President Barack Obama formally announced his three-point immigration plan Thursday night, sidestepping warnings from Republican leaders and taking action on an issue that has stalled on Capitol Hill for the last year. Under Obama's order, millions of immigrants who entered the United States illegally prior to 2010 now have a chance to stay in the country — though it's important to note that undocumented citizens will not be placed on a path to citizenship or receive the same benefits of legal citizens. The president's words were clear: <ass deportation is "not amnesty," and the "broken" immigration system is in desperate need of an overhaul.
Although Obama's powerful move on Thursday night is not unprecedented — many presidents in the past, as Obama pointed out in his speech, have issued executive orders on immigration — pundits and legal experts alike say it's a bold action. "The magnitude and the formality of it is arguably unprecedented," Peter J. Spiro, a Temple University law professor, told The New York Times, adding that we've "never seen anything quite like this."
That's probably why Obama's speech, which also comes on the heels of a tumultuous midterm election that saw the crumbling of a Democratic majority in the Senate, has drawn an emotional response from both the president's supporters and opponents. While some celebrate Obama's weighty speech, others are further attacking the president — with hints at impeachment. Others, still, say Obama didn't go far enough.
Here's how everyone — politicians, pundits, celebrities — are responding to Obama's immigration order...
And Sen. Mitch McConnell, the newly elected Senate Majority Leader, released this statement via his press office:
If the President truly follows through on this attempt to impose his will unilaterally, he will have issued a rebuke to his own stated view of democracy. And he will have contradicted his past statements on this very issue. The instances of President Obama saying that he does not have the power to do the kinds of things he now plans to do are almost too numerous to list. He tried to suggest otherwise last weekend. But a prominent fact-checker panned the spin as ‘Pinocchio-laden’ and clarified that the President has been asked ‘specifically…[about] the sorts of actions that he is contemplating now.’ The President’s previous answers seemed to be unequivocal: he lacked the legal authority to act.
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