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Posted by on Nov 19, 2014 in Breaking News, Featured, Immigration, Politics | 21 comments

Obama will announce executive action on immigration tomorrow

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The White House has announced that President Barack Obama will tomorrow outline executive actions he’ll be taking on immigration reform. This announcement has set off a predictable debate on MSNBC, Fox News, CNN, left blogs and right blogs and if you think you know what they’re saying about the issue, in most cases you are correct. America loves a screaming, angry debate — and so it has received a political Christmas gift early.

Here’s part of the White House announcement on the White House’s blog:

Our immigration system has been broken for decades — and every minute we fail to act, millions of people who live in the shadows but want to play by the rules and pay taxes have no way to live right by the law and contribute to our country.

So tomorrow night, President Obama will address the nation to lay out the executive actions he’s taking to fix our broken immigration system. You can watch the President live tomorrow night at 8 p.m. ET at WhiteHouse.gov/Live.

This is a step forward in the President’s plan to work with Congress on passing common-sense, comprehensive immigration reform. He laid out his principles for that reform two years ago in Del Sol High School in Las Vegas — and that’s where he’ll return on Friday to discuss why he is using his executive authority now, and why Republicans in Congress must act to pass a long-term solution to immigration reform.

And rather than subject TMV readers right now to the predicted political polemics, here are some excerpts from news stories.

The Washington Post:

President Obama said in a video that he will lay out his proposal to overhaul the nation’s immigration system Thursday and will travel to Las Vegas on the heels of that announcement to rally support for his initiative on Friday.

“Tomorrow night I’m going to be announcing here from the White House some steps I can take to start fixing our broken immigration system,” Obama said in a video posted on Facebook Wednesday afternoon.

“Everybody agrees that our immigration system is broken. Unfortunately Washington has allowed the problem to fester for too long,” Obama said. “So what’ I’m going to be laying out is the things I can do with my lawful authority as president to make the system work better even as I continue to work with Congress and encourage them to get a bipartisan, comprehensive bill that can solve the entire problem.

According to a senior Democrat familiar with the plans, Obama will announce on Thursday that he is providing temporary protections to up to 5 million undocumented immigrants. His orders will make up to 4 million undocumented immigrants eligible for temporary protective status and provide relief to another 1 million through other means.

In a blow to activists advocating on behalf of young immigrant families, there will be no guaranteed protections for the parents of so-called “Dreamers,” — children protected by Obama’s 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program – nor for immigrant agricultural workers, said the Democrat, who was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

The New York Times:

Mr. Obama has said for months that he would act to revamp the nation’s immigration enforcement system if Republicans continued to block a legislative overhaul that would enhance border security, increase legal immigration and provide a path to legalization for many of the 11 million people living illegally in the United States.

The actions Mr. Obama is expected to announce will not go that far. But they will remove the threat of deportation for the parents of children who are citizens or legal permanent residents of the United States. He will also provide new guidance for the nation’s immigration enforcement agents and revamp the legal immigration system to provide more opportunities for high-tech workers from other countries.

As many as four million immigrants living in the country illegally will get a reprieve from deportation under a new program similar to one that already protects undocumented people who were brought to the country as children, according to people who were briefed on the announcement by senior White House officials. The immigrants must have lived in the country for at least five years and have no criminal record.

Officials said an additional one million people would get protection through other parts of the president’s actions.

CBS News:

Incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has ruled out a shutdown, but House Speaker John Boehner has not.

“If ‘Emperor Obama’ ignores the American people and announces an amnesty plan that he himself has said over and over again exceeds his Constitutional authority, he will cement his legacy of lawlessness and ruin the chances for Congressional action on this issue – and many others,” said Boehner spokesman Michael Steel.

When asked whether Mr. Obama would veto any spending bill that denied the funding for his actions, Earnest said that “would not be a proposal that the president would support,” but didn’t explicitly answer the question.

“We would evaluate these individual proposals on the merits before we made a final decision,” he said.

Republicans are already threatening retaliation. In an op-ed published in Politico Wednesday, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said that the next Congress should not confirm a single executive or judicial nominee outside of vital national security positions “so long as the illegal amnesty persists.”

Ultimately, Mr. Obama’s executive actions could have a short life span. The next inhabitant of the Oval Office could easily overturn them on the first day of his or her presidency.

New York University Law School Professor Adam Cox, an expert in immigration and constitutional law, also told CBS News last week that if the next Oval Office occupant reverses DACA and any potential expansion of the program, immigrants who had been protected under these orders could try to sue the government for a violation of due process if they’re forced to return to their native countries while they still have time left on their deportation deferrals.

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  • DdW

    Bravo!!

    To those Republican legislators who are already calling the President’s
    actions illegal and/or unconstitutional, Rep. Jim Clyburn’ words are right on target:

    The legality of the president’s actions, Clyburn said, is up to the courts
    and not Congress. “Let’s let the courts decide whether it’s constitutional.
    That’s not for Congress to decide, that’s why we have courts to make that
    decision”

    Amen!

    Furthermore, Clyburn said on MSNBC that Obama’s action would put him in the company of “great” presidents, including Abraham Lincoln and Harry Truman, who both used their executive authorities to expand rights for African-Americans. “I think that President Obama ought to put himself alongside these … great presidents and use [an] executive order to do something big on immigration,” he said.

  • JSpencer

    Republicans have had plenty of opportunity to create intelligent and good faith legislation to address immigration – and have declined. They have no business making a stink about someone who DOES want to do something about it. Of course they will anyway because that’s what they do best.

  • dduck12

    Since this went unanswered on another thread, I once again, I’m asking:
    This is a fairly important matter so has BO sought, and does he have, any written legal justification from the Attorney General and the Justice Department’s Office of Legal
    Counsel (OLC) for his actions?

    • moonlitknight
      • dduck12

        Thanks, I guess I look at current opinions as insurance.

    • Jack Gordon Mills

      It would be unusual if not unprecedented for a President to take Executive action of this magnitude without consulting counsel on several levels, and given this particular President’s background in Constitutional law, it is fair to say that they wouldn’t even hint at taking such action unless they’d already been over it with a fine-toothed comb.

      OLC and the AG are not infallible, though (see previous administration) but an indicator of the firmness of the legal grounds for this action comes from not just within the administration, but from an outfit that would jump at the chance to scream bloody murder over it: The Federalist Society. A panel of lawyers at their annual convention basically said “yeah, this is legal.”

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2014/11/19/morning-plum-conservative-legal-group-says-action-on-deportations-is-legal/

      • dduck12

        Didn’t constitutional law professor Obama strongly say EO was wrong on immigration a couple of years ago.

        • Jack Gordon Mills

          In the same way that “compassionate conservative” George W. Bush spent his first campaign railing against nation building and an interventionist foreign policy? Yeah.

          Or how St. Ronald Reagan railed against government excess while quadrupling the national debt on his watch? Yeah.

          Or how a would-be President who implemented the model for Obamacare then ran full-steam against it? Yeah, kinda like that.

          In any case, the legal justification for this action appears to be fairly sound. As well as can be, you have your answer. Now what say you to the justifications presented thus far?

        • The_Ohioan

          Source, please. I’m pretty sure OLC and AG both think he has the authority. But these EOs are being looked at more closely as they become more necessary for the government to function in these “deadlock days”.
          If it’s unconstitutional, they can proceed with impeachment plans. Or pass the reform bill that has been sitting ready to go for so long.

          • dduck12

            With all due respect, you THINK he has the authority, well so do I, but an OLC letter would be nice to wave in front of charging elephants. No?

          • sheknows

            why would previous presidents have had the authority to use EO with regards to this issue and not President Obama?

          • dduck12

            I didn’t say he didn’t. He is under attack from the Reps, so a letter from the lawyers can’t hurt. Isn’t that reasonable?

          • sheknows

            but is it necessary? That’s like saying some people get to vote with one piece of ID, but others ( Obama) have to have two.

          • The_Ohioan

            Yes. I can see another “proceed” scenario unfolding. 🙂

            Source, please.

          • dduck12

            ??

          • The_Ohioan

            [Didn’t constitutional law professor Obama strongly say EO was wrong on immigration a couple of years ago.]

            Source please.

            Asking to see an OLC letter when there probably is more than one, considering the stakes, is like asking if Obama said “acts of terror” – in a debate. It can lead to another “proceed” scenario.

          • dduck12
          • The_Ohioan

            Thanks.
            In all of those, he says he can’t change the law which is true. He is using his executive authority to direct the immigration service actions, not issuing an executive order which would have the authority of law.
            As I understand it, but I’m not a lawyer.

      • SteveK

        Didn’t George H W Bush strongly say, “No new taxes!”
        And GHWB doubled down and added, “Read my lips.”

  • DdW

    Good news from The Hill:

    House GOP panel: Defunding immigration order ‘impossible’

    It would be “?impossible” to defund President Obama?s executive actions on
    immigration through a government spending bill, the House Appropriations
    Committee said Thursday.

    In a statement released by House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers’s (R-Ky.) office hours before Obama’s scheduled national address, the committee said the primary agency responsible for implementing Obama’s actions is funded entirely
    by user fees.

    Read more on this here: http://thehill.com/policy/finance/224837-appropriations-panel-defunding-immigration-order-impossible

  • dduck12

    A voice on the difference between Obama’s proposed EO and the ones Reagan and Bush issued: http://thefederalist.com/2014/11/20/no-reagan-did-not-offer-an-amnesty-by-lawless-executive-order/

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