, by extension, the American public, which helped the GOP gain seats in the House and Senate on Nov. 4.
At a news conference held the day after the midterm elections, Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), the incoming Senate majority leader, compared Obama’s signing of an executive order on immigration to “waving a red flag in front of a bull.” Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) said Obama will “burn himself” if he moves forward.
You get the idea. Republicans ain’t happy — and they are likely to get a lot less happy over the next week or so. No matter what congressional response McConnell and Boehner craft — and they are undoubtedly looking at their options — the most obvious and predictable outcome of Obama’s expected move on immigration is that any hope of bipartisanship on much of anything in the 114th Congress, set to convene in January, would probably be out of the question.
Obama knows that. And it would seem he doesn’t care. Or rather, he has made the calculation that the chances of genuine bipartisanship on virtually anything was so low in the first place that it didn’t make sense not to do what he believes is the right thing. The post-grand-bargain-collapse version of Obama is far less willing to extend his hand to Republicans — having, in his estimation, had it bitten so many times before. He views the “now the well is poisoned” point being made by Republicans as laughable.
Then there is the political calculus Obama is making as it relates to his own party. His decision to postpone the signing of the executive order until after the 2014 elections was a clear bow to Democratic senators seeking reelection in Republican (or at least Republican-leaning) states, who fretted that such a move would doom their chances.
Turns out, they were doomed anyway. With Sens. Mark Pryor (Ark.), Mark Udall (Colo.) and Mark Begich (Alaska) all having lost — and Sen. Mary Landrieu (La.) headed in that direction — Obama is done waiting around. (And, yes, the fact that none of those people wanted him to campaign for them in the fall miffed him.)
The pres’ unconstitutional order on immigration would sodamide every American citizen. But than again, the pres is no stranger to anal sex.
Maybe the GOP had better get some buckets of water ready. He’s not going to let them do nothing. He’s going to force them to address the immigration issue. Can they not deal with one lame duck?
@Greg: We all know he thinks he was elected dictator, but he’s going to learn that’s not true.
2 GOP presidents acted unilaterally on immigration
Indeed they did. Presidents Ronald W. Reagan and George H. D. Bush both extended de facto amnesty to millions of undocumented aliens based on their Executive Office authority, without benefit of Congressional legislation.
So where was the outrage when they did it?
1. Stop handing out benefits and services to illegals.
2. Rewrite or eliminate the “anchor” baby scam that currently allows illegals to collect numerous public assistance benefits through the children they have here in the U.S.
3. Impose heavy fines and/or jail time for those who hire illegals.
4. Sentence illegals the same as you would legal citizens whenever they’re convicted of identity theft and/or S.S. fraud. Eliminate the “they’re just trying to feed their families” lame excuse.
5. Force illegals to abide by the same laws, rules, and regulations that legal citizens must whenever they apply for any loan, rental housing, and/or public school enrollment, etc.
6. Enforce the existing immigration laws. This includes deporting illegals and/or letting them go home the way they came.
7. Seriously upgrade the dangerously lax security of our borders.
8. Vote with your ballot, wallet, your PC mouse, and your feet.
Not true. Both of them signed laws that congress passed. Neither did it by executive order. the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA).
It’s all entirely true.
The 1986 bill that extended legal status to 3 million aliens was in fact passed by Congress and signed by Ronald Reagan. To qualify, however, an undocumented alien had to have arrived in the United States before 1982. The bill did not legalize spouses and children who didn’t meet that requirement. Reagan directed the commissioner of INS to cease deportation proceedings on such spouses and children. He simply ordered him to cease enforcing existing law with respect to those undocumented aliens. It was publicly announced that this was the new policy. Congress took no action that put Reagan’s policy on the books. The U.S. Senate finally passed legislation in 1989—3 years later—but the House never acted. Reagan’s action was amnesty by Presidential order, plain and simple.
In February 1990 George H. W. Bush took similar action. He put the “family fairness” policy in effect, also by setting policy for INS deportation without benefit of any new legislation. The new policy was that family members of an undocumented alien who was in the process of legalization would not be deported, provided they were in the U.S. prior to the passage of the 1986 law. Once again, legally required deportation was suspended entirely on the basis of a presidential order. The new policy covered an estimated 1.5 million people. Congress finally got around to reconciling the law with the Bush’s policy in October 1990.
This was all covered in the linked article. It’s a matter of historical fact. Obama is being held to an entirely different standard than were Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush. He’s being threatened with dire consequences for suggesting that he might take the same sort of action that they both took without any repercussions.
If he’s legally challenged there’s clear and unambiguous precedent he can cite, established by two prior republican Chief Executives. Congress’s only real course of action is to address pressing immigration issues themselves, like they’re supposed to. Obama’s going to made it very difficult for them not to do their jobs. Their job is to help govern the nation. They seem to be under the impression that they’re on some other mission.
So your argument is: Reagan broke the law so I want Obama to break it also. We all need our president to be a crook. Right?
I’m not saying anybody broke the law. Only that we can’t have different sets of rules defining proper Executive Office powers depending on who’s in the White House and which party controls Congress.
Congress should address our immigration problems with legislation that has some chance of passing. They don’t have to craft it to please Obama. They should craft it to please a majority of American voters. If Obama then vetos it, he’ll be doing it at the risk of his party losing the White House in the next elections. Avoiding commitment isn’t going to get it. After January, the new republican majorities will be doing that at their own political peril.
@Greg: Presidents can only execute the laws that Congress has passed. If it says they are to be deported and the president doesn’t see that they are deported, then he is breaking the law. I don’t care if he’s Dimocrat or Repub. I don’t want any president breaking the law. The one in office now is attempting to, or saying he’s going to, break the law. Everyone should be opposed.
Nobody is going to see to it that nearly 12 million undocumented aliens are removed from the United States. If they tell you they will, they’re lying.
If you can’t get a job, because you are an illegal alien and it is against Federal law to hire illegals; if you can’t get welfare of any kind, then what are you going to do? I suggest to you the dust from illegals getting back to their native countries the same way they got here would look like the 1930’s.
Oh, and if we told those nations, like Honduras, Mexico and El Salvador, that there would be no more foreign aid sent to them as long as their citizens keep entering our nation illegally, you would see the migration from those nations come to a screeching halt.
Obama administration doing whatever it takes to destroy our nation, one illegal act at a time:
Vice-President Joe Biden announced the latest White House scheme, setting the table for a massive, economy-crushing influx of dependent people from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador – yet few were paying attention.
In what may well be intended as the immigration knockout blow called “In-Country Refugee/Parole Program for Minors in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras With Parents Lawfully Present in the United States” (link).
When you drill down through the legalese presented in the summary announcement you find some interesting aspects to this new program:
[…] This program will allow certain parents who are lawfully present in the United States to request access to the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for their children still in one of these three countries.
“Lawfully present” is the current consideration within President Obama’s planned executive amnesty. In essence anyone covered by the executive order will be considered “lawfully present“.
The decree continues:
[…] International Organization for Migration, IOM, will arrange travel for the refugee(s) to the United States. The parent of the child will sign a promissory note agreeing to repay the cost of travel to the United States.
“A promissory note”? That angle skirts around Section 292 of the Immigration and Nationality Act prohibits representation of aliens “in immigration proceedings at government expense“.
What about welfare and social assistance programs?
[…] Parolees are not eligible for medical and other benefits upon arrival in the United States, but are eligible to attend school and/or apply for employment authorization. Individuals authorized parole under this program generally will be authorized parole for an initial period of two years and may request renewal.
Ah, but remember under “disparate impact” all social welfare service entities are NOT permitted to ask about legal residency status. So this outline, on it’s face, is disingenuous at best – and intentionally structured to skirt the law at worst.
It gets worse:
[…] Any child or parent admitted as a refugee will be included in the Latin America/Caribbean regional allocation of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, which is 4,000 for FY 2015. If needed, there is some flexibility within the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program to accommodate a higher than anticipated number from Latin America in FY 2015.
Oh where have we heard this before?
Oh yes, HERE
Obama hasn’t stated the specifics of what he has in mind, has he? Nor has Biden.
What Biden was referring to was this: In-Country Refugee/Parole Program for Minors in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras With Parents Lawfully Present in the United States
No it doesn’t. What that says is that any child or parent admitted under the program will count as one of the 4,000 admission slots already allocated. They’re not in addition to the number of immigrants we already planned on taking in.
Here’s an interesting collection of information on the topic of “prosecutorial discretion.” We may be hearing the term a lot soon. It will likely be cited as a legal basis for any executive action the President takes in connection with immigration.
This discussion might be of particular interest: The President’s Discretion, Immigration Enforcement, and the Rule of Law
@Greg: If Obama does not feel that he can comply with the law, then he should resign and get someone in office that is capable.
Did you not read this part, Greggie?
If needed, there is some flexibility within the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program to accommodate a higher than anticipated number from Latin America in FY 2015.
IOW, if the Obama administration wants to increase the number so that citizens are burdened even greater, he will do that.
So once Obama issues an illegal EO to legalize 3 million (I’m sure his intent is more because of his Cloward and Piven beliefs) then those people are now “legal” and we can import even more of them on the taxpayers dime.
Of course you would cite the Immigration Policy Center, a George Soros funded open borders group that promotes open borders and total amnesty. Nothing like good old George to fund your radical left wing groups, is there?
And of course, let’s not talk about the American citizens, and legal immigrants, that are getting screwed by these actions of Obama.
When Obama [illegally] signed DACA, immigration lawyers jumped on that like a june bug. They advised their clients (illegal) that when the form requested a Social Security number that they had worked under to put “N/A” on it.
So the thousands and thousands of citizens/legal immigrants who have had their Social Security number stolen by illegals were basically told to pound sand as they get no help from this administration enforcing what is a violation of federal law.
As the references in post #15 indicate, a president can act legally within the limits of prosecutorial discretion. Obama can’t wave a magic wand and render 3 million undocumented aliens’ U.S. residency permanently legal, however, and he knows that full well. Any comprehensive solutions require Congress to act. Maybe republicans should give some thought to that, come January. They’re going to look like idiots, if all they try to do about the problem is keep Obama from addressing it to whatever extent he’s legally able.
If they unwisely decide to try to keep playing that same old game in the absence of the excuse that they lack control of Congress, they’ll find it will have political consequences they won’t like.
But his refusal to enforce the law is grounds for impeachment. The Office of President is not a legislative one; it is an enforcement one.
If he allows for them to get Social Security cards and work permits, he is then making them defacto legal. He doesn’t have that Constitutional authority,.
But then, no matter how lawless Obama acts, you defend his lawlessness.
Not so long as he acts within the legal parameters of prosecutorial discretion. He wouldn’t be doing anything unlawful, or even anything particularly unusual. Reagan and Bush the elder both availed themselves of such Executive Office authority in connection with immigration. People keep insisting that it wasn’t the same thing. It was. The reason for their insistence is because understanding that it is the same collapses their entire ridiculous argument. It was lawful then, and it would be lawful now.
If republicans don’t like it, their only alternative is to pass immigration legislation addressing the problem. They don’t get to do nothing while whining about Obama doing something. That game is up, come January.
Republicans will be able to pass any legislation they want, and put Obama on the spot to have to veto it. For that game to work, however, they’ll have to force him to veto legislation that most Americans approve of. I’m not sure they can write such a bill without alienating their own right wing element. If they do run such a risk, there’s always the danger that Obama won’t veto it.
This is what is commonly known as a dilemma.
Prosecutorial discretion does not allow the president to pick and choose what laws he will enforce. Once a bill is passed by Congress, and signed into law by the existing president, it is then law of the land.
Do you think that a President named (insert name of any Republican) could say that he/she was not going to enforce the tax code and get by with it? How about a president that refused to enforce the taxing power of the PPACA by fining those who refused to have health insurance? Think that would be accepted under your “prosecutorial discretion?”
You’re wrong, as usual. So cheer up, your track record is intact.
Nobody said that it did. It doesn’t involve changing or overriding a law. It has to do with a recognized power to decide what charges to bring in the event of a violation of the law, if any. Maybe you should read the following paragraph from Understanding Prosecutorial Discretion in Immigration Law:
The last sentence, regarding the Supreme Court’s position, should make the situation clear. This is how things actually work.
In matters of the prosecution of those who violate Federal Law, the highest authority in deciding whether to bring charges is the President of the United States. In exercising that power, a president is not usurping anyone else’s authority. A president is the highest authority. “Chief Executive” is not just a fancy title.
Stop linking to the George Soros funded Immigration Policy Center. I’m not interested in what they have to say when I can understand that the Constitution gives Congress, not the president, the power to regulate immigration.
Obama can exercise prosecutorial discretion and refuse to deport those who are here illegally. He CAN NOT order the federal agencies, like to Social Security Administration, to issue illegals Social Security numbers or make another agency issue work permits.
Maybe you should look up the root of the word “prosecutorial”.
Feel free to look up Heckler v. Chaney 470 U.S. 821, 831 (1985). Your favorite boogie man George Soros had nothing at all to do with that. Rather, it was the considered opinion of the Supreme Court of the United States—one of those three constitutionally established branches of government that you’re always expounding upon.
Read the very first line of your link, Greggie:
It does not grant the president the authority to expand on current law, such as granting Social Security numbers, or requiring the appropriate federal agency to grant work permits. It only allows him the discretion to decide whether to prosecute someone for illegal entry into the United States, or not.
Your link makes it even more clear:
Damn, you’re as dumb when it comes to legal terms as you are to most everything else.
I made no mention and expressed no opinion concerning Social Security numbers or work permits. You’re expanding the topic on the roll.
Those formally granted refugee status and asylees can legally obtain Social Security numbers, however. That’s nothing new. It’s been so for years.
Like Jonathan Gruber, you seem to be under the impression that everybody else is stupid. It’s an erroneous assumption.