In a Univision interview which aired July 16, President Obama said he “probably” cannot legalize illegal immigrants by executive order if Congress does not pass immigration reform.
Obama did not rule out entirely that he could act unilaterally on the issue, but rather intimated that Congress ought to do it.
According to the Washington Post, the President said, “I think it is very important for us to recognize that the way to solve this problem has to be legislative. I can do some things and have done some things that make a difference in the lives of people… But this problem needs to be fixed legislatively.”
The “things” Obama alludes to having done include issuing an executive order to halt the deportation of young illegal aliens prior to the 2012 presidential election. The move was criticized as a circumvention of the will of Congress–which is the will of the people–and an abuse of the president’s executive order powers.
Because Obama has used executive orders in this way so recently, his suggestion that he “probably” cannot use executive orders to legalize all illegal immigrants is not every reassuring.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins.