President Barack Obama's planned executive orders that could issue work permits to as many as five million illegal immigrants "would be an unprecedented threat to the balance of powers within our system," constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley said Friday.
"It's becoming a particularly dangerous moment if the president is going to go forward, particularly after this election, to defy the will of Congress yet again," said Turley, who teaches at George Washington University in Washington, told Megyn Kelly on her Fox News program.
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"We have a Congress that is coming in with the full voice of the American people behind them. That's what an election is," he added. "You may disagree with the outcome, but you have to respect the outcome.
"What the president's suggesting is tearing at the very fabric of the Constitution. It's not there to protect the executive branch or legislative branch. It's to protect liberty. It's to keep any branch from assuming so much control that they become a threat to liberty."
Obama is expected to announce
10 executive actions as early as next week to address illegal immigration. He reiterated his vow to act unilaterally last week after the Republicans reclaimed the Senate and won their largest margin in the House since World War II.
Both House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell have slammed Obama for moving unilaterally on immigration.
McConnell, who will replace Nevada Democratic Sen. Harry Reid as Senate majority leader when the next Congress convenes in January, likened any executive action to "waving a red flag in front of a bull."
Obama's plans include granting work permits to as many as five million illegals, broadening deportation deferrals of certain groups, and expanding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program he created in 2012 to help as many as 300,000 more aliens.
In his Fox interview, Turley charged that Obama appeared to be taking "on the powers of all three branches" of government with these planned orders.
"He certainly seems to be taking on legislative authority," he added. "He isn't being particularly coy about this."
Turley also accused Democrats of helping Obama create a "uber-presidency."
"What I tell a lot of my friends on the democratic side is that we will rule the day that you help create this uber-presidency. It's been developing a long time. But is reaching a very dangerous point.
"This will not be our last president," he told Kelly. "And you may not agree with the next one. But what the Democrats are creating is something very, very dangerous.
"They're creating a president who can go it alone. And to go it alone is something that is the very danger that the framers sought to avoid with our Constitution."
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