As we have stated previously, the president has been vocal about his lack of authority to use his executive power to legalize illegal immigrants.
With respect to the notion that [the president] can just suspend deportations through executive order, that’s just not the case, because there are laws on the books that Congress has passed — and I know that everybody here at Bell is studying hard so you know that we’ve got three branches of government. Congress passes the law. The executive branch’s job is to enforce and implement those laws. And then the judiciary has to interpret the laws.
There are enough laws on the books by Congress that are very clear in terms of how we have to enforce our immigration system that for me to simply through executive order ignore those congressional mandates would not conform with my appropriate role as President.These statements were made during an interview with Univision in March 2011. What has changed in the last year that has caused the president's immigration epiphany?
We guessed it my be his weakening support among minorities. Others argued it was meant to distract from his comments about the private sector economy "just fine". Still others have just written it off as election year politics. Can creating a constitutional crisis really be considered good politics? The only demographic this move plays to is the far left and the illegal immigrant community. Obama already had an big advantage in support from the Latino population that is unlikely to change with this policy.
What may be more telling is recent remarks from Dianne Fienstein and her position as Chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Fientstein has been very active in lobbying the president to legalize illegal immigrant farm workers, calling it vital to America's produce industry. While questioning the Homeland Security Secritary Janet Napalitano, Feinstein went so far as to ask her to help get an agriculture jobs initiative enacted that would legalize these illegal migrant workers. At the same time Feinstein joined House Republicans in a press conference calling for an investigation into White House leaks about classified information regarding the president's "kill list" and the CIA's cyber attack programs.
Under direction from Feinstein, the FBI has filed a criminal investigation into the White House leaks. However, the criminal investigation is not targeting the leaks related to the "kill list" or the CIA's cyber warfare program, but into information about the underwear bomber. Feinstein has also backed off the White House stopping short of demanding an independent investigation, stating that Holder's appointment of two federal attorney's to investigate the leaks as sufficient.
Did Dianne Feinstein use her position as chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee to take advantage of the White House leak probe to push her pro-illegal immigrant agenda? The president's about face on the legality of his order to legalize illegal immigrant youths seems to point to just that.