As of now, I am in control here, in the White House

The Illegality of Obama’s Executive Action

President Obama’s use of “prosecutorial discretion” to provide amnesty to nearly 5 million illegal aliens is wrong because, unlike pervious such orders by presidents, it defies the clear will of Congress. It is legalization where legalization is not permitted. And it perverts the use of prosecutorial discretion, which is intended to husband limited resources available for prosecution, not create new policy.

But it also, as Andrew McCarthy points out in National Review, isn’t actually prosecutorial discretion. And so the whole thing falls apart.

Because Obama is not just deciding not to prosecute people who have broken the law. He is giving them legal status that includes the right to work, the provision of Social Security cards, and even driver’s licenses. That is, he is saying that in fact they are not lawbreakers. This is a step further, which involves actually changing the law. No prosecutor can do this using prosecutorial discretion.

Obama is saying that, because the United States won’t prosecute you, therefore what you have done is legal, and you can benefit from it. That’s not prosecutorial discretion. That’s lawmaking.

McCarthy provides some examples:

There are also many more fraud offenses committed in the U.S. than there are law-enforcement resources to prosecute them. So federal prosecutors, in an exercise of prosecutorial discretion, will often establish a fraud threshold amount — say, $10,000 – beneath which they will not open a case. But that does not mean you now have a right to steal $9,999.

If police in a big city are overwhelmed with violent crime and focus their attention strictly on murder, maiming, and rape, that does not mean it is now legal to go around punching people in the nose.

If the Justice Department decides it is going to target its anti-drug-trafficking resources against big time heroin and cocaine distributors, that does not mean that personal possession and sale of small amounts of those drugs is now legal — or, indeed, that the government should facilitate drug possession and sales.

Prosecutorial discretion means you are not required to prosecute every crime — which, since doing so would be impossible, is just a nod to reality. It does not mean that those crimes the executive chooses not to enforce are now no longer crimes.

This is the most obvious reason that what Obama has done is illegal. It is an abuse of the powers of his office, which include prosecutorial discretion. And it should be grounds for several possible responses by Republicans, from a lawsuit to impeachment.

87 Responses to The Illegality of Obama’s Executive Action

  1. ” And it should be grounds for several possible responses by Republicans, from a lawsuit to impeachment.”

    I guess a firing squad is out of the question. Oh well….

  2. Should be immediate appeal to SCOTUS to stop it in its tracks. It IS making law and it needs to be stopped. I’m not so sure if even the “wise Latina” could twist the law enough to justify her Dear Leader’s latest abuse of power.

  3. I saw McCarthy on Megyn Kelly last night, and he thought that before he leaves office, Obama will actually pardon these people for having broken the law. McCarthy was very somber and said that Obama has the legal authority to do it. The question in my mind is whether Obama will wait until the end of his term or do it now to try to provoke the Republicans into impeachment because McCarthy said that impeachment is the only remedy and impeachment would not be practical at the end of his term.

    I think the Republicans should do everything they can short of impeachment, and I know several people here would not agree with me. But I also think the public is not ready or willing to go to that.

  4. This decision and many other executive decisions rendered by this President are targeted to specific groups – human and business.
    He and his fellow government employees have apparently forgotten the phrase “for the common good.”
    Yes, I understand that these actions are for political gain – nothing more.
    But, I refuse to accept why benefits for the few trump the common good.
    Follow the money…which big business did Obama owe? This has much more to do with cheap labor than the recruitment of Democratic Party members.

  5. Obama keeps blaming Congress for their miserable failure to do something about immigration reform, but doesn’t he have a responsibility to negotiate and hammer out the details ? I just never see him try and play well with others.

    We’ve heard of the stacks of bipartisan House bills sitting on Harry Reid’s desk, exactly what are they ? Would the Dem-Majority Senate been able to move things along or were they told to stand down on any actions ?

    So many questions the media should be asking and answering. Like the joke goes, while we’re waiting for the next Woodward and Berstein, we’re stuck with Archie and Veronica ;)

    • “So many questions the media should be asking”

      They’re lazy

      They’re indifferent.

      They’re often self serving (some/sometimes too).

      And DO NOT deserve the pedestal listeners/viewers/readers place them upon.

      Signed, seen up close and personal with MY own eyes [having hauled a good fifteen-twenty percent of a soytin TLD’s water, oer the last two years. Without pay, attribution, accredation. Or …. even …. a thank you (that’ some f**ked up s**t there. Yes sir [but I’m not bitter :-) .. ])].

  6. It didn’t bother me that Boehner and McConnell chose to not respond last night. There’s plenty of speechifying and windbagging coming from all over the right.

    What those two need to do is come up with an effective ACTION PLAN to stop this nonsense. Obama has taken a huge step to tyranny here, and you can bet this was just to test the waters. If no one pushes back and stops him now, he will take additional unlawful actions, because he can. And he will NOT be leaving office in January 2017.

      • Agree. They’re smarter than MrO supposes.
        Just for the heck of it, how many of these ‘illegals’ are going to step forward and admit they forged ID papers, or used phony SS numbers?

        This is a game, a farce, something that I can’t put my finger on. Short of just being a jerk, or worse, MrO knows that this can’t hold, that something will stop whatever he has in mind. So, why do it?
        He can irritate the elected Repubs, but it’s the American public that doesn’t want millions of illegals flooding their cities, forcing their schools into bankruptcy, so ….what is the end game?
        The plan he outlined last night was so full of holes that it made no sense. Curious.

      • I’m so irked by the Drudge headline about Obama whipping the Republicans and them leaving town without a plan. Whose Grubering side is Drudge on? Talk about a childish response. I want my ice cream, and I want it NOW. First of all, Congress is already in recess. Second, the Republicans could not have responded before 0 made his speech last night. Third, it takes time and patience to come up with the right strategy.

        • Don’t read Drudge Jules. Don’t listen to Hannity, Beck, or Rush.

          T H I N K for yourself. It’s easy. Yeah, It does take a few extra minutes (only). No big.

          It’s a big world. And the conversation is bigger than just a few/well worn paths/spots. Yeah. It. Is.

          • I don’t get … withering? I’m not here to slag anyone. Period. And I didn’t waste the breath, disagreeing with everyone’s disdain, for impeachment (or patience going forward).

            Rush IS a lazy cuss. Who actually presents other’s work product, as his own, on the air (“I really love what I do”). Broadcasting …. from behind.

            Beck? Completely worthless leader of the Kumbaya Choir. Hannity? Spine of Jello. I could go on …


          • I admit I do listen to some of them, Hannity quite often, Rush infrequently, and Beck never. I’m interested in what other people have to say, but I decide for myself. So does Star, and the proof of it is that we sometimes knock heads, and at those times, we have learned to agree to disagree. (Thanks, Star.)

          • And for whom do you advocate? Names, please.
            We are quite open regarding our “allegiances” here…to be considered as a worthy contributor, you must make clear your support…or supporters.
            Just sayin’

      • If we had better leadership I might be optimistic with this careful approach. But we have Boehner and McConnell. If something effective arises it will be almost a miracle.

          • I agree Julie.
            Let him squirm awhile.
            Let the congress determine a tactical response to the unlawful act that we just witnessed by the POTUS.
            IMO, both McConnell and Boehner need to be replaced, but that won’t happen until next year if it does.
            In the meantime, we shall see if they have the guts to confront an obviously out of control president, and to what degree they are willing to restore the Constitutional Principles this Country was built upon.

          • I am all for patience and a Republican willingness to take the slings and arrows of the media and the Dem propaganda machines. Actually a certain part of me delights in thinking how not responding is Obama’s worst nightmare. Temper tantrum inducing behaviour for Mr. LOOK AT ME!

            That said, giving them the benefit of the doubt, when they do move to implement a response it better be buttoned up and effective and all about America and the Republic and not about politics.

            Silent and carry a big stick works for me.

  7. The Hispanics, the big business interests, and big money must be sorely disappointed in MrO’s grand scheme. It offers them nothing but uncertaintly, impossible steps, and as much happy talk as he had for the implementation of Obamacare.

    MrO promises to “deport” criminals, but each and every illegal alien is a criminal by their very presence here on American soil. The ones who have been working did so with illegal or forged papers, another crime.
    IMO, what he said last night was just pap, fluff, smoke and mirrors to get the Hispanics and other interests off his back. He offers nothing, and promises things that will not hold.

          • The Chamber’s clamoring for amnesty is offensive to citizens who are required to follow the laws and to immigrants who go through the legal process.

            I’m not anticapitalist or anticorporate, but the fact is that the heads of many large corporations are globalists with no particular allegiance to the United States as a country with its own heritage and traditions. To them it’s just part of the global marketplace. Getting cheap labor is more important to them than the well-being of the people born here, and more important than a sense of cultural identity and cohesion.

  8. Saw two headlines — Fox — House Rep. sue Obama over healthcare — sue HHS and Treasury. And Drudge — Republicans leave town — nothing done.

  9. someone on twitter had a great idea: apparently the president has to be officially invited by Congress to come give the State of the Union speech to them. this tweeter suggested that Congress not invite him.

    this would be in addition to the other things the GOP could do–holding up appointments and so on. but I love this idea because it spits right back in Obama’s face.

    and it saves all of us from having to listen to another silly Obama SOTU and having to watch Michelle in the box with special guests like Bo Bergdahl or Trayvon Martin’s parents.

    a real win-win.

  10. The Law?

    There is no law anymore. And this latest schtupp’da country/constitution, only the caboose. At the end of a mile long freight train of OVERT felony fraud, anarchy and treason.

    IGNORED by the Repubs.

    For opaque, microcosmic partisan thinking [as it were (2016’s almost here …. then …. Repubutopia!)].

    I’m rather crestfallen today. Shellshocked. Rocked to my core actually. My marrow. And plenty disappointed in much of the limp wristed, righty media as well (hey, check out my latest book … available on Amazon!).

    T’was biz as usual the last while, for pretty much most of ’em (hey, get your vacation discount today, if you’re the first twenty callers with the code words ‘springtime luxury cruising with big wheel conswervos’! [Do as we criticize (Congressional Thanksgkiving break/jet home/no charge mounted against the fall of the country). Not as we ConswervoEliteMedia (also) do].

    Thoroughly disgusted I am.


    Ok then, enough wallowing in hellfire conflagration aye? This link will wipe away a little of the despair. Yes.

    BBC – 100 year old sees ocean for first time

  11. Obama is doing another Obama. When he came into office he spent all his time passing Obamacare, The number one problem at that time was getting the economy rolling again. Here he goes again diverting the country’s attention to Immigration. It is a problem but by far not the most important problem. Everyone’s time should be spent on getting the economy going again so people can have jobs. Yet Obama does not want the private sector to do well.. He wants government to grow so that people will be servants of government

    On fixing Immigration the first thing you do is seal the border to stop the flow. When a water pipe breaks the first thing you do is to shut the valve and then you work on fixing it. It is mighty hard trying to fix the leak while the water is running.

  12. “Prosecutorial discretion” ?
    Good. Now that I know the ground rule’s, I will invoke “compliance discretion” in obidence to Laws of the land.
    If its good enough for the King, its even better for me.

  13. “Because Obama is not just deciding not to prosecute people who have broken the law. He is giving them legal status that includes the right to work, the provision of Social Security cards, and even driver’s licenses. That is, he is saying that in fact they are not lawbreakers.”

    I suppose Obama would argue the definition of ‘lawbreaker’. Border jumping is classified as a misdemeanor – tantamount to jaywalking, in the eyes of this administration. Crazy Joe has already declared them ‘Americans’. Jeb Bush claims they are only coming her ‘out of love’ for their family and to give them a better life. And Obama has unilaterally declared the C.A, unaccompanied minors – ‘refugees’, not illegal aliens.

    What’s to stop him from changing the status of 15-20M illegals to ‘refugee’ status and pardon all of them. He got away with the de-facto Dream Act two years ago…what’s to stop him now? Too bad there is no one with standing who can issue an injunction against Obama at the signing ceremony today. Time is of the essence.

  14. Bottom line(s):

    The GOP “leadership” is far too perfidious. To be trusted. To do anything. Anything at all. Let alone, the right thing.


    Neither G*d nor Country will sway them. From their coincident path, of destroying the country [(mad) props McConnell, he’s been taking acting lessons … if one didn’t know better. You might think he actually gives a flying leap (about saving the country)]. Really.

    When Obama said aloud to the whole world: You can come out from the shadowns.

    That was it. Game. Set. Match. Done. Finished business. OVER and OUT.

    It ain’t America no more people. No It Isn’t. The serrated blade Rebel Commander Hussein, has on her neck has drawn blood. They call it the banality of evil … people like Boehner. People like McConnnel. Complicit in these crimes. ‘Gainst G*d. ‘Gainst County.

    Do not have mercy on their souls (pisspontheirgraves).

  15. O.T. Looks like something is happening in Ferguson. All schools have been ordered to close next week. When the decision comes in, all news about Obama’s illegal acts will magically vanish from the headlines. Putting on my tin foil hat, it looks like the WH is controlling both events.

  16. Speaking of Chicago, anyone remember Elvira? She’s back! For those who don’t remember – she was the illegal alien activist/ rabblerouser who used her 7 y.o. anchor baby son as a human shield while she hid out in a Chicago church for one year to avoid deportation. She finally was caught in L.A. seven yrs. ago and promptly deported.

    Well, she managed to get back to Chicago last March – and is currently living in the same church with her now 15 y.o. anchor baby son plus a five month old baby boy. She is waiting for a hearing and plans to ask for refugee status. Wonder if she will be included in Obama’s 5M.

    • And she is receiving support for herself and said children from her spouse? No, I don’t think so.
      And what is her field of expertise? None…sadly, she has no work history.
      She wants a better life I am certain. We all did – and we did not have children we could not support and educate and we had occupations that supported a viable economic lifestyle of ourselves and our children.
      My primary objection to this is not the compassion extended by churches and other charitable groups. My primary objection is the misconstrued idea that Christian charity means we must support an above average lifestyle for those who refuse to exercise self discipline (yes, I do mean using birth control and yes, I do mean living within the confines provided by your income) and for those who refuse to enter this country legally,

  17. Further thoughts …

    It was the lily livered, panty waisted weakness. Of the GOP. That broadcasted/telegraphed the message to Obama, apriori. We ain’t gunna do nuttin (honey). Nothing at all.

    McConnell: no shutdown

    Gowdy: no impeachment.

    We are here. Because of them.

    I ain’t selling anything. The truth commands its own damn self.

  18. What will stop the next conservative president (and yes there will be one) to issue an executive order to halt abortion because it is “unfair.” Or the next pro-traditional marriage president to issue an executive order that allows only traditional marriage because homosexual marriage is “unfair.” These are not trivial questions and one’s that I am sure the MSM will debate with baited breath as we move ever down this slope of authoritarian rule.The making of “laws” by the executive/regulatory state has begun the unravelling of the American experiment in self rule. My only solace is that eventually progressives will get a taste of their own medicine. Only to have all of us wake up to the fact that our constitutional republic is gone.

  19. Back in the day….long long ago, I worked at a factory that employed many Mexicans. All employees had to provide a driver’s license and a SS card to prove they were here legally. I am sure some here will recall the name of the Federal form the Human Resources Department was required to complete. This form was an affidavit of sorts that said the HR department had seen said documentation and the person was here legally.
    One day, a young Mexican man – we will call him Jose (phonetically pronounced Ho-Say) – came to the HR office to ask the following question:
    “Why is $350 per month being withheld from my pay?”
    The answer: “You have a judgment against you for child support. Your wages are being garnished to pay that judgment.”
    The young man forgot who he was (allegedly) for a moment and said, “But I have no children!”
    Then…he remembered. He was working in the USA now – and to work here he needed to have proper identification. So, when “Jose” returned to Mexico, this young man purchased “Jose’s” identification.
    Unfortunately for this impersonator, Jose left behind an American wife and child when he returned to Mexico – hence the garnishee judgment.
    The young man said, “Oh! That’s right! I forgot!” And he ran from the HR office. And he continued to work at this fine establishment. /sarc
    According to Bob Beckel, illegals who have been here some time, commonly must provide utility bills payments – or dated receipts of some kind to prove their length of the occupancy here. Wonder where/what the black market is for these documents?
    Is their anyone in our government who ever, ever bothers to investigate real life outside the Beltway? I think not.
    As an aside, from that day forward, the HR department referred to certain employees as “Hos-A,” Hos-B,” Hos-C,” etc….

  20. The saying is that a special flock of birds will be flying into the jet engines of a very special plane very soon and it will come from Texas.