Obama’s Immigration Plan: Legal or Illegal?

Obama Giving Speech

President Obama’s recently-announced policy pertaining to illegal immigrants certainly has caused an uproar among certain populations within the USA. Republicans and/or Conservatives who opine for pay aren’t hesitating to give their opinions on Obama’s new use of prosecutorial discretion. Some such pundits even opined about President Obama’s new policy before Obama announced it.

For example, hours before President Obama gave his 11/20/14 televised address about illegal immigration, Andrew C. McCarthy proclaimed the following:

As you listen to the president try to explain himself tonight, you are going to hear a lot about how his plan is just a sensible exercise of prosecutorial discretion — how he is just using the sparse resources Congress gives him to enforce the law in more efficient ways. It will sound unobjectionable — even appealing.

But understand, it will be lawless and an invitation to waves of law-breaking. Obama is not merely prioritizing crimes; he is equating his non-enforcement of congressional statutes with the repeal of those statutes. He is not merely ignoring some lawbreakers so he can pursue others; he is declaring that categories of non-Americans of Obama’s unilateral choosing have a right to break our laws and be rewarded for it.

Well, I listened to President Obama’s televised address (and read it, too), and I discovered that McCarthy was wrong about it. I did not hear what McCarthy said I would hear.

What President Obama said was this (paraphrasing): His administration would use prosecutorial discretion by refraining from deporting certain non-threatening illegal immigrants so that they can move out of the shadows and get right with the Law. President Obama specifically said that he favored a bill passed by the U.S. Senate that would require such illegal immigrants to pay a fine, to start paying taxes and to go to the back of the line of the legal immigration process.

One reason that President Obama has announced this policy is because he doesn’t want to needlessly break-up families, depriving children of their parents.

Apparently, President Obama is trying to conform to the teaching of the ancient Jewish prophet Micah, who said the following:

“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” – Micah 6:8 (NIV)

By the way, if you want to know what gives President Obama the legal authority to do what he is doing, then I suggest that you read the joint letter that ten prominent legal scholars wrote about that subject. Here is how that letter begins:

We are law professors and lawyers who teach, study, and practice constitutional law and related subjects. We have reviewed the executive actions taken by the President on November 20, 2014, to establish priorities for removing undocumented noncitizens from the United States and to make deferred action available to certain noncitizens. While we differ among ourselves on many issues relating to Presidential power and immigration policy, we are all of the view that these actions are lawful. They are exercises of prosecutorial discretion that are consistent with governing law and with the policies that Congress has expressed in the statutes that it has enacted.

Also, in a commentary dated 20 November 2014, George Mason University law professor Ilya Somin writes, “Obama’s decision to defer deportation is in line with those of past presidents, and well within the scope of his authority.” He also writes, “I am no fan of the Obama administration’s approach to constitutional interpretation. In too many instances, the president really has acted illegally and undermined the rule of law – most notably by starting wars without congressional authorization. But today’s decision isn’t one of them.”

Finally, for what it’s worth …

Although President Obama is fallible, his critics are fallible, too. So, criticisms of President Obama should be taken with a grain of salt …

Grain of Salt

… or if you have high blood pressure, with a shot of whisky.


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  • Sky__Captain

    When considering that 0bama himself stated that he “took action to change the law” in response to hecklers, I believe by Constitutional definition that his Executive Whatever is illegal. His statement is Exhibit A for the prosecution.

  • Vagabond661

    The judicial system gave us Obamacare so I am not impressed in they way they objectively look at the law. The Supreme Court, which would seem like the name itself would tell you they are above politics, rules on everything BASED on politics.

    Our immigration system i s not broken. Legal immigration has been doing just fine. The ones who can’t (or won’t) go thru the legal immigration system are the ones giving us problems. It’s the enforcement of illegals coming into this country is broken and this administration broke it by suing the state of Arizona and by letting a bunch of kids from other countries come in illegally.

    If a radiator is leaking, adding water to it won’t fix the problem. Down the road, the car will overheat and you need more water. You have to stop the leak first.

    Secure the borders! Stop the leak! Then we won’t have to overheat on this issue.

  • jim_m

    It was illegal by obama’s own admission:

    “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

    The President does not make the laws in this country and does not have the power to change them at his whim. His own words will be used against him before the SCOTUS and he will lose any court battle.

    Remember, the left has sold obama as a great Constitutional Scholar. That being the case, he would not carelessly make such a claim. He acted unconstitutionally, has admitted it publicly and this should be overturned.

  • Guest


  • jim_m

    David, I have a more appropriately sized “grain” of salt for you:

    TO be taken with any pronouncements that come from “The Won”.

  • Kaiser Derden

    I notice you ignored the green card and work permit portion of the speech … of course thats because that action is clearly not prosecutorial discretion and is clearly a change to the law …
    but other wise your article is a fine example of ignoring the facts in the case … oh and now you liberals are ok with the government doing things based on religion ? what happened to the seperation thingy ?

  • jim_m

    If you think for a second that obama is doing this out of any sense of mercy you need your head examined. Everything he has done to date suggests that he sees people as objects and human life without value. He is declaring amnesty for purposes of political gain and nothing else.

  • westcoastwiser

    As with so much of what Obama is doing, changing the dictionary meaning of words is just another power he has… so check-out the 2015 Obamster’s Dictionary and you will learn that legal and illegal have the same meaning? See how easy it is to take the confusion out of the language?

  • Rich

    The Obama has been using discretion to only deport convicted felons and repeat illegal entrants for several months now. Haven’t they got most of them out of the country by now?

  • westcoastwiser

    And with every step down that hallway my mind goes berserk asking what aspect of US leadership he’ll screw-up when he gets to the mic? And he never let’s me down.