Thursday, November 21, 2013

Can Obama legalize 11 million immigrants on his own?

Many people suggest this; here is the full explanation.   - - Donna Poisl

By Brad Plumer

It's now looking extremely unlikely that Congress will enact immigration reform this year. And that raises a question: Could President Obama use his executive powers to effectively legalize some of the 11 million undocumented immigrants already in the United States?

This possibility has actually been raised several times before. Back in August, Sen. Marco Rubio warned House Republicans that if they don't pass a bill, Obama will act on his own: "I believe that this president will be tempted, if nothing happens in Congress," Rubio said, "to issue an executive order as he did for the Dream Act kids a year ago, where he basically legalizes 11 million people by the sign of a pen."

It's not just Rubio. Immigration reform advocates have been quietly discussing the possibility of executive action on legalization as a "Plan B" if the bill dies. (The White House, for its part, has shown no signs of contemplating any such move.)
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