WASHINGTON – As President Obama prepared to issue a highly controversial landmark executive order effectively granting amnesty to up to 5 million illegal aliens, his critics were comparing him to Richard Nixon even as his defenders evoke the likes of Abraham Lincoln.
“Barack Obama is the president Nixon wished he could be,” said immigration expert Mark Krikorian, the head of the Washington-based Center for Immigration Studies.
“But even Nixon had more constitutional inhibitions than Barack Obama appears to have,” he said in an interview with WND.
Krikorian put a different spin on House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s assertion that this is Obama’s “Emancipation Proclamation” moment in history.
“The problem with Obama is that Obama thinks the law is whatever Obama determines to be law,” he explained.
“Obama sees Congress as a kind of advisory body. But he sees himself as the ultimate ruler of the nation. Congress’ job, as Obama sees it, is to give him advice and suggest policy approaches, much like the House of Lords.”
Obama announced his long-expected executive order on immigration at 8 p.m. Thursday. The announcement will be followed Friday by a rally at a high school in Las Vegas.
Krikorian believes Obama has been misled by Pelosi and other supporters into thinking the American people will see him as “liberating Hispanics” the way popular history sees Lincoln as “freeing the slaves.”
“The problem for Obama is that he has virtually nothing left to secure his legacy but this,” Krikorian said. “Obamacare was not a bipartisan legislative success, and Obama’s much-touted economic recovery is anemic, with most jobs created being part-time jobs.
“Still, I believe Obama has drunk the Kool-Aid.” Krikorian said, acknowledging that at this point Obama has no choice but to proceed with executive actions
“If Obama succeeds in giving some 5 million illegal immigrants issued work permits, Social Security cards and driver’s licenses, it’s de facto irreversible,” Krikorian said.
“Even though nominally the action is temporary, nobody believes that. How will anybody take government-issued identification cards that Obama orders issued to illegal immigrants?” he asked. “Obama’s actions will be irreversible, that’s what the White House is counting upon happening.”
In the final analysis, Krikorian believe the GOP in Congress can block Obama, even at this late hour.
“You just don’t give Obama the money to issue the work permits, or the Social Security cards or the driver’s licenses,” he said. “That’s how you stop Obama, no matter what type of lofty Emancipation Proclamation-like address he tries to give to the American public.”
In ‘a box of his own making’
In an article published on the Center for Immigration Reform website, Stanley Renshaw, a professor of political science at the City University of New York and a certified psychologist, argues that Obama has “placed himself in a box of his own making” by declaring in 2008, when he first ran for president, that he would make comprehensive immigration reform the top priority of this first year in the White House.
“The president put himself in this position. He promised his Hispanic advocacy groups and other liberal allies that he would push for ‘comprehensive’ immigration legislation, including substantially increasing legal immigration and providing a ‘pathway to citizenship’ for the 11-12 million illegal migrants already living in the country,” Renshaw wrote.
He said the “repeated delays have made these allies impatient and even angry, and political support for the president among ordinary Latinos has begun to drop off.”
Worse, the election of a Republican House and Senate means that the president’s aspirations for a place in history, of being ranked as a ‘great’ presidential figure, on a par with FDR and Lincoln, with whom he identifies, have been dashed – though ‘squandered’ is perhaps a more accurate word.”
Renshaw argues Obama “is turning now to his one remaining legacy card: executive action on immigration.”
Still, Renshaw concluded there is probably no way to get Obama to back down after the White House made “a very dramatic public announcement about his forthcoming executive amnesty plans” and having put into motion a Department of Homeland Security review of his options and having vetted with White House lawyers the likelihood his executive orders will face numerous court challenges.
“Be prepared,” Renshaw advises. “At a meeting with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, the president was quoted as assuring members of his party that ‘he won’t back down from his plans to ease deportations.’ There is every reason to believe him.”