In the wake of the breakdown of congressional negotiations on immigration reform, President Obama has announced his intention at a White House press conference to “make some tough choices to meet the challenge — with or without Congress.” Many observers believe that this portends new executive action on the part of the president to issue an amnesty for illegal immigrants. While there is doubt on the part of some that Obama can issue sweeping changes to the immigration system by Executive Order, the Constitution does allow the president to unilaterally issue an amnesty for illegal immigrants and his past actions prove that he would be willing to take that step.
Red State’s Dan Spencer points out that, as late as 2011, Barack Obama eschewed the notion that he could unilaterally change congressionally enacted immigration laws. The president said, “This notion that somehow I can just change the laws unilaterally is just not true…. There are laws on the books that I have to enforce.” Continue reading