Tags: obama | immigration | order | plan

Obama Sought Immigration Order for 'Fullest Extent' of His Legal Authority

By    |   Friday, 28 Nov 2014 10:11 PM

Months before his landmark announcement about executive action on immigration,  President Barack Obama entered into discussion with a team of his closest advisers led by the secretary of homeland security, Jeh C. Johnson.

They were convened to put their heads together to discuss how far legally — "the fullest extent" — he could push the limits of executive powers in offering up a new immigration reform order on his own, The New York Times reports.

After weeks of research and discussion, they determined that indeed, the president did have authority to move ahead independently, his decision affirmed in frustration after House Republicans failed to come to the table with a bill that Obama was comfortable supporting, the Times noted.

As inaction continued and immigration activists pushed for reform with deportations continuing, the president felt pressure, even as he publicly said he was constrained until Congress came through will suitable legislation, the Times reported.

He met privately with Hispanic activists and urged them to stop attacking him and asked them to pressure Republicans to pass legislation. They continued, however, to ask for more action from him.

So at his urging, his legal coalition continued to work on a way forward with Johnson himself finally in November writing language that was included in Obama's announcement — held until after midterms where Democrats were routed, the Times said.

While the announcement angered Republicans who said he was acting unilaterally, the president seemed unmoved by threats to work against it, the New York Post reported.

“We have a president who feels completely unconstrained by the Constitution,” said Texas's Republican Gov.-elect, Greg Abbott, who on Fox News, pledged to sue the president "alleging it is illegal and will cost the border state more money to deal with a likely influx of immigrants through Mexico," according to the Post.

During most of 2014, according to The Times, Obama pressed Boehner over the progress of an immigration bill he could support. Boehner urged patience, saying there was "a narrow path" to get his fractured party to cooperate. Obama understood, one White House official told The Times, saying the president understood what the speaker was trying to do was hard.

Under pressure from immigration activists, Johnson's first draft was rejected by Obama who said it did not go far enough. By early June, Boehner told the president it was unlikely any legislation would come from the House. Facing a crisis of minors surging across the border at the same time, Obama realized he could not rely on Congress to act, according to The Times.

Obama then made an announcement in the Rose Gardent that he planned to act alone by the end of summer.




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Months before his landmark announcement about executive action on immigration, President Barack Obama entered into discussion with a team of his closest advisers led by the secretary of homeland security, Jeh C. Johnson. They were convened to put their heads together to...
obama, immigration, order, plan
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2014-11-28
Friday, 28 Nov 2014 10:11 PM
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