Just two short months ago President Obama announced from the White House, "I've got a pen and a phone and I can use that pen to sign executive orders and take executive actions and administrative actions that move the ball forward." Obama made the statement out of his frustration with a split Congress and a House controlled by Republicans opposed to his big government, lawless agenda.
Now, although Obama may have a pen and a phone, he doesn't seem to have much patience, especially on the issue of immigration reform. Over at the Washington Post, Greg Sargent is warning the GOP's "window of opportunity" on the issue is quickly closing.
If summer comes and nothing has moved, pressure on Obama to utilize executive action to slow deportations will be overwhelming. He’ll likely do something. The right will go into overdrive, making legislative reform even harder.
Two immigration reform advocates who have spoken personally with the president in recent days tell me they came away convinced he knows he will have to resort to executive action by summer if Republicans do nothing.
“The president made it clear that three months from now, if there is no legislative action, he will do more using executive authority,” says Lorella Praelli, the director of advocacy and policy for United We Dream, who was in a recent meeting between advocates and President Obama. “That was the message that we got in different ways.”
Last fall, House Speaker John Boehner indicated illegal immigration could come up as a priority this spring, but because Obama has a history of negotiating in bad faith with Republicans, nothing has happened. Not to mention, many have argued Obama's prior executive orders on the issues have effectively already given amnesty to millions of people in the United States through a lack of law enforcement.
A three-page analysis from Jeff Sessions’s office. The good news is, at least ICE is prioritizing correctly. Illegals who’ve committed serious criminal offenses are the first out the door, followed by people caught at the border trying to sneak in and those caught inside the U.S. after having been deported before. The other 99.92 percent who are already here are, however, apparently here to stay, unless/until a Republican president sends down the order to restart deportations among that group. And given the GOP leadership’s icy panic about further alienating Latino voters, the odds of that are near zero.
While Obama continues to take time meeting with pro-amnesty, open-border groups, ICE and Border Patrol agents are still being denied a meeting to express their concerns about current policies and potential policies in the future.