President Obama hasn’t been shy about his interest in using an executive action to grant some of the immigration initiatives he’s failed to get through Congress.
But in 2011, Obama took a different view on executive action on immigration. This is what he said:
Now, I know some people want me to bypass Congress and change the laws on my own. And believe me, right now dealing with Congress … Believe me — believe me, the idea of doing things on my own is very tempting. I promise you. Not just on immigration reform. But that’s not how — that’s not how our system works. … That’s not how our democracy functions. That’s not how our Constitution is written.
The Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler wrote today that Obama’s claim to reporters last week that on executive action, “my position hasn’t changed,” wasn’t accurate. Kessler wrote:
The president has certainly been consistent on this issue—until he saw that the path through Congress was blocked. It’s clear from the interviews that the president was not being asked about executive orders that would have provided comprehensive immigration reform, but about specific actions that ended deportations of a subset of illegal immigrants—precisely the type of action he will shortly unveil.
Previously he said that was not possible, using evocative language that he is not a “king” or “the emperor.” Apparently he’s changed his mind. The president earns an upside-down Pinocchio for his flip-flop.
Senate Democrat leadership announced its support Monday for Obama’s plans on immigration, writing in a letter, “Because House Republicans have not acted, we fully support your decision to use your well-established executive authority to improve as much of the immigration system as you can.”