The New York Republican is moving swiftly to determine the legality of President Obama’s decision, announced today, to halt deportations of hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens and grant them work permits. According to a report in the Daily Caller, Rep. King says “The administration is overstepping its authority by weakening immigration laws without congressional approval. I am very concerned about efforts to administratively implement amnesty for countless illegal aliens under the age of 30. It is vital that US borders are secure prior to any consideration of amnesty proposals.”

President Obama would have agreed with Rep. King a year ago. Speaking to a group of Latino students, some of whom were illegal aliens and subject to deportation, the president said that taking that the action that he has taken today would have been inappropriate:

“There are enough laws on the books by Congress that are very clear in terms of how we have to enforce our immigration system that for me to simply, through executive order, ignore those congressional mandates would not conform with my appropriate role as President.”

The president’s constitutional role has not changed in the intervening year. Only his re-election prospects have changed.