Obama Takes Action on Immigration



On Nov. 20, President Obama announced his intention, through an executive order, to grant up to five million undocumented immigrants relief from deportation. A few days before Obama’s announcement, in Australia during the G20 Summit, Jim Avila of ABC asked, “In 2010, when asked by immigration reform advocates to stop deportations and act alone on providing legal status for the undocumented, you said, ‘I’m president, I’m not king. I can’t do these things just by myself.’ In 2013, you said, ‘I’m not the emperor of the United States. My job is to execute laws that are passed.’ Mr. President, what has changed since then?”

Obama replied, “Well, actually, my position hasn’t changed. When I was talking to the advocates, their interest was in me, through executive action, duplicating the legislation that was stalled in Congress. And getting a comprehensive deal of the sort that is in the Senate legislation, for example, does extend beyond my legal authorities. There are certain things I cannot do. There are certain limits to what falls within the realm of prosecutorial discretion in terms of how we apply existing immigration laws.”

Clearly, Obama’s position has changed. In March 2011, Obama was asked in a Univision town hall whether he could grant temporary protective status to undocumented students. He said, “The notion that I can just suspend deportations through executive order, that’s just not the case, because there are laws on the books that Congress has passed. Congress passes the law. The executive branch’s job is to enforce and implement those laws. And then the judiciary has to interpret the laws.” Even former White House Press Secretary, Jay Carney, said in an interview on CNN that Obama is “literally” doing what he promised not to do.

Obama’s actions come after a midterm election year in which America saw sweeping gains by the Republican Party in the Senate, House, and in numerous gubernatorial, state, and local races. Republican dominance in the entire country is greater now then in nearly a century. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said in addressing the press, “The president has taken actions that he himself has said are those of a king or an emperor, not an American president. And he is doing this at a time when Americans want nothing more than both parties to focus on solving the biggest problems in our country, starting with our still struggling economy.

Boehner believes that the actions taken by the president will “only encourage more people to come here illegally and putting their lives at risk… With this action the president has chosen to deliberately sabotage any chance of enacting bipartisan reforms he claims to seek… President Obama has turned a deaf ear to the people that he was elected to lead, and we were elected to serve.”

No one is denying that America needs to put in a lot of work on it’s immigration system, but Obama’s “solution” does not come even close to addressing the real issues. Charles Krauthammer, an American Pulitzer Prize-winning syndicated columnist, author, political commentator, and physician did an excellent job summarizing the situation. He said, “This executive action is a gigantic neon sign on the Rio Grande saying to Central Americans and to other people around the world, if you wait in line and you apply for legal immigration, you’re a sap. You come here illegally, you have children, and eventually you will be legalized. This will cause a complete new cohort. We will have 11 million new illegal immigrants in 10 or 15 years, we will be through this again and again. I would not oppose this if we were going to be serious about shutting the border. There is no seriousness whatsoever coming out of the administration or the Democrats on that. This is an invitation to a mass migration.”