Texas top law enforcement officer Attorney General and Governor-Elect Greg Abbott said yesterday (Wednesday) that President Barack Obama has “no legal authority to grant legal status to people who are here in the United States illegally” during his appearance on the Bill O’Reilly show. Abbott, who is a native of Wichita Falls, Texas, made the comments as reports swirl around the nation’s capitol that Obama intends to announce an executive order as early as today, Thursday, Nov. 20.
The executive order is expected to give millions of illegal immigrants immunity from deportation. But Abbott said during his appearance on The O’Reilly Factor, that such an action would be a “hoax on the people he is offering it to, because he doesn’t have the legal authority to grant them any rights whatsoever.”
Abbott further said, “To grant them rights requires official legal action, either by an administrative agency or by Congress.”
Republican House Majority Leader John Boehner has also promised to file a lawsuit against the Administration if Obama follows through on his promise to sign such an executive order. The President has said on numerous occasions he will sign such an executive order before the end of the year if Congress doesn’t pass an immigration reform bill first.
Abbott, who has sued the federal government approximately 30 times during his extraordinary term as Texas Attorney General, said he would file this latest legal action based on his belief such an executive order is prohibited by the U.S. Constitution. Abbott, a noted constitutional scholar, mentioned that the Constitution specifically gives to Congress authority to pass immigration laws.
Obama is expected to make a speech this evening regarding a sweeping new immigration plan on his part. The plan is expected to include the controversial amnesty for millions of immigrants who have surged illegally across the southern U.S. border from Mexico.
Obama’s speech Thursday night is expected to legalize about five million undocumented people, many of whom have children who are American citizens. It’s anticipated other immigration orders will be included.
A new Wall Street Journal poll indicates 48% of Americans surveyed disapprove of Obama taking this action without action by Congress. About 38% of the people approve of the action Obama will announce tonigh during his televised speech.
O’Reilly said, “The issue is not really about undocumented human beings, it’s about President Obama challenging the Constitution. He should wait and give the new Congress a chance to pass a fair immigration law. It it does not, Mr. Obama’s legal position would be stronger than if he takes unilateral action. But the way things stand now, the President will surely lose in the courts. I believe Mr. Obama knows that and well understands how divisive his actions will be. But he doesn’t seem to care and history will not look kindly on a sitting president causing a constitutional ruckus. Trust me on that.”
Abbott further said, ” Immigration is assigned by the constitution to the Congress to determine. We have seen in Texas the consequences of the president’s immigration policy and we will be reaching out to other states.”
Abbott will be inaugurated Jan. 20 as Texas governor.
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