It consists of a 10-point plan that, as president, he has no authority to enact. Presidents cannot re-write laws passed by Congress, and that’s what this executive order would amount to.
The draft plan, though, contains 10 initiatives that span everything from boosting border security to improving pay for immigration officers.
But the most controversial pertain to the millions who could get a deportation reprieve under what is known as “deferred action.”
The plan calls for expanding deferred action for illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children — but also for the parents of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents.
The latter could allow upwards of 4.5 million illegal immigrant adults with U.S.-born children to stay, according to estimates.
Critics in the Senate say those who receive deferred action, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, receive work authorization in the United States, Social Security numbers and government-issued IDs.
Another portion that is sure to cause consternation among anti-“amnesty” lawmakers is a plan to expand deferred action for young people. In June 2012, Obama created such a program for illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children, entered before June 2007 and were under 31 as of June 2012. The change would expand that to cover anyone who entered before they were 16, and change the cut-off from June 2007 to Jan. 1, 2010. This is estimated to make nearly 300,000 illegal immigrants eligible.
Obama could unleash it as early as November 21.
The president, a former constitutional law professor as well as a community organizer, knows that he is acting outside the law. He knows that he is committing another impeachable act. He is daring the Republican-controlled Senate to impeach him, while at the same time, his Democrat allies are talking up impeachment as if the Republicans are seriously contemplating that.
They’re not. The Democrat talk is intimidation aimed at getting Republicans on the record stating that they will not impeach Obama. Those statements, the president believes, will allow him to get away with even more lawlessness over the course of the last two years of his presidency.
Obama intends to render Congress irrelevant and do whatever he wants. Taking away Congress’ ability to discipline him goes a long way toward achieving that goal. The threatened amnesty, “net neutrality,” his renewed environmental push — these are probing attacks against the Constitution.
At the same time, picking a fight now over immigration exposes the known cracks in the GOP coalition.
The president’s statements and actions are obviously intended to be provocative. They’re likely to bring out heated rhetoric from the pro-security side of the Republican coalition, and they’re just as likely to bring out irresponsible criticism from the open borders, Chamber of Commerce side.
The Wall Street Journal, never as clever as it thinks it is on immigration, has already bitten down hard on that bait.
Pro-security Republicans, many of whom live in the border states and are thus well acquainted with the border and its insecurities and the impact on our communities, are “yahoos,” according to the Manhattanites at the WSJ.
The tone of today’s Wall Street Journal staff editorial on Obama’s proposed executive amnesty is striking: The editors’ main concern is that Obama’s illegal overreach might “empower the GOP’s yahoo wing.”
Obama and fellow Democrats, they argue, “want the GOP to dance to the Steve King-Jeff Sessions blow-a-gasket caucus.” The Journal’s advice to Republicans is to “stay cool and keep working on piece meal [immigration] reform.”
That last part is good advice, actually. Piecemeal, security first, not “comprehensive,” is the way to go. Force Obama’s hand at every turn and call him out when he goes outside the law. Use the power of the purse against him.
Too bad the Journal had to insult the very people who will have to enact it. That’s just not helpful, or to borrow a word from Jonathan Gruber, it’s “stupid.”
The WSJ is playing into Obama’s hands and should stop. It’s going to take a unified front of Republicans plus a few Democrats to stop him.