In a speech the New York Times asserted was defined by “confrontation,” Barack Obama laid out the details of his executive action regarding immigration reform Thursday evening.
In all, his plan would affect at least five million illegals currently living in the U.S. He announced a new program that would qualify the illegal parents of American citizens for deferred deportations while granting them the ability to work freely in this country. These criminals will also receive a Social Security card, reports indicate.
Obama also plans to shield at least one million other illegal immigrants from deportation through his unilateral order.
Leading up to his planned speech, Republican leaders have discussed how best to respond to his expected action. Sen. Ted Cruz, for example, urged GOP legislators to block any nonessential Obama nominee until the program is overturned.
For his part, however, Obama claims what he has presented is completely legal, blaming his political rivals for the necessity of his executive order.
“The actions I’m taking are not only lawful,” he alleged, “they’re the kinds of actions taken by every single Republican president and every Democratic president for the past half century.”
In that speech, Obama redefined constitutional authority, amnesty, accountability, rule of law, and every other noun in the dictionary.
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) November 21, 2014
He went on to call out those who oppose his position and liberal use of executive orders.
“To those members of Congress who question my authority to make our immigration system work better or question the wisdom of me acting where Congress has failed, I have one answer: Pass a bill.”
Though Republicans made up the largest united voice of opposition to Obama’s amnesty plan, plenty of Democrats felt it was the wrong move as well.
“I am as frustrated as anyone that Congress is not doing its job,” explained Democrat Sen. Joe Donnelly prior to Obama’s speech, “but the president shouldn’t make such significant policy changes on his own.”
Fellow Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin said he expressed a similar position to a group of White House aides Thursday.
“To put it through now is the wrong thing to do,” he said. “I told them I wasn’t comfortable.”
Republicans as a whole offered an even more scathing indictment of his plan. Conservative firebrand Trey Gowdy blasted the action in a statement released Thursday evening. The South Carolina congressman wrote:
“The thread that holds the tapestry of our country together is respect for and adherence to the rule of law. The law is our greatest unifier and our greatest equalizer. Attempts to undermine the law via executive fiat, regardless of motivation, are dangerous. President Obama may seek a fight with Republicans in Congress, but in reality he is fighting with founders of this republic and the carefully crafted separation of powers.
“Whether previous administrations acted outside of constitutional boundaries is not license to do the same. The President himself recognized his inability to do what he just did – 22 separate times. This action is not only detrimental to any chance in the new Congress for a sustainable, long-term solution on immigration, but also to the bedrock of our system of government— respect for the rule of law.
“When the executive branch acts outside of constitutional boundaries the legislative branch must use all powers afforded it to respond and restore the constitutional equilibrium. This is not a Republican or Democrat issue. Rather, it should hasten the resolve of all Americans to make certain her elected officials honor the foundational document they swore to protect and defend.”
Photo credit: The Speaker (Flickr)
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom