On Thursday of last week, President Obama outlined a series of executive actions, which has created divisions in the Republican Party. Some are calling this a stroke of political genius and others are calling the president’s action constitutional lawlessness. Nevertheless, everyone is talking and everyone is lining up on the side of the line they support.
The president is cool as a cucumber, because he knows he has started a fight and everyone is swinging. There are 11 million immigrants in America and the president is forcing the Republicans to do their job and govern. The Republicans can no longer just obstruct policy; because they are the majority party in both Houses, and they must do some work. They can no longer say anything, because now they must make sense, and make good decisions for the entire country.
At this point, the Republicans are fighting the president, but when the new congressional session begins in January, they must have a plan. In all probability the Republicans will be forced to move to the center, and hide their disagreements with each other behind closed doors.
The president’s announcement was not unprecedented, because every president since Eisenhower has used executive action on immigration. “The actions I’m taking are not only lawful; they’re the kinds of actions taken by every single Republican President and every single Democratic President for the past half century. And to those Members of Congress who question my authority to make our immigration system work better, or question the wisdom of me acting where Congress has failed. I have one answer. Pass a bill,” says President Obama during his speech.
The president is acting because Congress hasn’t, and everyone will question the timing. The Democrats will say that the president should have acted sooner, and the Republicans will say that the president should have waited. But, the president is a man of his word, and he promised the American people he was going to take action at the end of the year.
“Because for all the back and forth of Washington, we have to remember that this debate is about something bigger. It’s about who we are as a country, and who we want to be for future generations. Are we a nation that accepts the cruelty of ripping children from their parent’s arms? Or are we a nation that values families, and works to keep them together,” explains President Obama.
There is no right or wrong answer on the immigration issue. The debate will be hot and heavy, but the polls indicated that immigrants wanted the president to take action on this issue. This executive order will impact 5 to 6 million immigrants, and the president is expecting a major backlash from the Republicans and conservatives.
It takes courage and conviction to fix a system that has been broken for many years. It is the right thing to do. The Republicans will threaten impeachment and jailing the president, but that is why there is a Supreme Court. The president has fundamentally transformed the immigration system and he is forcing the Republican to draft a bill that is a game changer for the immigration system.
Once Congress passes a comprehensive immigration bill and it is signed by the president, his executive orders are deleted and they go away. Instead of complaining about the president’s actions, it is time for the Republicans to get to work. President Obama is setting the bar high, and it is time for the talking to end, and bill making to begin.