Foreign Policy, November 20, 201
President Barack Obama goes before the nation on Thursday night to lay out the executive orders he’s issuing to bypass Congress and massively overhaul the nation’s immigration laws. Through a combination of reforms, Obama’s plan is expected to keep up to 5 million undocumented immigrants with long-standing ties to the United States from being deported.
Republican lawmakers are apoplectic about the initiatives, which they say should be made through legislation rather than by White House fiat. “If he acts by executive diktat, President Obama will not be acting as a president, he will be acting as a monarch,” Sen. Ted Cruz, the Texas Republican, wrote in Politico. Administration officials say the president had no choice but to act because such legislation has been stalled in Congress for years.
Under Obama’s reforms, some 4 million undocumented immigrants who have lived in the United States for more than five years will be granted work permits and exempted from deportation. The president is also expected to raise the age limit on a program that allows children who came to the United States illegally as children to stay in the country.