News Briefing Friday, November 21, 2014



Enrollment count in federal health care law padded, House panel says

“The Obama administration recently inflated Affordable Care Act enrollment statistics by as many as 400,000 people by including stand-alone dental plans in its official count, according to an Oversight House committee investigation. The administration in September said 7.3 million people at the time were enrolled in health plans through the federal health care law’s insurance marketplaces. The House investigation, first reported by Bloomberg, found that this number also counted people enrolled in just dental coverage, a change from how previous enrollment figures have been counted that the Obama administration did not disclose. Without counting those dental plans, enrollment in so-called Obamacare would have been 6.97 million. That 7.3 million figure reported by the Department of Health and Human Services was down from the 8 million people who had signed up through the end of April. HHS has not provided a comprehensive accounting of why enrollment fell — such as how many people did not pay their premiums or whether those enrollees found another source of coverage. On Thursday, after news of the House investigation broke, the administration said its total was “erroneously counted” in recent announcements. HHS said it made this mistake twice. The agency overstated its September figures by about 400,000. Then in November, it reported an inaccurate figure again when it said 7.1 million people were enrolled at the time; the actual figure was 6.7 million. “The mistake we made is unacceptable,” HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell wrote on Twitter on Thursday. “I will be communicating that clearly throughout the ⅛department.” Despite these corrected figures, HHS said it still aims to have 9.1 million covered in marketplace plans next year, which is about 4 million people fewer than the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office had projected for 2015. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform, accused the Obama administration of trying to obscure the number of people who had dropped out of the ACA insurance marketplaces, or exchanges, during the year.”

Darrell Issa: Obama Administration Pulled a ‘Gruber’ by Overstating Obamacare Enrollment Data

“House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) on Thursday said the Obama administration needs to explain why it decided to overstate the number of people enrolled in Obamacare, by counting people who only signed up for dental coverage. Issa accused the Department of Health and Human Services of pulling a play worthy of Jonathan Gruber, the infamous MIT economist who has said Obamacare was written shrewdly to hide its true cost in order to trick people to voting for it and supporting it.”


Obama: The Hangover

The Gruber technocracy is a green sludge consuming the Democratic Party.





Report: Obama Delayed Executive Action After He Saw DSCC Polling

“Politico has the behind-the-scenes story of how the executive amnesty came to be. It details the political calculations behind the president’s decision:  What really worried the White House was that opposition wasn’t limited to vulnerable moderates up for reelection in Republican-leaning states. Sen. Al Franken, a liberal from Minnesota, expressed concerns. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), who wasn’t on the ballot, pointedly asked Obama to wait until after the election. And Sen. Angus King (I-Maine), who caucuses with Democrats, declared openly that it would be a “mistake” for the president to do anything alone, ever. When King personally delivered that message to White House chief of staff Denis McDonough, the Obama team knew it had a problem. If an independent from Maine, a state Obama won by 15 points, couldn’t support the president’s actions on immigration, they really were in trouble. David Simas, the White House political director, asked Guy Cecil, the head of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, for polling on the immigration issue. Cecil gave him numbers from Iowa and Arkansas, showing vast numbers of voters who didn’t want Obama to ease pressure on undocumented immigrants without the agreement of Congress. The White House realized it couldn’t put out an executive order that would get attacked by candidates of the president’s own party. By that Friday night, as Obama flew home from a NATO Summit in Wales, he began calling allies to inform them of his decision to delay action — dealing yet another setback to the immigration reform advocates and the president’s relationship with Hispanic voters.”


Coincidence? Obama to Announce Executive Amnesty on National Revolution Day in Mexico

Obama will announce his Executive Amnesty Plan tonight. Today is National Revolution Day in Mexico — The Mexican Revolution, began on November 20, 1910, and continued for a decade. The United States, Mexico’s northern neighbor, was significantly affected by the human dislocation that resulted: if someone did not want to fight, the only alternative was to leave the country—and over 890,000 Mexicans did just that by legally emigrating during the second decade of the 20th century.”


Many TV Networks to Skip Obama Immigration Speech

“Four major broadcast television networks are taking a pass on airing President Barack Obama‘s Thursday primetime immigration speech. People at ABC, CBS CBS +0.86%, NBC and Fox familiar with the networks’ plans say that they have no plans to air the 8 p.m. address laying out Mr. Obama’s case for immigration reform. A fifth, Spanish-language broadcaster Univision, does plan to air the speech. The White House announced on Facebook Wednesday that Mr. Obama would address the nation the following evening and explain the case for executive action to protect more than five million illegal immigrants from deportation. But the primetime address comes in the midst of a busy television season for the networks. In addition to being a so-called sweeps month, Mr. Obama is competing against the “Big Bang Theory” on CBS and the hit shows “Scandal” and “How to Get Away With Murder” on ABC. The Latin Grammys were also scheduled to air on Univision. His speech on immigration will also be at the same time as the pre-game show for Thursday Night Football. The Kansas City Chiefs play the Oakland Raiders at 8:25 p.m. Two of the networks said the White House didn’t ask for air time for the speech. The speech is still likely to air on the three major cable-news networks, as well as stream online.”

This Obama Speech Will Be Selectively Televised

ABC, CBS, NBC won’t carry Obama


Latin Grammys Fans Complain Obama Interrupting Award Show with Immigration Announcement


White House Excludes Unfriendly Media From Amnesty Briefings

“The White House cancelled its usual press conference Nov. 20, and instead invited establishment media to attend a closed-door briefing about the president’s unprecedented offer of work-permits to millions of foreign workers. The 45-minute event was held in a room near the White House’s press room, just before midday. The attending journalists were told they can’t release the information until 6.00. The attendees included some independent reporters from major outlets, including Ed Henry at Fox News, ABC’s Jon Karl and CBS’ Major Garrett. Most of the media at the event were from outlets, including The New York Times, Politico, The Hill and The Washington Post, which have not provided critical reporting of the president’s planned executive order. The Daily Caller was not invited. Other popular outlets, such as Breitbart, National Review, The Weekly Standard, and TheBlaze were also excluded. The White House also held a conference call for reporters at 2:00 pm, which was embargoed until 6:00 pm.”


New DCCC Chairman On Immigration Exec Orders: “This Is The First Step

“REP. BEN RAY LUJAN, DCCC CHAIRMAN (D-New Mexico): This is the first step, and the President’s taken an important step, but it’s the first step. I hope that House Republicans use the rest of this year to move comprehensive immigration reform because it’s House Republicans that have been stalling this bill for 510 days. Republicans have a chance to act, but sadly we’re hearing more and more talk from Republicans about a government shutdown. I’m certainly hopeful they’re listening to the American people because the American people do not want the government shut down.”


Why Nancy Pelosi Missed Obama’s All-Democrat Meeting on Immigration

“President Barack Obama briefed 18 congressional Democrats at the White House Wednesday night about his coming executive action on immigration – but House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi wasn’t one of them. Pelosi instead opted to attend a Billy Joel concert, the Hill reported. She was among other lawmakers and celebrities attending the event honoring the music icon at DAR Constitution Hall, which is two blocks from the White House. Joel received the 2014 Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. “Leader Pelosi has a busy schedule this evening with five events including a longstanding commitment with constituents in town from San Francisco,” Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill told the Hill Wednesday. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting had previously announced Pelosi would be among the presenters at the event, according to the Hill. Her office said before the White House meeting that she had a prior commitment. The event will air on PBS next year.”


Everything You Need to Know About Obama’s Immigration Announcement

“The Announcement

President Obama will speak live at 8 p.m. ET from the East Room of the White House. On Friday, he will travel to Del Sol High School in Las Vegas to further detail his plans and rally supporters. Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California, will also attend, officials said. The school is the same place where Obama announced a second-term push for immigration reform in Jan. 2013.

The Action

The White House says Obama will “maximize the use of his authority” to extend temporary legal status to more than 5 million undocumented immigrants.

Who Gets Relief?

–4.1 million undocumented parents and families of U.S. citizens who have been in country more than 5 years with no criminal record.

–300,000 undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. illegally as children, so-called —-Dreamers, will be newly eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. –Current age limits for the program will be dropped, sources say.

–400,000 highly-skilled workers will be eligible for visas.

–Some other smaller categories for relief will bring the number affected above 5 million.

Who Gets Left Out?

–Undocumented parents of DACA recipients will not be eligible for legal status.

–Undocumented agricultural workers will not be addressed.

Border Security

Obama will direct more resources on border security with an emphasis on deporting new arrivals. Guidance to law enforcement will be to focus on criminal aliens rather than those living quietly in the shadows with no arrest record.

The Legal Argument

The White House believes Obama’s acts are effectively bullet

-proof in court, backed up by the precedent of more than a dozen presidents who have used discretion in enforcement of immigration law and granted temporary legal status to thousands of immigrants on their watch. Advocates have been told the dreamer families were left out because White House believes inclusion of non-citizen families would jeopardize the legal underpinning of the plan.

The Caveats

Obama will sign his executive order tomorrow at the event in Las Vegas, but it will take several weeks for many of the new initiatives to roll out, people familiar with the plan say. Terms of the action will take effect in six months, giving time for congressional action to replace the order with legislation and allow advocacy groups to organize people to apply for relief. Nothing in Obama’s plan will create a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and any legal status received would be temporary. Officials have said the eligible immigrants – as under DACA — would not be entitled to federal benefits such as Medicaid, health care subsidies, etc. While up to as many as 5 million undocumented immigrants would be eligible to apply for relief under Obama’s new order, it is expected that fewer will actually apply and be approved. So bottom line: 5 million is the high end, but a rough estimate.”


Revealed: Four of the Talking Points Obama Wants Dems to Use on Immigration

“The one-pager repeats several lines, which could be an indication of what the president will hone in on Thursday. Here’s what to expect from Democrats addressing some key points.

  1. It’s not amnesty

The talking points say, “Taxes and background checks aren’t amnesty. That’s accountability. Doing nothing—that’s amnesty.”

  1. The president’s legal authority and Congress’ role

“Every President for more than half a century, both Democrats and Republicans, has taken executive action on immigration,” the talking points say. “The President’s actions are temporary. House Republicans need to do their job and pass the bipartisan Senate bill to provide a permanent fix.”The document continues, “These are common sense steps, but only Congress can finish the job. As the president acts, he’ll continue to work with Congress on a comprehensive, bipartisan bill—like the one passed by the Senate more than a year ago—that can replace these actions and fix the whole system.”

  1. Who to deport

The talking points reiterate, “prioritize deporting felons not families,” and add, “We need to focus on deporting felons, not families; criminals, not children.”

  1. What to say to Republican threats on funding

Some Republicans in Congress have talked about not funding Obama’s executive action. The White House’s view on this seems geared to making Democrats look tougher on enforcement than the GOP. “Republicans are blocking funding to conduct millions of background checks,” the documents says. “Another Republican shutdown, but this time over collecting taxes from undocumented immigrants.” On Thursday morning, Obama hinted at another point he would talk about in his prime-time address, during a White House event awarding 19 recipients with the National Medal of Science and National Medal of Technology and Innovation. “Too often we are losing talent because after the enormous investment we make in students and young researchers, we tell them to go home after they graduate,” Obama said. “We tell them to take their talents and potential someplace else.” Obama said the country needs “an immigration system that doesn’t send away talent, but attracts it,” and added, “so that’s what I’ll be talking about a little bit tonight.”


5 things to watch in Obama’s immigration speech


Main elements of Obama’s actions on immigration


Illegal immigrants can start applying for delayed deportations this spring



“It is possible that President Obama’s amnesty plan, being announced Thursday, will shield up to four million illegals from U.S. immigration laws. Reports also say that an additional one million will be afforded other levels of protections by the President’s impending action. According to The New York Times, Obama’s executive action will shield the four million from deportation if they have already been here for at least five years and have no criminal record.”


Like Senate Bill, No Obamacare In President’s Immigration Order


New enforcement focus in Obama’s immigration plan

“Homeland Security Secretary Jeh (jay) Johnson says President Barack Obama’s immigration plan will focus enforcement efforts on immigrants who are serious criminals — and those who crossed into the U.S. illegally or were ordered from the country in the last year. Johnson is detailing the plan to Homeland Security Department employees at three agencies in charge of enforcing immigration laws. He says going after immigrants with serious criminal records, including adult gang members, will be an enforcement priority. A lower enforcement priority will be immigrants with convictions for three or more misdemeanors or for “significant” misdemeanors. Johnson isn’t say what a significant misdemeanor is.”



“The Department of Homeland Security says it will grant temporary amnesty and work permits to immigrants from the three nations most ravaged by the Ebola virus.  According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson decided to “designate Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months” because it is too dangerous for people to go back to those nations. Those who are in the United States, as of Thursday, from Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea can apply for Temporary Protected Status, which will be “effective Nov. 21, 2014, and will be in effect for 18 months.” Nearly 8,000 people are reportedly expected to apply for Temporary Protected Status.

Even those who “last habitually resided” in Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone “will not be removed from the United States” and will be “authorized to work and obtain an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).” Applicants must have continually resided in the U.S. since November 20, 2014, and have been “continuously physically present in” the country since November 21, 2014, according to USCIS. Those who pose a national security threat or “certain criminal records” will not be eligible. Eligible applicants can also apply for fee waivers.

Thomas Eric Duncan, who was the first person to be diagnosed with and die of Ebola on American soil, was from Liberia.”

Homeland Security Grants 18 Month Amnesty To People From Ebola-Stricken Countries

DHS: Visitors from three Ebola-stricken West African countries can stay in US for 18 months


Obama Addresses Nation: “Amnesty Is The Immigration System We Have Today”

Obama: “You’ll be able to apply to stay in this country temporarily”

Obama urges Congress to pass immigration reform bill

Obama: “There are actions I have the legal authority to take”

Obama to immigration critics in Congress: “Pass a bill”

“President Obama on Thursday defended the actions he’s taking to shield about 5 million immigrants in the U.S. illegally from deportation as “lawful” and consistent with what his predecessors have done. “I continue to believe that the best way to solve this problem is by working together to pass that kind of common sense law,” the president said. “But until that happens, there are actions I have the legal authority to take as President – the same kinds of actions taken by Democratic and Republican presidents before me – that will help make our immigration system more fair and more just.” “The actions I’m taking are not only lawful, they’re the kinds of actions taken by every single Republican president and every single Democratic president for the past half century,” Mr. Obama added. The actions he outlined will grant a reprieve from deportation to about 5 million immigrants in the U.S. illegally and allow them to apply for a three-year work permit if they can pass a background check, register with the government, submit biometric data, and establish they are eligible for relief. During the speech, he argued that his actions are shaped by America’s character. “Are we a nation that tolerates the hypocrisy of a system where workers who pick our fruit and make our beds never have a chance to get right with the law?” he asked. “Or are we a nation that gives them a chance to make amends, take responsibility, and give their kids a better future?” Mr. Obama is not signing any executive orders to carry out his plans, but will rather issue several presidential memoranda that establish new procedures and guidelines for the Departments of Homeland Security, Justice and Labor. He will sign the memoranda in a trip Friday to Del Sol High School in Las Vegas, where he will promote the plan in a state that has a growing Latino population. Those who will be affected by the memoranda include the parents of children who were either born in the U.S. or are Lawful Permanent Residents, and children who were brought into the country illegally prior to January 1, 2010, and have lived in the U.S. for at least five years. The latter category represents an expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA, which previously required applicants to have arrived before June 15, 2007 and had an age limit. DACA recipients will also be given a three-year reprieve, rather than the current two years. Dreamers, the name given to young illegal immigrants who advocated for the original DACA law, are likely to be angered by the order since it excludes their parents from relief. The Migration Policy Institute estimates there are about 300,000 immigrants in the U.S. illegally who have a child who was a DACA recipient, but no children who are U.S. citizens or Legal Permanent Residents. “Even as we focus on deporting criminals, the fact is, millions of immigrants – in every state, of every race and nationality – will still live here illegally. And let’s be honest – tracking down, rounding up, and deporting millions of people isn’t realistic. Anyone who suggests otherwise isn’t being straight with you. It’s also not who we are as Americans,” the president said.”


Full Transcript: Obama’s Speech on Immigration Overhaul


Breaking: Obama executive amnesty plan bullet points


Text of the White House Fact Sheet on Obama’s Immigration Action




Obama: U.S. immigration system should attract talent


Obama’s Action on Immigration Includes Entrepreneurs and High-Skilled Workers


President Obama Says Immigrants Must Pay ‘Fair Share Of Taxes’


The Typical Beneficiary Of Obama’s Illegal Immigration Plan Will Pay No Net Income Taxes


Obama to Republicans: Don’t Shut Down the Government Again (Video)






President Obama Announces Sweeping Immigration Reform

U.S. president delivers impassioned remarks and challenges Congress to pass its own law.


Obama Acts to Pull 5 Million From Immigration “Shadows”



“President Barack Obama’s executive actions are also changing the demographics of what many think constitutes a “DREAMer,” or an illegal immigrant who came to the United States as a child.

Prior to Obama’s executive announcement, childhood arrivals were eligible for the president’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program only if they were born after 1981, arrived in the United States before June 15, 2007, and been in the U.S for at least five years.

Under Obama’s new executive order expanding DACA, there are no more age limits.

Further, now illegal immigrants who say they came to the United States as children can apply for DACA if they arrived prior to January 1, 2010. Here’s the White House’s Fact Sheet section on DACA expansion:  Expanding DACA to cover additional DREAMers. Under the initial DACA program, young people who had been in the U.S. for at least five years, came as children, and met specific education and public safety criteria were eligible for temporary relief from deportation so long as they were born after 1981 and entered the country before June 15, 2007. DHS is expanding DACA so that individuals who were brought to this country as children can apply if they entered before January 1, 2010, regardless of how old they are today. Going forward, DACA relief will also be granted for three years.”




Obama calls immigration action legal, not amnesty


Obama Makes Sentimental Amnesty Pitch To Unsentimental Nation

“The speech began and ended with appeals to Americans’ sentimental tradition of welcoming immigrants. But Obama repeatedly acknowledged the weakness of his political position and the sacrifice that he’s demanding of Americans who are skeptical and disappointed about government, Obama and his immigration policy. “Politicians use the issue to scare people and whip up votes at election time,” he said, only two weeks after many pro-amnesty Democratic candidates lost their seats. “I know the politics of this issue are tough,” he said, without citing the many polls that show lopsided political opposition to amnesty. “We need reasonable, thoughtful, compassionate debate that focuses on our hopes, not our fears,” he said, in a speech that will filled with emotional guilt-evoking appeals to Americans’ traditional support for European immigration. But the public is increasingly unsentimental about immigration.”




High-skilled immigration fixes are just a band-aid


FACT CHECK: Obama’s claims on illegal immigration


Obama’s Amnesty Guts States’ Immigration Protections

“President Barack Obama’s unilateral amnesty will gut the long-standing Secure Communities program, which allows state officials to transfer illegals immigrants to federal agencies. The changes mean even fewer illegals who violate state laws — including theft and drunk-driving — will be accepted by federal officials for repatriation. Under Obama’s new changes, immigration officials at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency can only ask — not require — that state police hold illegals until they can be picked up by federal officials for repatriation. “Before it was a demand, now it is a request,” a White House officials said. That change means that left-leaning states — including California and New York — can shield illegals from deportation, regardless of popular federal laws against illegal immigration. The changes are justified by demands from local communities, the White House official said. The new policy “responds to the concerns that communities have identified… we think this is smart and good government,” he said. Obama’s new policy also means that enforcement officers won’t be even allowed to ask states to hold illegals until pickup by immigration officials, unless the illegals are first convicted of a criminal offense.”




“Outgoing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) argues that despite the fact that President Obama’s executive amnesty will not have the force of law, it would be very difficult for another president to rescind.  “This is something that is fair and the right thing to do,” Reid said on Thursday. “They have the opportunity at some later time, some president to say, ‘I want this all changed.’ I wish that person luck to try to tell these millions of people and their families — who many at that time will have many, many more United States citizens — are going to be pretty hard to rescind what this first step is.” Reid called the scope of the executive amnesty — expected to encompass some 5 million illegal immigrants — “pretty good.”


Leaked WH Memo: GOP Has Until Early 2015 to Block Obama’s Amnesty


Emotions rise as people hear immigration plan


Immigration plan angers Republicans, satisfies Democrats


Reaction to the president’s immigration plan


DREAM Activists: Not Good Enough

“A group of activists welcomed President Obama’s unilateral changes to immigration policy by saying that it’s not expansive enough. “Today’s victory is tremendous, but to be real, it is incomplete,” United We Dream managing director Cristina Jimenez said Thursday evening. “But too many of our parents, LGBTQ brothers and sisters and friends were left out. United We Dream doesn’t agree with that decision and we are determined to fight for their protection. Our community sticks together. This is a long-term struggle. We will continue organizing until our entire community can come forward and enjoy the full rights of citizenship.”



“Arizona State Representative Steve Montenegro (R) who is a legal immigrant from El Salvador, argued that President Obama’s executive order on immigration was ” a slap in the face to immigrants” on Thursday’s “Kelly File” on the Fox News Channel.   “This is utter lawlessness. This is a phenomenal disrespect and disregard for the Constitution of this country, for the laws of our country, and frankly it’s rewarding people who have broken the law, the immigration laws, it’s rewarding those people. Now, it’s a slap in the face to immigrants because first of all that’s the reason people immigrate to this country. No one is above the law. Everybody is supposed to respect the law, not the President of the United States, nobody’s above the law” he said, also declaring that President Obama was telling legal immigrants “you should have broken the law.”

He added, “today’s action really is an inflammatory action to play with our emotions, play with people’s emotions, and frankly we just need to know that what he’s trying to do is pin Americans against Americans.” And “I actually think that the Hispanic people, immigrants, people that are here legally, and people that want to get involved in the political process are seeing right through it.”


Obama heads to Vegas to rally support for immigration overhaul

“Determined to go it alone, President Obama will head to Nevada on Friday to sign an executive order granting “deferred action” to two illegal immigrant groups- parents of United States citizens or legal permanent residents who have been in the country for five years, and young people who who were brought into the country illegally as of 2010. Obama will sign the executive order at the same Las Vegas high school where he unveiled his sweeping blueprint for a national immigration overhaul nearly two years ago.  Hispanics are a growing and powerful constituency in Nevada and the state serves as fertile ground for the president to rally public support.  During a 15-minute primetime speech Thursday, Obama said his administration will start accepting applications from illegal immigrants who seek the deferred actions. Those who qualify will be granted protections for three years, Obama said, as he laid out his sweeping plan to the public Thursday night from the East Room of the White House. “Mass amnesty would be unfair,” Obama said during the primetime address. “Mass deportation would be both impossible and contrary to our character.” Obama, who pitched his plan as a “commonsense, middle ground approach,” said “if you meet the criteria, you can come out of the shadows and get right with the law” but warned “if you’re a criminal, you’ll be deported.” The president did not specify how many in each “deferred action” group would be granted the new status. According to recent reports, the parental group could involve upwards of 4.5 million immigrants, with those brought into the country illegally making up close to 300,000 new applications. There are an estimated 11 million people living in the country illegally. But Republicans have been quick to criticize and say the executive action is an example of Obama stretching his powers as president. Even before the speech, conservatives said they were willing to do whatever was necessary to stop Obama’s plan.”


Some Fans of ‘Executive Action’

“The National Catholic Reporter writes:

“In a little noted letter, two bishops chairing committees of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops have put the Catholic bishops on record supporting executive action on immigration. The letter places the bishops on President Barack Obama’s side in his dispute with congressional Republicans, who are opposed to any executive action on immigration. The letter, sent on Sept. 9 with little fanfare, was addressed to Jeh Johnson, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, with copies of the letter going to Dennis McDonough, chief of staff to the president, and Cecilia Munoz, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council. The letter was signed by Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, chair of the Committee on Migration, and Bishop Kevin Vann, chair of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network. The conference issued no press release to publicize the letter and I cannot find it on the USCCB website. The letter asked for executive action “to protect undocumented individuals and families as soon as possible, within the limits of your executive authority.” “With immigration reform legislation stalled in Congress,” the letter said, “our nation can no longer wait to end the suffering of family separation caused by our broken immigration system.”





“On Thursday, some of the nation’s most prominent black leaders praised President Barack Obama’s forthcoming executive amnesty even though granting illegal immigrants work permits will detrimentally impact black workers.  At the National Press Club, NAACP President Cornell William Brooks said he applauded Obama for his executive amnesty, saying amnesty is not only about the “economic status of workers” but also about “compassion.” He said it is “crucial to provide documentation” to all of the nation’s illegal immigrants and declared that the NAACP stands with big-business interests and ethnic and social justice organizations in pushing for a more permanent comprehensive amnesty bill.  Janai Nelson, of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, actually claimed that Obama’s executive amnesty will be “a positive development for non-immigration communities, including African-American workers hit especially hard by the economic downturn.” She said Obama’s executive amnesty will help the “living wage debate” and benefit African-American workers by paving “the way for a more just economic system that will assist various marginalized communities.” She said she had “every confidence” that Obama’s executive amnesty will be a “grand success.”  Melanie Campbell, of the National Organization of Black Civic Participation, said Obama’s executive amnesty is something that is “fair for all Americans” and “workers.”




Unions say immigration announcement a ‘big step forward’


Hillary Clinton Backs Obama’s Amnesty



Media Swoons, Gloats over Obama’s Immigration Order



“On Thursday’s “Morning Joe” on MSNBC, Obama administration adviser Jennifer Palmieri defended President Barack Obama’s anticipated executive amnesty action scheduled to be made official later this week. Palmieri argued against a Washington Post editorial making the argument that Obama’s actions will “tear up the Constitution.” “It doesn’t tear up the Constitution. And you will see — everyone will see that it doesn’t,” she said. “[W]e’re not concerned about that. The president will announce what he’s doing tonight and we will explain it and people can look at the legal justification and make that determination. But this is not about the president’s frustration with Congress. There are — you know, there are, like I said, there are millions of people that we can help right now, begin to solve the problem.”

“It’s been two years,” Palmieri continued. “There’s just not any credible reason to ask these people to continue to wait and you know Congress has free will. They can pick up and the legislation or add other legislation and act whenever they like. The president wants to work to do that. But at this point the president just feels like he has to act to solve the small part because there are going to be people that are disappointed because we won’t solve the problem.”–the-Constitution



“Univision’s Jorge Ramos is already celebrating President Obama’s planned executive action on amnesty, calling it a “triumph for the Latino community.” Ramos has been a passionate advocate for immigration reform–even swimming across the Rio Grande to highlight the dangers illegal immigrants face. But for Ramos and his audience, Obama’s amnesty order would be a key victory. “It’ll be a triumph for the Latino community,” Ramos wrote in an email to Time magazine. “It’ll demonstrate our newfound power. This is not something that we got; this is something that we fought for.” Ramos also pointed out that Obama’s executive action would have a “tremendous impact” on the 2016 presidential race. “This will be the most important immigration measure in 50 years–since the 1965 change in immigration law. In terms of numbers, it’ll have a wider impact than the 1986 amnesty,” he said. “Although it’ll be temporary, Republicans will have a very hard time rejecting it and not being seen as anti-immigrant or anti-Latino.”


Univision anchor: Obama’s executive order ‘a triumph for the Latino community’




Gutierrez to GOP: ‘Stop Whining’

“Democratic congressman Luis Gutierrez had two words for Republican lawmakers condemning President Obama’s executive amnesty: “Stop whining.” In an interview on Thursday with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, the Illinois representative dismissed the constitutional concerns voiced by Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell and other Republicans over the White House’s unilateral push to legalize millions of illegal immigrants. “Mitch McConnell — they should stop whining, and they should start legislating, and start saying what they’re going to do,” Gutierrez said. “They have an incredible victory in the Senate, an incredible new majority in the House of Representatives. Use it to do something constructive!”

Luis Gutierrez To Mitch McConnell: “Stop Whining and Start Legislating”

“REP. LUIS GUTIERREZ (D-Illinois): Nothing could be further from the truth. They do not get ahead of the line they are not in any line. They get a three-year work permit and have to go through a background check. Guess who pays for that? The immigrant who applies to register with the government.  Won’t we feel much safer and won’t it be more with our values if we allow people who have been working, established roots in their communities?  The other thing is… They have to have American citizen children. This is about families. Don’t you want millions of American citizen children to be raised by their parents who by all other standards are law abiding and ready to go through a background check. I want the billions of dollars in taxes that they will pay. Look, Congress has to act and they are the only one who can finish this job. This is a down payment, an installment. Congress has to act and the president wants to work with that. You know better than most, I will sit down with my Republican colleagues and work with them. Mitch McConnell, they should stop whining and they should start legislating and saying what they will do. They have an incredible victory in the Senate an incredible new majority in the Ho Use it to do something constructive. Unfortunately Republicans know that immigration doesn’t exactly unite their caucuses. But being against anything Obama is for does. Let’s put the American people ahead of partisan politics and what’s good for your party. Let’s do what’s good for America. What will do the most for the millions of families.”


Rep. Luis Gutierrez: I Told Obama “My Job Now Is To Sign People Up”



“Representative Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) responded to her party’s electoral defeat by claiming that Republicans won where “there’s not a large amount of immigrant people” on Thursday’s broadcast of CNN’s “@This Hour.”  When Sanchez was asked whether the president should still issue his planned executive order on immigration given the GOP’s victories in the elections, she responded “two years ago when the president won re-election, his policies were on the ballot also, but the Republicans didn’t pay attention to that. All I’ve got to say is that yes, Republicans picked up seats. They picked up seats where there are no real, there’s not a large amount of immigrant people, they don’t understand many times what we’re really talking about with respect to [the] economy, with respect to family.”



“Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) argued that President Obama just wants Republicans to “be Americans” and act on immigration reform in an interview on Thursday’s “News Nation” on MSNBC. When asked whether she thought the president had changed his mind on whether he had the authority to act unilaterally on immigration, Jackson Lee responded “I think the president’s words then are as true for him today, what the president indicated [is] that his broad authorities, as broad as they may be under the executive powers, [do] not give him authority to convey citizenship, and nothing in what we have seen in his proposal conveys citizenship, and it also reflects a very thorough, Constitutional study on his executive powers.” She concluded “I think if the American people look, they will see that this is not a runaway president, this is not a president who desires not to work with the Congress, it is a president that is begging for the reasonableness of these Republicans to be Americans and to stand collectively to solve an American problem and let’s do it together. He is within his authority and he’s doing the right thing. There are too many people in pain.”


Nancy Pelosi: Congress also must act on immigration reform

“House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has praised President Obama for his expected executive action to shield millions of illegal immigrants from deportation but said Congress also must act to pass immigration reform legislation. “We want a bill,” the California Democrat told reporters Thursday. “It’s over 500 days since the Senate passed [an immigration reform] bill, and still no action by the House Republicans on anything.” “This is a dereliction of duty not to address the broken immigration system in our country.” Pelosi said that while the Senate measure is “not perfect,” the measure would pass with bipartisan support in the House if GOP leaders were willing to bring it to the floor. The comprehensive Senate bill passed in 2013 with significant bipartisan support. House Republican leaders have expressed a preference for splitting up the measure so members can vote on individual components, but so far haven’t done so.”



“House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi argues President Barack Obama has ample authority to take executive actions as many presidents before him have done, including President Abraham Lincoln.  “Does the public know the Emancipation Proclamation was an executive order?” Pelosi asked reporters Thursday. “People have to understand how presidents have made change in our country, Congress catching up, and in the case of Ronald Reagan, improving what Congress has done.” Obama is poised to announce his long-anticipated executive actions on immigration Thursday night. Reports indicate he will move to grant legal status to about five million illegal immigrants. Friday, Obama will appear in Nevada to argue further for his plan. Pelosi–who said she would be joining Obama Friday in the Sagebrush State–argued that the President’s imminent announcement will be about “securing the border, holding undocumented immigrants accountable, and again reassuring everyone, making sure everyone plays by the rules, pays taxes, and the rest.”  “This is pretty exciting. It’s bold. It’s courageous. It’s as good as it can be under the law,” she said, adding that she would still prefer an immigration bill to the executive actions.”

Listen up, rubes! Nancy Pelosi has a question for you ‘executive action’ haters

“‘Pelosi on #immigration: I don’t know people know what executive action is. Would they have been opposed to the Emancipation Proclamation?’ Unfortunately, she only made herself look stupid… “Emancipation Proclamation was a use of war powers. Lincoln needed  13th Amendment to free slaves in Union territory.”

Pelosi Praises Republican Presidents of Yore on Immigration (Video)

“Nancy Pelosi, defending Barack Obama, praised Republican presidents who historically took unilateral action on immigration — with the minority leader even drawing parallels between Obama’s proposed executive order and Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 Emancipation Proclamation. “Does the public know that the Emancipation Proclamation was an executive order?” Pelosi asked during a news conference Thursday. “People have to understand how presidents have made change in our country.” The California Democrat cited the history of U.S. presidents making significant changes without going through Congress, and she brought up the pattern of Republican presidents in the past 50 years exerting their executive authority to act on immigration. Asked whether Republicans had a case that what the president was proposing was unconstitutional, Pelosi said Obama’s action was “absolutely, positively” not outside his constitutional bounds. “Are they making that same accusation of Ronald Reagan? Gerald Ford? Richard Nixon? George Herbert Walker Bush? George W. Bush?” Pelosi asked.


Nancy Pelosi: Obama acting on immigration because Congress won’t


Democrats: GOP Opposition To Obama’s Amnesty Will Lead To ‘Ethnic Cleansing’


Bill Clinton on Obama’s Amnesty: Borders Are Nets, Not Walls

“Former President Bill Clinton said that “borders look more like nets than walls” and stressed global interdependence ahead of President Barack Obama’s executive amnesty announcement. “So we’re back to the struggle we’re in, the chase,” Clinton said in a speech at The New Republic magazine’s 100th anniversary gala Wednesday night. “And every citizen, I believe, has an obligation in some form or another to build up the positive and reduce the negative forces of our interdependence, because one thing we do know — and it’s the reason I’m, I’ve been so upset about the shape of this immigration debate in America — is, in a world where borders look more like nets than walls, we are interdependent, whether we like it or not.” “The president’s going to make his immigration comments tomorrow,” Clinton continued. ”As far as I can tell, every governor — every president in the modern era — has issued some executive orders affecting immigration. So I think it, I imagine he’s on pretty firm legal footing.”




Douglas Brinkley: Obama Will Become “A Folk Hero to Latino Americans”

“DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: You will find today’s tea party crowd not defending Reagan or Bush. They’ll say they were wrong, so why are we doubling down even greater on it now? I would tell you to look at this as to who President Obama is. He is a president who is unable to get anything done with Congress, sees immigration as a national security issue and like really a Theodore Roosevelt or FDR is going to lay down this heavy marker on history right now and become in doing so a folk hero to Latino Americans.”


New York Times Endorses Obama’s Amnesty Without Knowing What He’s Going To Do

“In an editorial entitled, “At Long Last, Immigration Action,” The New York Times offers a full-throated endorsement of President Barack Obama’s executive amnesty action. However, the editorial board freely admits it has no idea what it’s endorsing. “The reasons given by Mr. Obama and his aides are sound and well within the law,” the editorialists write. Then, a paragraph later, they add: “Details have not been announced, but it seems that Mr. Obama’s plan will protect the parents of citizens and legal permanent residents, and a larger portion of the young people called Dreamers, who came here when they were children. Other, smaller groups may qualify as well.” (Emphasis added.) So, they have no idea what’s in the coming executive order, but they support it. It must be so good to be a Democrat, to know the media will have your back not matter what you do.”


Chris Hayes: The Legal Precedent For Obama’s Executive Order: Reagan

“CHRIS HAYES, ALL IN: Tomorrow the President of the United States is reportedly going to act unilaterally to provide relief for up to 5 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States.  A lot of people are asking, can he do that. It’s a natural question. Part of the reason conservatives are scrambling to respond is that almost all signs point to yes. Right now there are roughly 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. and pretty much everyone agrees. The federal government simply doesn’t have the resources or hasn’t appropriated them to deport all 11 million of them.  Someone has to make decisions about who to prioritize for deportation. And that someone, according to the Constitution, is the executive branch, which determines how to implement the laws Congress passes. The president has the authority to decide which deportations to prosecute, and which not to prosecute under the principle known as prosecutorial discretion. In 1974 the Supreme Court said the executive branch “has exclusive authority and absolute discretion to decide whether to prosecute a case.”  In fact, every president since Eisenhower has used executive action to influence immigration policy in some way, notably Ronald Reagan and George HW. Bush.”


Obama’s Immigration Decision Has Precedents, but May Set a New One


The Administration’s Legal Case for Amnesty

“Here, from the Office of Legal Counsel, is the administration’s legal case for the president’s executive amnesty:”


Valerie Jarrett: Obama’s Action “Well Within Scope” Of Authority, But “Great Limitations” To What He Wants To Do

“Senior Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett says what President Obama is preparing to do in regards to executive action on immigration is clearly “well within the scope” of his authority as president. However, she admitted the president “doesn’t have legal authority” to do what he would really like to do. MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell challenged Jarrett to explain why President Obama previously said he didn’t have the legal authority to do what he is planning to do now. “Why did he say he didn’t have the legal authority to do exactly what he is planning to announce tonight?” Mitchell asked after playing a clip of President Obama last year saying he would be “ignoring the law.” “He was absolutely right then,” Jarrett said “He doesn’t have the legal authority to do everything that is in the Senate bill. The president believes that we should provide a path to citizenship for people who are prepared to pay back taxes, get right with the law, and learn English. That’s what was in the Senate bill. He can’t do that. There great limitations to what he might want to do that he can’t do under his executive authority.”


Reid: Obama Immigration Executive Action ‘Isn’t Anything New’ (Video)


NBC: Obama Set to ‘Make Good On A Promise to Sidestep Congress’

“On Thursday’s NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie framed President Obama’s upcoming executive order granting amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants as him simply keeping his word: “President Obama will address the nation tonight on the hot-button issue of immigration reform, planning to make good on a progress – a promise to sidestep Congress and take executive action.”


Millions of illegal immigrants await news with mix of excitement, anxiety, confusion


Tackling Immigration Alone

The President has good reason to bypass Congress. But he’ll pay a price


Obama’s immigration moment

“…Obama’s speech to millions of Americans on Thursday is the start of a broader campaign to convince the public that his actions are motivated by sound policy rather than a brazen attempt to maintain his relevance. It’s evident that Obama, reeling from low personal approval ratings and his party’s dismal showing in the 2014 midterms, has a tough slog ahead to win this argument. “I think it’s the height of arrogance for this president to go around the Congress,” Republican Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said Wednesday, drawing the battle lines for an immigration debate that will extend well beyond Washington. Just as important as outlining his plan, which includes deportation deferrals and work permits for roughly 5 million undocumented immigrants, Obama is looking for approval of a governing style more combative than the one he deployed during his first six years in office. It’s not just immigration on which Obama is pursuing aggressive executive action, but also environmental policy, a nuclear deal with Iran and various economic prescriptions. Yet, Obama’s immigration problem is uniquely challenging because he’s flirted with taking such actions for so long. The president’s immigration blueprint was originally expected in the late summer, but he decided to wait until after the November midterms in an effort to protect endangered Democrats. Even some allies suggested that Obama’s taking so long to act weakened his pitch to a prime-time audience. “He can’t easily win the ‘it’s the right thing to do’ argument,” conceded an immigration-reform advocate with close ties to the White House. “If it was that simple, he would have done something a long time ago. It’s harder to say ‘now is the time’ when he dragged his feet for so long.”


Obama’s immigration actions do have limits

“President Barack Obama is poised to level broad authority to grant work permits to millions of immigrants living illegally in the United States and to protect them from deportation, but the plan would leave the fate of millions more still unresolved. Republicans vowed an all-out fight against it. “Congress will act,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell warned on the Senate floor Thursday, hours before Obama’s 8 p.m. EST address sidestepping Congress on this volatile issue. “We’re considering a variety of options,” McConnell told Senate colleagues. “But make no mistake. When the newly elected representatives of the people take their seats, they will act.” Obama’s measures could make as many as 5 million people eligible for work permits, with the broadest action likely aimed at extending deportation protections to parents of U.S. citizens and permanent residents, as long as those parents have been in the country for five years. Other potential winners under Obama’s actions would be young immigrants who entered the country illegally as children but do not now qualify under a 2012 directive from the president that’s expected to be expanded. Changes also are expected to law enforcement programs and business visas. But with more than 11 million immigrants living in the country illegally, Obama’s actions would not affect millions of other illegal immigrants, although their chances of getting deported if they have not committed a crime are low. “What I’m going to be laying out is the things that I can do with my lawful authority as president to make the system better, even as I continue to work with Congress and encourage them to get a bipartisan, comprehensive bill that can solve the entire problem,” Obama said in a video posted Wednesday on Facebook.”


The Case against Obama’s Amnesty  (Cornyn)

It will set back efforts to reform immigration.

“Though the president promised he would tackle immigration reform with Congress during his first year in office, his record has instead been a series of empty promises and unilateral policy changes that have produced disastrous results. Because of his decisions to bypass the legislative branch and the rule of law, we have seen thousands of deportable criminals, including many with violent records, released from immigration detention. We also saw a genuine humanitarian crisis unfold along our southern border, as tens of thousands of Central American minors — motivated at least in part by President Obama’s non-enforcement of U.S. immigration law — made a treacherous journey in order to cross illegally into the United States.  Despite these results, the president has decided to announce yet another unilateral policy change that will dwarf all the others — and also make it that much harder for Congress to pass real immigration reform. Republicans and Democrats alike have ideas for how to improve the system, and many of these ideas command bipartisan support. Indeed, members of both parties agree on measures that would address border security, legal immigration, and legitimate commerce at our ports of entry. We agree on measures that would boost our economy, promote assimilation, and strengthen the rule of law. Yet the president is poised to sabotage the legislative process. The likely results of his unilateral action are all too predictable. A new amnesty program would send an even louder message to the world that the United States does not enforce its laws. It would prompt more people in Central America to pay smugglers, human traffickers, and drug cartels for transportation through Mexico. It would also harm legal immigration by pushing those who have followed the rules to the back of the line. So I would ask the president: Why would we want to again encourage young people to make one of the most dangerous migration journeys anywhere in the world? Why would we want to empower the brutal criminals who control Mexico’s smuggling networks? And why would we want to unfairly punish those seeking to immigrate legally? Failing to get his way in Congress does not give President Obama the right to go around Congress. The American people strongly oppose his executive amnesty, and Republicans will take action to stop it.”


Obama’s Amnesty Will Add As Many Foreign Workers As New Jobs Since 2009

“President Barack Obama’s unilateral amnesty will quickly add as many foreign workers to the nation’s legal labor force as the total number of new jobs created by his economy since 2009. The plans, expected to be announced late Nov. 20, will distribute five million work permits to illegal immigrants, and also create a new inflow of foreign college graduates for prestigious salaried jobs, according to press reports. Obama has already provided or promised almost one million extra work permits to foreigners, while his economy has only added six million jobs since 2009. Under the president’s new amnesty plan, “up to four million undocumented immigrants who have lived in the United States for at least five years can apply. … An additional one million people will get protection from deportation through other parts of the president’s plan,” according to a Nov. 19 report in The New York Times. The five million total was attributed to “people briefed on his plans,” the Times reports. The five million work permits will add to Obama’s prior giveaways, which have provided work permits to almost one million foreigners.”


What If Employers Don’t Want to Hire the 5 Million Illegal Immigrants?

“Hugh Hewitt offers an unexpected argument: The quasi-amnesty the president offers tonight may actually make it tougher for illegal immigrants to find jobs: “The people in the country illegally will know shortly that this stunt tonight does not help them and may in fact hurt them –badly. The collision of what is in essence a letter of recommendation from the president to employers with their genuine worries about liabilities under state law and about their fiduciary duties to their customers is going to be instant, and not to the good of the illegal population. Employers are going to flee the president’s testimonial that, if he were king of the forest, not queen, not duke, not earl, he’d let this person have a green card. Because he’s not king, he cannot bless this person’s employment in the real world of tort liability and state law. He cannot solve the issue of Social Security and unemployment insurance withholding. What he can –and will do tonight– is mark the illegal as someone not worth the trouble of hiring. The president simply cannot bestow a green card.  Just a blessing.  An Obama blessing.  The blessing of a cheater. The president’s lawless act will have the apparently contradictory impact of both making life harder for “those in the shadows” by increasing the reluctance of employers to hire the obviously illegal, while at the same time attracting millions more north across the fenceless border.  Employers are simply going to be less willing to hire the obviously illegal because of a host of other laws the president cannot change.”



“With President Barack Obama poised to move on executive amnesty, a Republican House member is looking to block any illegal immigrant beneficiaries from obtaining work permits.

Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA) introduced legislation Thursday — the day Obama is set to announce his executive actions on immigration to the nation — to prevent illegal immigrants shielded from deportation by Obama’s expected executive amnesty from getting work authorization.

“The president has already said publicly 25 times that he doesn’t have the power to do what he is now going to do,” Barletta said. “He’s planning to reward one illegal act with an illegal act of his own.  And he’s sticking his finger into the eyes of millions of legal residents who didn’t have a job this morning.” Bartletta’s “Defense of Legal Workers Act,” according to the Pennsylvania lawmaker’s office, would amend current law to include illegal immigrants granted executive amnesty from being authorized to work.  “Everyone knows that when you apply for a job, you have to fill out that I-9 form and demonstrate that you’re legally eligible to work here,” the Republican continued in a statement. “The president wants to say that there are some people who just won’t have to worry about that. That’s not fair to everyone who has followed our immigration laws and wants a job.” Thursday evening Obama is expected to announce his anticipated, controversial executive actions on immigration. Reports indicate he will grant legal status to some 5 million illegal immigrants, possibly making them eligible to obtain work permits.”


Politics Counts: Obama’s Immigration Strategy and Low-Income Workers


How Obama’s Illegal Immigrant Amnesty Will Affect Labor Markets


Obama’s Executive Action Will Keep Legal Immigrant Families Apart


Obama to Unilaterally Rewrite Immigration Policy With 38% Support

“…Obama to Announce Plan to Vastly Expand National Pool of Legal Low-Skilled Labor. John Boehner’s office collected 22 times President Obama said he couldn’t ignore Congress and/or create his own immigration law. A couple of the most glaring and sweeping declarations: “I take the Constitution very seriously. The biggest problems that we’re facing right now have to do with [the president] trying to bring more and more power into the executive branch and not go through Congress at all. And that’s what I intend to reverse when I’m President of the United States of America.” (3/31/08) “I swore an oath to uphold the laws on the books …. Now, I know some people want me to bypass Congress and change the laws on my own. Believe me, the idea of doing things on my own is very tempting. I promise you. Not just on immigration reform. But that’s not how our system works. That’s not how our democracy functions. That’s not how our Constitution is written.” (7/25/11) That one’s particularly vivid, because President Obama appears to tee up his own impeachment, declaring that changing the laws on his own violates the Constitution and would represent a high crime or misdemeanor. Of course, Obama would welcome that; he could play the victim, it would awaken and stir a depressed Democratic base, and there’s just no way the two-thirds of the Senate would vote to remove President Obama from office.  If, as you suspect, President Obama wants Republicans to try to impeach him, this raises the disturbing prospect that the next two years will feature Obama attempting to provoke an impeachment fight by committing more and more acts that violate the Constitution.”




Does Obama have authority for immigration changes?


Pete Williams: No Legal Recourse For Obama’s Executive Action on Immigration, “Untested” In Courts

“JOSE DIAZ-BALART, MSNBC: For all this talk that maybe there will be lawsuits, can anyone even entertain such a lawsuit?

PETE WILLIAMS, NBC NEWS JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well they can certainly try. Here’s the constitutional issue. The constitution says that among the president’s duties is to take care that the laws be faithfully executed. And what the opponents of the president’s plan are saying is if you’re basically going to turn a blind eye to 5 million people who are here illegally and not enforce the law against them, you’re not taking care that the law be faithfully executed.  The supporters of the administration, though, say that the Congress has not given the immigration authorities enough money to go after all the 11 million people who are here illegally so the government has to make decisions and that the administration has the same kind of discretion in enforcing the law as a police man does on deciding who to arrest or as a prosecutor does on to who to file charges against. And it’s that discretion that gives the president the ability to do what the administration’s going to announce tonight. That’s the question and it’s a relatively untested issue in the courts. No court has ever struck down a president’s executive authority by saying it violates the take care clause of the constitution. But of course no president has done anything like this that affects 5 million people.”


Why Obama’s ‘Prosecutorial Discretion’ Excuse Is So Implausible

The goal of that doctrine is to better enforce the law, not ignore it.


He shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed

“According to the Constitution, upon taking office the President will swear an oath, and it shall include the phrase, to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. Inside that document, in Article II, it directs that the President, shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed. The President took that oath, and as a noted constitutional scholar and professor, I feel safe in assuming that he is familiar with that directive. We should note that reality frequently intrudes on the President’s ability to achieve that goal with 100% efficiency. There are limits to how many officers at each level of enforcement are available to investigate and pursue all the crime that takes place. Holding the President accountable for the fact that each and every kidnapping victim in the country is not returned safely would be facetious. Also, there are limits to the money and resources available for the enforcement of the law, and in the past we have seen instances where Justice has to pull back a bit on lower priority crimes, allowing them to focus on the most serious issues. None of these exceptions are what is under discussion in the issue of executive amnesty. Assuming that the early reports are accurate, the President will essentially halt all pursuit of between four and five million criminals tonight. We have known for a long time that it is not possible for ICE and Homeland Security to find each and every illegal immigrant in the country and deport them. We’re not happy about it, but that’s the reality on the ground. We do, however, expect them to do the best they can with the resources available. Executive amnesty is not cut from the same cloth as this. This is not a case of the President directing an agency to focus their money and manpower more in one area than another to accomplish the possible rather than the perfect. This is an executive order to officers of the law to stand down from their duty entirely and ignore criminals who they may – in at least some cases – be able to find and prosecute. And assuming that these same reports are accurate, the President will further order the issuance of work documents to those not currently qualified to hold them under existing law. This is not an act of regulation, which the various departments of the Executive branch issue outside the legislative process all the time. (That’s a discussion for another day.) This should be regarded in the eyes of any impartial observer as the summoning of a new law out of thin air. Here’s another section of that pesky Constitution thing again, this time from Article I. The Congress shall have the power: To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof. Only Congress is vested with the power to make new laws or amend or repeal existing ones. The President has no such authority. And I find it difficult to see how any court could look at this proposed power grab and find it to be within the powers described in the Constitution. In fact, the order to stand down would be precisely the opposite of taking care that the laws be faithfully executed. There’s on last phrase in the Constitution worth mentioning after all of this is taken into consideration… high crimes and misdemeanors. I wonder if a direct violation of the oath of office falls under that description?”


No, ‘Prosecutorial Discretion’ Does Not Justify Obama’s Lawless Amnesty

Obama’s planned action perverts the meaning of the legal doctrine.

“Can the president make fraud and theft legal? How about assault? Cocaine use? Perjury? You’d have to conclude he can — and that we have supplanted the Constitution with a monarchy — if you buy President Obama’s warped notion of prosecutorial discretion. Tonight, Mr. Obama will unveil his executive order granting amnesty to millions of illegal aliens. According to news accounts, the criminal-law doctrine of prosecutorial discretion is the foundation of the president’s legal theory. It is the source of what he purports to be his authority to decree that these aliens have lawful status, a power our Constitution gives only to Congress. Obama is distorting the doctrine. As I explain in Faithless Execution (and in columns and posts here, here, and here), prosecutorial discretion is a simple and, until recently, an uncontroversial matter of resource allocation. It merely holds that violations of law are abundant but law-enforcement resources are finite; therefore, we must target the resources at the most serious crimes, which of necessity means many infractions will go unaddressed. I’ve highlighted the last part because it is the key to understanding how Obama’s amnesty perverts the doctrine. As is always the case with a well-constructed fraud, Obama’s amnesty has some cosmetic appeal because it derives from some indisputable claims. In the American system, the power to prosecute belongs solely to the executive. Consequently, it is for the president alone to prioritize which law violations will be prosecuted and which will go unaddressed. Congress writes the laws but it has no power to compel the president to enforce them. And immigration offenses, like other law violations, are more plentiful than the police and prosecutorial resources available to carry out investigations, arrests, trials, imprisonment, and deportations. So President Obama is entirely correct when he says prosecutorial discretion makes it perfectly lawful for him to target finite immigration-enforcement resources against illegal aliens who commit serious crimes while overlooking millions of illegal aliens who violate “only” the immigration laws (plus identity-fraud offenses typically committed as those aliens illegally stay and work here).


Obama’s Constitutional Quagmire: Squaring Keystone Delay And Executive Amnesty

“President Barack Obama has found himself in somewhat of a constitutional quagmire: the president claims he does not have the authority to approve the Keystone pipeline until it makes its way through the “independent process” of the State Department, yet he knows he has the authority to grant de facto legal status to illegal immigrants via executive order. This strange juxtaposition of events — a vote on Keystone in Congress just days before the president issues his executive order — has forced Obama to do some fancy political footwork. Amid the president’s political posturing, he has vividly illustrated his muddled, inconsistent constitutional philosophy – a troubling situation for a self-proclaimed “constitutional law professor.” After the Democrats’ routing loss in the midterm elections, Obama was asked whether he would sign a bill from the new Congress to authorize the construction of the Keystone pipeline. He told reporters, “[O]n Keystone, there’s an independent process. It’s moving forward. And I’m going to let that process play out.” In other words, Obama tacitly told Congress he will likely veto Keystone-authorizing legislation since there is an “independent process” for approving the pipeline. That process resides in the State Department, which has permitting authority to approve the pipeline since it cuts across international borders. But this “independent process” the president professes so much faith in has taken six years thus far and is currently halted at the direction of Obama. Despite the president’s repeated claims that Keystone need undergo this “independent process,” a 2012 Congressional Research Service report stated, “legislation related to cross-border facility permitting is unlikely to raise significant constitutional questions.” Moreover, not only does Congress have the power to pass the pipeline, Congress has preeminent power: “Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution authorizes Congress to ‘regulate Commerce with foreign Nations.’ Whereas any independent presidential authority in matters affecting foreign commerce derives from the president’s more general foreign affairs authority, Congress’s power over foreign commerce is plainly enumerated in the Constitution, suggesting that its authority in this field is preeminent.”


Tonight in Prime Time: Watch Emperor Obama Trample the Constitution Over Amnesty (Allen West)


A Constitutional Crisis


‘Barack Obama, American Caudillo’

“From my Politico column today:  “The president and his supporters pretend that the Immigration and Nationality Act contains a gigantic asterisk that says, notwithstanding the elaborate legal infrastructure set out in the law and the distinctions among different categories of immigrants, the president can do whatever he wants. No Congress would ever write the law this way. And even if it did, it wouldn’t pass constitutional muster.  “The case law,” according to David Rivkin of the law firm Baker Hostetler, “clearly recognizes that delegations of any type of legislative authority to the president must contain some limiting principles; they can never be open-ended. To do otherwise, would unconstitutionally transfer core legislative powers to the president.” The president’s defenders rely on the notion of prosecutorial discretion, the existence of which is uncontroversial. The executive doesn’t have the resources to hunt down and prosecute every violator of our laws, and therefore has to establish enforcement priorities. The Congressional Research Service did a report on prosecutorial discretion and immigration that, for the most part, emphasizes its piddling reach. It says, for instance, that immigration officers may use discretion to decide whom to stop, question, and arrest; whether to issue or cancel a Notice to Appear; whether to settle or dismiss a proceeding; and so on. No one heretofore has thought this leeway could be used by a president as warrant to eviscerate an entire statutory scheme.”



“In a Wednesday letter to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, Grassley, the Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, wrote that it is “unsettling” that Obama “is intent on condoning contempt for the rule of law and ignoring his Constitutional duty to ‘take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.'” “The egregious use of executive action and rule by fiat is bad enough, but knowing that undocumented criminals continue to be released into communities, even this past year, and could still remain in the country is outrageous,” Grassley said in a statement. “The Obama administration allowed tens of thousands of undocumented criminals to stay in communities across the country despite a policy specifically stating that these people be deported.  The Department released murderers and domestic abusers from its custody. So, why would anyone trust this administration going forward?”Grassley noted that Obama’s executive amnesty, which Obama will formally announce on Thursday evening, is “more disturbing” given that the Department of Homeland Security has admittedly failed “to deport 36,007 convicted criminals—including 169 homicide convicts—who were all released back onto the streets” in fiscal year 2013. Grassley said that because of these failures, “there is a genuine concern as to whether deportations of convicted criminals and those who pose a national security risk will be any different under a new enforcement memorandum.” Obama will reportedly scrap the “Secure Communities” program in addition to providing executive amnesty to as many as five million illegal immigrants. Grassley emphasized that ICE even released illegal immigrants who were supposed to have been prioritized for deportation, including perpetrators of domestic violence and those convicted of “aggravated felonies,” which include “murder; rape; crimes of violence; drug trafficking; sex trafficking; sex offenses involving a minor; theft; burglary; crimes relating to the demand for or receipt of a ransom; treason; alien smuggling; obstruction of justice; commercial bribery; and forgery.”




MSNBC’s Ed Schultz says Obama should ‘back off’ immigration executive order

“There’s at least one Obama supporter in the media who doesn’t think the president should address immigration policy unilaterally: MSNBC host Ed Schultz. Schultz said on Twitter Wednesday that Obama should instead work with congressional Republicans to get the job done, though not for the sake of bipartisanship. “[President Obama] should back off on immigration reform, give the Republicans a deadline and use the [State of the Union address] to call ‘em out,” Schultz said. “[GOP] won’t deliver.”





“White House Political Director David Simas argued that President Barack Obama was right in 2011 when he said that he could not suspend deportations through an executive order, but is also within his power to implement immigration reform via an executive order on CNN’s “New Day” on Thursday. After viewing a clip of the president saying “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,” Simas argued “he was right then and he’s right now. It is not appropriate for the president to ignore congressional mandates. It’s not appropriate for the president by fiat to say that he can do every single thing that was in the comprehensive immigration reform bill that was passed by a bipartisan majority in the Senate 512 days ago. What you’re going to hear tonight are very limited actions, fully within his existing authority, similar to those types of actions that have been taken by every single president, Democrat and Republican, since Dwight Eisenhower.” He added, “Let’s be precise about what the president said in 2011 about ignoring congressional mandates, that’s not what this is about. this is about a president saying that there are certain things that he can do, under his authority, to take a first step to make things better, to bring some accountability to the system.”


GOP simmers while Dems look for ‘big’ immigration action from Obama



“President Obama’s announcement tonight may bring a “constitutional crisis,” in the words of Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID), but Republicans in Congress haven’t the damndest idea what they’ll do about it. As they departed the House floor, many en route to the airport for a Thanksgiving recess, many GOP lawmakers seemed as interested in explaining why options floated by colleagues from their own party wouldn’t work as denouncing what they describe as an unprecedented power grab by a president they just decimated at the ballot box. “That’s the hundred million dollar question,” said Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-OH), “How do you stop an inaction? That’s the tough question that I don’t have the answer to today….Just to go a step further: ‘shut the government down.’ That doesn’t stop this inaction. Don’t fund immigration service. That doesn’t stop this inaction. How do you stop this inaction?” House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers attempted to throw cold water on the idea of using spending bills to prohibit funding for employment documents for illegal aliens, saying that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is funded by fees it collects, inuring itself from a shutdown. “To alter or change the fee matter, it would take a change of law – an authorization – to change the immigration act that setup the fee structure. It would take an act of Congress,” Rogers told reporters.”


Obama’s Own Words on Immigration Are Republicans’ Best Ammo

“President Barack Obama spoke so many times against taking broad executive action to end deportations that he’s left Republicans with an arsenal of ammo to use against him. Kentucky Republican Mitch McConnell, the incoming Senate majority leader, vowed “action” will be taken against the president by the new Congress, after excoriating the president for doing what he said he couldn’t. McConnell, quoting Obama, said: “‘Democracy is hard,’ he said during a commencement speech in Miami three years ago. ‘But it’s right. [And] changing our laws means doing the hard work of changing minds and changing votes, one by one.’” “As someone who well understands just how difficult the work of changing minds and votes can be, I couldn’t agree more with the president’s statement,” McConnell continued. “Americans accept that democracy’s blessings are only made possible by the constraints it imposes — both its legal contours and those imposed by popular election. We accept democracy’s messiness. We accept that we may not always get all of what we want exactly when we want it. And based on more of what the president said in Miami, this is something he seemed to understand too. He was talking about immigration that day, and here’s something else he said on the topic. ‘I know [that] some … wish that I could just bypass Congress and change the law myself. But that’s not how democracy works.’ Indeed, it isn’t.” McConnell didn’t comment on how Congress should retaliate. “If President Obama acts in defiance of the people and imposes his will on the country, Congress will act,” he said. “We’re considering a variety of options. But make no mistake. When the newly elected representatives of the people take their seats, they will act.” The White House has not yet detailed its legal justification for Obama’s action, which is expected to result in millions of people here illegally getting work permits and relief from the threat of deportation. Nor has the president fully explained whether he has changed his mind on his own powers or why he can now act, when he suggested previously he did not have the authority to do so. Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Wednesday that some legal justification would be released Thursday. But the White House has also noted that a number of other presidents have granted executive relief without Congress, including Republicans. And Earnest insisted that the president’s actions would be lawful.”


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 Committee 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. As a result, the committee said the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) agency would be able to continue to collect fees and carry out its operations even if the government shut down.

“This agency is entirely self-funded through the fees it collects on various immigration applications,” the committee said in a statement. “Congress does not appropriate funds for any of its operations, including the issuance of immigration status or work permits, with the exception of the ‘E-Verify’ program. Therefore, the appropriations process cannot be used to ‘defund’ the agency.” A spokesman for Rogers and the panel elaborated on the point in a discussion with reporters.”

Congress can’t ‘de-fund’ Obama on immigration

“A senior House Republican says that it’s impossible to block President Barack Obama’s upcoming moves on immigration in a spending bill. Congressman Harold Rogers of Kentucky is Appropriations Committee chairman. Rogers says the Citizenship and Immigration Services agency gets its money through application fees, so Congress can’t stop it by withholding funding in a spending bill. A temporary government funding bill expires next month, and some conservative Republicans want to use a must-pass spending bill to block Obama on immigration. A similar effort last year to block the new health care law led to a 16-day government shutdown. But next month’s spending bill could carry legislative language designed to thwart Obama on immigration.”



“House Appropriations Committee chairman Rep. Hal Rogers says President Obama’s forthcoming executive amnesty is beyond the reach of his committee, something that has been reported to mean that Congress has no means of preventing it at all. But Rogers and 25 members of his spending panel all voted for a bill to do just that in August, and experts say that Congress’ ability to determine how U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services spends the fees it collects is not in question. The Appropriations Committee said in a statement to Thursday:

“The primary agency for implementing the President’s new immigration executive order is the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This agency is entirely self-funded through the fees it collects on various immigration applications. Congress does not appropriate funds for any of its operations, including the issuance of immigration status or work permits, with the exception of the ‘E-Verify’ program. Therefore, the Appropriations process cannot be used to ‘de-fund’ the agency. The agency has the ability to continue to collect and use fees to continue current operations, and to expand operations as under a new Executive Order, without needing legislative approval by the Appropriations Committee or the Congress, even under a continuing resolution or a government shutdown.” Roger and others note that because the agency doesn’t collect funds from taxes, but instead from fees from various immigration applications, allowing funding to lapse on the agency, like in a government shutdown, wouldn’t prevent it from continuing to operate. “To alter or change the fee matter, it would take a change of law – an authorization – to change the immigration act that setup the fee structure. It would take an act of Congress,” Rogers told reporters today. That’s a far cry from Congress not being able to target the use of funds at all, an interpretation that the appropriations committee seems to have encouraged with the broad wording of its statement.”



“It’s as if Article I Section 8 of the Constitution, which explicitly grants Congress plenary power over immigration and naturalization, does not exist. Imagine if a Republican president were to decide that the Social Security system is unfair and in the absence of new legislation simply allowed younger workers to keep their payroll taxes. What if that president unilaterally implemented a national Right-to-Work standard? Or, what if that president opened energy exploration in areas that are barred from drilling by federal statute? Undoubtedly, Democrats would not allow a GOP president to get away with governing like a king, especially if they controlled Congress. But even without a truculent Democrat opposition, the media would never let a Republican president threaten such policies before they were overturned. Why then is this president even allowed to threaten action beyond the scope of his office without fear of reprisal? This constitutional crisis should concern all Americans and elected officials – Republicans, Democrats, and Independents. Irrespective of ones view on immigration policy, we must all agree that a president does not have the authority to remake something as crucial as immigration without Congress. Liberals in Washington might be frustrated that Congress has not acted on their immigration wish list, but that is why we have elections. The power over naturalizations was granted to the legislative branch, and the American people voted out those in Congress who desire open borders. Even in blue Oregon, where Democrats performed well on election night, a ballot initiative to grant illegals driver’s licenses, similar to the spirit of Obama’s impending executive action, was defeated 67-33%. If liberals want to change our immigration laws, they should work through the democratic process and sell their proposal to the American people. Now that Obama has decided to use the unlawful route to implement his dyslexic priorities, the response from Congress must be crystal clear. Congress must use the upcoming budget bill for the current fiscal year to defund the administrative action immediately. They should fund the critical portions of government in a separate bill while defunding the relevant action in the bill containing appropriations for DHS and any other relevant agency. Obama has no leverage to shut the government down and veto the non-controversial funding bills in order to fund this unpopular and unconstitutional executive action. Additionally, Senate Republicans have the ability to block confirmation of Obama’s nominees with just 51 votes. They must pledge to block every judicial and executive nominee for the rest of Obama’s presidency until he relents and rescinds the executive order. Finally, we must fight this unlawful act on a state level. Republicans now control 31 governorships and the full trifecta of state government in 23 states. These governors and state officials should refuse to issue driver’s licenses or recognize the work permits from Obama’s amnestied illegals. This is not a Republican issue. Democrats who respect the institution of Congress and the constitutional separation of powers should be just as alacritous in wielding the power of the purse. Do they want to set a precedent where a Republican president enacts his conservative priorities without Congress?”


How the GOP Can Stop Obama’s Unconstitutional Immigration Power Grab

“–A resolution. Pass a resolution in January affirming that the Constitution is not a mere scrap of paper, a relic meant only for public viewing in the Smithsonian, like antique airplanes; that the President of the U.S. is not a four-year monarch who rules by decree—who, if Congress doesn’t do as he commands, can unilaterally enact whatever he wishes by issuing an order.

–The courts. This usurpation must be challenged in the courts—all the way to the Supreme Court. Thankfully, this is already in train. The state of Texas, which borders Mexico and thus has standing on this matter, is ready to challenge, via lawsuit, our would-be-king President.

–The power of the purse. With control of both the House and the Senate, the GOP next year will be able to specifically deny the necessary funding to carry out Obama’s decrees. It must do so.

–Confirmations. Senator Ted Cruz (R–Tex.) has proposed that the Senate refuse to confirm any Obama nominee, except for those in areas relating to defense, national security, public safety and law enforcement, until the President backs down. No more judges, no more agency officials, no more cabinet officers. Cruz’s colleagues should adopt this approach. In addition to exercising these constitutional powers to stop the President, the GOP should start passing various pieces of immigration reform to demonstrate that Republicans are not anti-immigrant but are in favor of commonsensical changes.

–H-1B visas. The high-tech industry desperately needs more highly-skilled people. The quota covering this is absurdly low, forcing companies to move operations oversees. Remove the cap. The President may propose something like this tonight, which would be great. Republicans could say they like the idea but are opposed to Obama’s doing it by imperial decree. Congress must pass such a reform, guaranteeing a future President couldn’t unilaterally undo it.

–Green cards. Thousands of foreign students are in the U.S. to get advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering and math. Then once they do, we foolishly send most of them right back home. Pass legislation that would allow green cards to be embossed on these students’ diplomas. There’s widespread support for this.

–Guest-worker programs. Decades ago we had these programs for agricultural workers. Bring them back for agriculture, construction and any other area in which there is a need that can’t be filled by people already in the U.S. Such an approach would drastically cut back the incentive for illegal immigration. Millions of illegal residents would gladly go home if they knew there was a reliable and lawful way for them to come back to take on work for specified periods of time.

–Children of illegal immigrants. Steal a piece of Obama’s thunder by enacting a law that would grant resident status to kids who were brought here when they were youngsters by their parents. These children shouldn’t be punished for the sins of their mothers and fathers.

–Reform of our current immigration system. People who play by the rules often find themselves treated shabbily, shunted from one bureaucrat to another and waiting long periods of time to deal with what should be routine matters. They are punished for behaving lawfully. This is profoundly wrong.”


Mitch McConnell slams Obama’s “defiance” on immigration



“On Thursday, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) said Congress must use the powers that is has to block President Barack Obama’s forthcoming unlawful executive amnesty.

Obama will make his executive amnesty announcement on Thursday evening and Sessions, in an appearance on Bill Bennett’s radio show, said the announcement will be “devastating” and would put the country on a “dangerous, dangerous” path. Sessions, who has led the charge against Obama’s executive amnesty and massive amnesty legislation, said it will take “considerable sums of money to provide IDs, work permits and legal status” to millions of illegal immigrants. And he emphatically stated that Congress can use its power of the purse to block it. Sessions also noted that Congress can pass a bill subject to Obama’s veto that would bar Obama from enacting his amnesty. “Congress has the power to block this,” Sessions declared. “Congress can fund programs it deems worthy and not fund those that it does not… It should fund the government of the United States but not fund this kind of unlawful scheme.” Sessions said that Obama, who is expected to make a prime-time announcement in which he will grant executive amnesty to as many as five million illegal immigrants, is violating the “the heart and soul of American immigration law” with his “unlawful” executive order. Further, Sessions said it would be “unthinkable” for Obama to shut down the government over his executive amnesty if Congress did prohibit Obama from spending funds to enact his amnesty. After mentioning that he has been a prosecutor for a long time, Sessions said that Obama’s amnesty is “devastating” because law “requires consistency to have a moral foundation.” He said it is dangerous for liberals to believe that “laws don’t mean anything and we can make laws say what you want them to say.” “What about the 7 million others who are here [and won’t be covered by Obama’s executive amnesty]?” Sessions asked.  He said since “it’s the people’s Congress,” the American people need to hear from lawmakers that they are willing to “not fund unlawful executive orders like this” because the responsible thing to do is “manage the people’s business wisely and fairly.”


Republicans ready to do whatever it takes to halt Obama immigration plan



“Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-MN) urged members of the public to “melt the phone lines” to defund President Obama’s executive order on immigration on Thursday’s “Hannity” on the Fox News Channel.  “Congress has a responsibility to uphold the laws of the land as well, and we can defund this president’s illegal amnesty. That’s what we must do. We can’t do it alone. So, it’s a very quick three-step plan that your viewers need to help us with. We can’t do it alone. We need your viewers. Congress will be back December 1st through December 11th. This will be decided in that period of time. We need to have your viewers melt the phone lines. Congress isn’t here, they’re gone from Washington tonight, but from December 1st to the 11th we need them to melt the phone lines and say ‘defund amnesty.’ We need them to go to Senators’ and Congressman’s office. But I’m calling on your viewers to come to DC on Wednesday, December 3rd at high noon on the west steps of the Capitol. We need to have a rally, and we need to go visit our Senators and visit our Congressmen because nothing frightens a congressman like the whites of his constituents’ eyes” she said. Bachmann added, “when I was watching this speech tonight, Sean, I felt like I was watching Jonathan Gruber, to be honest with you, because all I heard was contempt for the American people as though he thought we were so stupid that somehow he could say that his illegal actions were legal and we would all turn over and roll over and believe it.”


Mitch McConnell promises forceful immigration response

The GOP leader did not specify what action his Republican Senate will take next year.

“Incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell promised on Thursday morning that Congress will respond forcefully in 2015 to President Barack Obama’s imminent executive action that will defer deportation for millions of undocumented immigrants. In a blistering speech that quoted Obama’s past statements about his limited unilateral powers on the subject of immigration, the GOP leader did not specify what action that his Republican Senate will take next year, whether it be zeroing out funding for government agencies in a spending bill, taking the White House to court or taking a confrontational stance to the president’s nominees, as suggested by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas). But the Kentucky senator vowed there will be a forceful response from Capitol Hill once his newly minted GOP majority takes over next year. “He needs to understand something. If President Obama acts in defiance of the people and imposes his will on the country, Congress will act,” McConnell said ahead of a long Thanksgiving recess that begins Friday. “We’re considering a variety of options. But make no mistake. When the newly elected representatives of the people take their seats, they will act.”



G.O.P. Promises to Swiftly Counter Obama’s Immigration Moves

“Republicans on Thursday vowed a swift and forceful response to the executive action on immigration that President Obama is to announce in a prime-time address, accusing the president of exceeding the power of his office and promising a legislative fight when they take full control of Congress next year. Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who will become majority leader in January, said in a speech on the Senate floor Thursday morning that Mr. Obama would regret choosing to ignore the wishes of the American people. “If President Obama acts in defiance of the people and imposes his will on the country, Congress will act,” Mr. McConnell said just hours before the president was scheduled to speak to the nation on television. “We’re considering a variety of options. But make no mistake. Make no mistake. When the newly elected representatives of the people take their seats, they will act.” Mr. McConnell did not say what options Republicans were considering, but the party is sharply divided about whether to shut down the government or seek Mr. Obama’s impeachment in an effort to stop the executive actions from moving forward. Some conservatives are pushing to do one or the other, while other Republicans have urged the party to avoid going down either of those routes.”



“Senior White House officials vow that President Obama would veto any action passed by Congressional Republicans to walk back his executive amnesty through the law. “The president would veto” it, an official said, according to a Roll Call report.  The officials spoke to Roll Call ahead of the president’s amnesty announcement. “In the case of a shutdown, the president’s new program would go ahead anyway, because it is funded by fees and not by appropriations, ‘much like the irony of the Obamacare shutdown,’” Roll Call reports.”


GOP Still Fuzzy on Strategy to Block Obama’s Immigration Move


Trolling the GOP

Is Obama fast-tracking his deportation plan to mess with Boehner’s leadership strategy?


Don’t Count Out the

“With Obama’s executive amnesty imminent, anonymous White House aides are cockily dismissing John Boehner’s threatened lawsuit against it as a stunt. Even among opponents of executive amnesty — and I’m with them — there’s a tendency to pooh pooh the suit. It’s a loser, it will take forever to decide, it’s an attempt to ‘redirect Republican rage’ away from budgetary remedies like denying funding, etc. Not so fast. I’m all for giving defunding a try — also holding up appointments — but don’t sell the lawsuit short. I’ll even go so far as to lay down an Yglesias style marker: If Obama’s executive action is as broad as described, the Supreme Court will strike it down. I’m not saying this because I’ve researched the technical issues in the case — the scope of executive authority under § 103(a), 8 U.S.C. § 1103(a), case-by-case vs. categorical action, etc. Others who have more skill are doing that, including Jonathan Turley, whom Boehner has retained. I’m saying it because my limited legal experience (mainly clerking for a state supreme  court judge) suggests that the technical issues aren’t what’s important. As state court judge Richard Neely argued in his revealing book, How Courts Govern America, there’s often a show rationale for a decision (embodied in the court’s opinion) and the real rationale. The real rationale isn’t necessarily bogus or partisan or otherwise “result oriented.” It’s just unstated. It can be something like ‘these victims have no access to the political system to protect them’ or ‘this is a much more workable rule,’ or ‘we can’t let defendants take the New York Times to trial whenever they get some detail wrong,’ or ‘my God, if we don’t resolve this 2000 election right now, the country will descend into chaos.”‘ The U.S. Supreme Court, in particular, is likely to feel a duty to intervene to preserve balance in the Constitutional system. And when conscientious judges see a need to intervene for some such intuitive, system-preserving reason, it seems like they’find a way to do it, even if it requires bending the technicalities and the show rationale to accomplish that purpose. (The show rationale — the opinion — in Bush v. Gore was unconvincing to the point of incoherence, after all.)”


GOP Lawsuit on Immigration Order Viewed With Skepticism

“Republican lawmakers would have to vault high legal hurdles to succeed in getting federal courts to stop President Barack Obama’s sweeping immigration action, constitutional law experts say. As late as this week, Rep. Robert W. Goodlatte, R-Va., considered a lawsuit against Obama as one of several options to stop what he considers an unconstitutional overstep of executive authority, an aide said. And Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., introduced legislation on Monday (HR 757) that would allow Congress to file a lawsuit. Nine Republican lawmakers co-sponsored the bill as of Wednesday. “Seeking judicial guidance is not partisan, there is a bigger issue at stake,” Brooks said in announcing the bill. “The overarching issue in this litigation is the delicate balance of power that our nation’s founders embodied in our Constitution. Embodied in that overarching issue is one question: Is America based on tyranny or democracy?” Obama will address the nation tonight unveiling his immigration order, which is expected to offer protection to millions of illegal immigrants. “Every President for more than half a century, both Democrats and Republicans, has taken executive action on immigration,” the White House said in talking points distributed to Democratic congressional offices Wednesday night. “The President’s actions are temporary. House Republicans need to do their job and pass the bipartisan Senate bill to provide a permanent fix.” Legal action is on the minds of Republicans, though. Speaker John A. Boehner’s office told reporters the House might add immigration to the lawsuit it authorized in July to challenge Obama’s implementation of the health care overhaul law (PL 111-148, PL 111-152). States with Republican leaders want to get in to the act as well. Gov. Rick Perry said Wednesday that Texas might sue Obama over the immigration plan, according to news accounts of a panel discussion at the Republican Governors’ Association in Florida. “I would think that there is a very real possibility,” Perry reportedly said. But it would be “very difficult” for the House—or another challenger—to successfully press a case against Obama’s immigration actions on deportation enforcement, said John Malcolm, director of The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Legal and Judicial Studies.”


What Are the Legal Grounds to Challenge Obama’s Coming Immigration Order?

“Legal experts say constitutional challenges to President Barack Obama’s coming executive actions on illegal immigration will be difficult to adjudicate. The Constitution requires the president to execute the nation’s laws, which is the primary reason critics argue that bestowing legal status to people in the country illegally would be unconstitutional. Some House Republicans are calling for a lawsuit to sue Obama if he takes such action. But it’s unlikely that Congress or local governments would have standing to mount a constitutional challenge to the executive action, said Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz, a law professor at Georgetown University.

“Congress likely would not have standing to litigate against the executive action,” Rosenkranz told TheBlaze. “However, an individual who could prove that he was injured in fact by the executive action — because, for example, he lost out on a job opportunity — could potentially have standing to sue.” Obama on Thursday night is expected to detail his plans for halting deportations of certain illegal immigrants, including granting legal status to the parents of U.S. citizens and legal residents. “Pre-emptively announcing that you will not enforce the law against a population of millions — this is several orders of magnitude beyond traditional case-by-case prosecutorial discretion,” Rosenkranz said. “In this case, the president is reportedly considering affirmative actions — issuing of papers and so forth — that would purport to confer some legal status. This is a giant step beyond traditional prosecutorial discretion.”


Oklahoma, Texas AGs Plan to Sue Obama over Executive Order on Immigration


TED CRUZ: White House Has ‘Been Smoking Something’ If They Think People Want Obama’s Immigration Order

“Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) isn’t buying White House’s spin on the last election — and he suggested administration officials might be on drugs if they truly believe what they’re saying about what the vote means for President Barack Obama’s upcoming executive action on immigration. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said on Wednesday that the message Obama took from the Republican midterm election landslide was the American people expected the president to make “progress” despite congressional gridlock. Cruz responded in an interview with Fox News host Megyn Kelly later in the day by joking the White House must be high on marijuana if they honestly believe that line. “If they’re spinning that the message of this last election is that Congress should suddenly agree with President Obama’s policies and roll over, then they’ve traveled to some of these states that have legalized marijuana and they’ve been smoking something. Because that ain’t what that election was,” Cruz quipped.”


Obama Is About to Commit an Act of Constitutional Infamy

“The president will present his case on behalf of his forthcoming executive order on amnesty tomorrow at 8 p.m. I certainly hope President Obama addresses the arguments against his action that were repeatedly and passionately made by … President Obama. Our friends at National Review have put together a nice video here; I’d urge you to watch it. Mr. Obama is now acting like, in his words, an “emperor.” His hypocrisy is, even by his standards, staggering. But hypocrisy is not unusual in politicians and presidents; firing a missile aimed at our constitutional form of government is. And that is what Mr. Obama is about to do. As the liberal law professor Jonathan Turley put it last night, this is a “particularly dangerous moment” for the president to defy the will of Congress yet again, just 15 days after an election in which the American people registered their emphatic (anti-Obama) judgment. “What the president is suggesting is tearing at the very fabric of the Constitution,” according to Professor Turley. “We have a separation of powers that gives us balance. And that doesn’t protect the branches — it’s not there to protect the executive branch or legislative branch — it’s to protect liberty. It’s to prevent any branch from assuming so much control that they become a threat to liberty.” What is about to happen may be the low point in a presidency filled with them. Mr. Obama is acting in a way that he himself knows–that he himself has said–is unconstitutional and indefensible. No matter. In an act of unmatched narcissism and selfishness, the president will create–he is thirsting to create–a constitutional crisis that is utterly unnecessary and will further polarize our political culture. Mr. Obama is about to commit an act of constitutional infamy. This is a stain that will stay with him.”


A Slippery Slope on Immigration

“Every Democrat should be nervous about President Obama’s plan for unilateral action on immigration reform. Not because of the impact on an already gridlocked Congress, or because it risks inflaming an increasingly hostile public. Democrats should be nervous about the implications for presidential power, and the ability of a future Republican president to act on his or her own…. Given this context and history, the administration argues that I can relax on both fronts. On immigration policy, however broad the scope of the president’s action — extend the protections granted to the so-called “dreamers” to their parents; grant the ability to remain in the country to the parents and children of U.S. citizens — it’s clear, this argument goes, that the president will not suspend all deportations and will continue to fully expend the congressional funds appropriated for this purpose. This is not a situation of Richard Nixon simply announcing that he would “impound” funds duly appropriated by Congress because he did not agree with its funding priorities. On this front, size matters. The closer the president’s action edges to protecting all of those in the country illegally, the more legally dubious it becomes. In terms of the impact outside of immigration — can a Republican president unilaterally decline to enforce the penalties for failing to buy health insurance? Exercise prosecutorial discretion not to penalize failure to pay the “death tax”? Stop going after violators of environmental laws? Here, too, the administration pooh-poohs any spillover effect. The president would not be declining to enforce an entire law or category of law (as in my hypothetical of no Clean Air Act prosecutions, or tax enforcement of the individual mandate). He would simply be prioritizing how to use limited resources in continuing to enforce the law. I see the distinction but remain uneasy — and I’m not the only one. University of Virginia law professor David Martin is a Democrat and a supporter of comprehensive immigration reform who served as principal deputy general counsel of the Department of Homeland Security during the Obama administration’s first two years. “For Democrats, it’s a dangerous precedent,” he told me. “You’re opening the possibility for a Republican president to say, ‘I’m not going to go forward with enforcement in a number of areas.” There are compelling humanitarian reasons for Obama to act. But the president and his allies must keep in mind: Presidential power, once expanded, is hard to contain.”


Obama plays Boss of America on immigration


Boehner: Obama is acting like a king

John Boehner: Obama acting like “king” or “emperor” on immigration



The former senator explains why President Obama can’t stop enforcing laws he disagrees with.


Judge Napolitano Slams Obama’s ‘Disturbing,’ Destabilizing’ Executive Amnesty [VIDEO]

“Judge Andrew Napolitano appeared on “Fox and Friends” Thursday morning to slam President Barack Obama’s planned executive amnesty, calling it “unlawful,” “profoundly unconstitutional,” “disturbing” and “destabilizing.” “In the years that I’ve been watching presidents and criticizing them because I disagree with them, I have not seen anything as profound as this,” Napolitano said. “The president is a former professor of constitutional law at one of the finest law schools in the world, the University of Chicago Law School. He knows the Constitution very well.” “He knows that he cannot rewrite the law of the land and he cannot nullify the law of the land,” he continued, “and that if the effect of his executive action is the functional equivalent of nullifying it, it’s wrong, it’s unlawful, it’s profoundly unconstitutional, and it is disturbing, it’s destabilizing to the relationship of the Congress to the presidency and the courts.”


Bill O’Reilly: “History Will Not Look Kindly” On Executive Amnesty

“BILL O’REILLY, O’REILLY FACTOR: The President is set to speak to the President tomorrow on Thursday about 8:00 p.m. It’s widely expected he will legalize about five million undocumented people many of whom have children who are American citizens. There will also be other immigration orders in his executive action. As everybody knows, this is extremely controversial. And a new NBC/”Wall Street Journal” poll out today breaks it down this way. Do you approve or disapprove of the President taking executive action on immigration? 48 percent disapprove, 38 percent approve, 14 percent no opinion or unsure. Putting emotion aside, the issue is not really about the five million undocumented human beings, it’s about President Obama challenging the Constitution.  “Talking Points” has said it before the President should wait and give the new Congress a chance to pass a fair immigration law. If Congress doesn’t do that, Mr. Obama’s legal position would then be stronger, allowing him to take unilateral action. But the way things stand now, surely the President will lose in the courts. I believe Mr. Obama knows that and well understands how divisive his actions will be. But he doesn’t seem to care. And history will not look kindly on a sitting president causing a constitutional ruckus. Trust me on that.”



“Former Border Patrol National Deputy Chief Ronald Coburn declared that the President Obama’s executive order on immigration will put Border Patrol agents “at much greater danger” and that the president is “ready to go off the cliff” on Thursday’s “The Real Story” on the Fox News Channel. “It will make the situation much, much worse. I see the president is sprinting toward a precipice ready to go off the cliff, only he has the American people tethered on a rope and [he is] taking us down with him. First, do no harm. When it comes to comprehensive immigration reform, it’s better to have no reform than to have bad reform. I lived through the Immigration Reform and Control Act of ’86. I saw the mistakes made then. In 2003 when I was assigned to the White House as the Director for Law Enforcement, I advised both the White House, the Bush administration, and Congress, that it would be a bad idea to repeat what we experienced through the previous amnesty program. This should not be about amnesty. This places the Border Patrol agents at much greater danger, and they probably have the most dangerous law enforcement job in America” he stated with regards to the president’s planned executive order. He added, “they’re [more illegal immigrants] on their way. I guarantee it. I tell you right now, in speaking with Border Patrol agents in just the last couple of days, they are really preparing themselves for a huge influx of amnesty-intended beneficiaries. It doesn’t matter the intended message, if it’s a bad message. Like i said, do no harm. This message, potentially, tonight could really open the valves and you talked about a bear in the neighborhoods and lock the doors and check your backyards. Well, Americans based on what will be said tonight, lock your doors, check your yards.”


McConnell: Obama’s Immigration Executive Order “Would Reject The Voice Of The Voters”

“SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL: There is a path to get this done and that is through Congress. The action he has proposed would ignore the law. Would reject the voice of the voters, and impose new unfairness on new immigrants, all without solving the problem. In fact, his action is more likely to make it even worse. We’ve already seen the consequences of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, his most recent action in this area. It was a factor in encouraging young people to risk their lives on a perilous journey some would never complete. The effects of this action could be just as tragic. Just as the Affordable Care Act had little to do with making healthcare more affordable, slapping the term ‘immigration reform’ on something doesn’t make it actually immigration reform. And just as with Obamacare the action the president proposed isn’t about solutions or compassion, it seems to be about what a political party thinks would make for good politics. It seems to be about what a president thinks would be good for his legacy.  Those are not the motivations that should be driving such sweeping action. And I think the president will come to regret the chapter history writes if he does move forward. Because the plan he’s presenting is more than just, as the President himself has acknowledged, an overreach — it’s also unfair. What does the President have to say to the countless aspiring immigrants who’ve spent years waiting patiently in line? To the people who’ve played by all the rules? Where is his compassion for them? What does the President have to say to the millions of Americans who still can’t find work in this economy? The President can’t reach across the aisle to secure a serious jobs plan for them, but he’s willing to put everything he’s got into this one executive action? … Some people seem to have forgotten this already, but we just had an election. Before that election, the President told us about his plan to act unilaterally on immigration. He reminded us that his policies were on the ballot. And then the people spoke. The President doesn’t have to like the result, but he has a duty to respect it.”



“On Bill Bennett’s “Morning in America” radio program on Thursday, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) reacted to President Barack Obama’s anticipated executive action on immigration policy.

Sessions, an outspoken critic this White House’s handling of immigration, argued against measures of “last resort” like impeachment. Instead, he said the Congress should find ways to use the power of the purse to stop this action that wouldn’t necessarily result in a government shutdown. “The Congress will have funded the government and the president will be so determined to execute his plan that would he veto funding for the government over this small issue,” Sessions explained. “I don’t think he would do that. He certainly should not do that. It would be unthinkable that he would do that. So we need to explain clearly to the American people what’s at stake and why Congress took the responsible action to protect the rule of law and the constitutional order and to also to execute policies that the American people clearly support and voted on in this last election.” “The president is not happy with the American people,” he continued. “He’s not happy with the American Congress – the American people’s Congress that rejected his amnesty proposal as he pushed them. So now he says ‘you didn’t act so I’m going to act.’ That’s not right. Congress did act because it considered his proposals and rejected them.”


Sessions: Congress Has ‘Historic Duty’ to Push Back




GOP to Americans: Stand Up Against Obama’s Plan to Create Workforce of Illegal Immigrants



“On the floor of the Senate this morning, Sen. Ted Cruz read aloud the text of Cicero’s First Oration Against Catiline, subbing in President Obama’s name in the context. “When, President Obama, do you mean to cease abusing our patience? How long is that madness of yours still to mock us? When is there to be an end to that unbridled audacity of yours swaggering about as it does now?” Cruz asked. Cruz continued reading the Cicero selection, citing Obama for dictating “by his pen and his phone.” “He won’t even come into the Senate,” Cruz continued. “He will not take part in the public deliberations. He ignores every individual among us.” Cruz subbed in language about the I.R.S. in the speech, for “older instances” cited by Cicero against Catiline.

“We alone, I say it openly, we the Senate are waiting in our duty to stop this lawless administration and its unconstitutional amnesty,” Cruz concluded.”


‘You Have Made a Dictator’: Beck’s Fiery Warning About President Obama’s ‘Impeachable Offense’


Republican leaders hope to contain outrage in the ranks over Obama immigration moves

“Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) winced as he listened to comments from Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) in reaction to President Obama’s plans to protect undocumented immigrants from deportation. “Unfortunate, unfair, unnecessary, unwise,” Graham said. Earlier Wednesday, Bachmann, a retiring tea-party firebrand, had declared that those immigrants covered by the policies that the president would announce Thursday would become “illiterate” voters. For Republicans the roiling debate over the president’s decision is not only a fight with the White House, but a test of whether they can contain some of the unhelpful passions among their swelling majorities in both chambers. The task is keeping on-message and away from the controversial and sometimes offensive comments that have traditionally hindered attempts to bolster support for the party among Hispanics. Coupled with the desire to avoid the heated rhetoric is an effort to avert another showdown over government funding, weeks after the GOP made gains in the midterm elections and a year after a 16-day shutdown significantly damaged the party’s brand.”





Illegal Immigrant Tells CNN She Was Inspired to Cross Border by Obama Amnesty


Krauthammer: Obama’s Executive Action A “Gigantic Neon Sign” Inviting a Mass Migration



“Thursday on Newmax TV’s  “America’s Forum,”  Artesia, NM Mayor Phillip Burch said since the cases from his town’s detention center have been handed over from Virginia judges to judges in Colorado they are now simply housing, feeding, providing clothing and schooling to illegal immigrants until 95 percent are being handed bus or plane tickets to locations within the Untied States of their choosing. The mayor said when he was visited by Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson he was told there would be “a rapid detention process,” but now the mayor is happy the detention center in his town is being closed down because the bogus center is a waste of taxpayer money. Burch said, “We have ceased calling it a detention center because there not very much detention going on,” he explained “what we are seeing is immigrants being detained and brought to this site when they cross the border only to be housed, fed, clothed, 24 hour a day medical services and even schooling and then be released into the Untied States. If that going to be the ultimate outcome we could just let them go at the border.”  He added, “If the result is going to be that 95 percent end up being released other than deported it makes little sense to me to spend millions of dollar’s to detain them for a short period of time only to release them into the general public.”



“The State of Texas is set to pull back the Texas National Guard from the Mexican border with claims of replacing them with state troopers and technology. Contrary to widespread belief, Texas leaders did not did not deploy the National Guard to the entire Texas border. The National Guard were only sent to the Rio Grande Valley sector, approximately 25.6 percent of the Texas border with Mexico. Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst announced the move on Wednesday. Addressing the media in a press conference at the Texas Capitol, Dewhurst said while the surge under Operation Strong Safety had been successful, the state needed to make sure that border security operations continued without interruption through the next Legislative Session, and expand to better cover the entire Texas border. This would necessitate drawing down the Texas National Guard and shifting their responsibilities to more cost-effective Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) officers, local law enforcement, technology, and, eventually, he hoped, the federal government would increase the U.S. Border Patrol presence on the border as well.

Approximately 1,000 National Guard troops are scheduled to leave the border in the Spring, and this funding plan will replace them with DPS. Dewhurst acknowledged that this was at least in part a financial consideration, as the National Guard personnel are more expensive on a per capita basis than DPS. The Army Times reported that Governor-elect Greg Abbott’s border plan involved sending an additional 500 DPS officers to the border, and this new funding plan could help cover the costs for that. “I feel strongly that the federal government has an obligation to protect its citizens, and part of that job is to secure the borders,” said Dewhurst. But when the federal government fails, “a state has not only the right but it has the obligation to act independently of the federal government, in this case to secure the border.”