Update: Obama’s address at 8:00 pm is on cnn, msnbc, and other cable stations.
Two years ago House Speaker Boehner complained about President Obama’s concern over high student loan interest rates, saying, the issue is “pathetic” and “the emperor has no clothes” – hardly the case. A few days ago, in response to Obama’s plan to announce executive actions on immigration, Boehner called the president a “lawless emperor” – particularly ironic as Boehner’s House of Representatives has failed at creating enactable laws. In 2013 Obama himself said, “I’m not the emperor of the United States. My job is to execute laws that are passed.”
Now our president is beginning to act like an emperor – taking ownership of the title. Let’s remember that in the Roman empire even the emperors had to deal with legislative bodies. We have been waiting a long time for a significant improvement in U. S. immigration policy. After much Sturm und Drang last year the U. S. Senate passed a comprehensive immigration bill. The House ignored it and has continued to take no action. Enter our emperor.
President Obama’s Executive Order should have a significant impact in New Jersey. Pew Research indicates we have the fifth highest number of unauthorized immigrants. According to the NY Times, “Obama’s executive action plans may allow up to 5 million unauthorized immigrants to stay in the U. S. and obtain work permits.” Using a more cautious figure of 4 million, out of a total of 11.2 million in the U. S., represents 36%. Multiplying New Jersey’s 525,000 unauthorized immigrants by 36% suggests it will benefit about 189,000 of our residents.
A good day’s work for our new emperor. He will unveil more specifics about his plan in a televised speech to the nation at 8:00 pm tonight. Executive Orders, however, can be repealed by a succeeding President, which places further onus on voters to re-elect a Democrat in 2016.