If immigration reform does not pass Congress this time, it is very likely that supporters will urge the President to implement a “Plan B” consisting of an executive order with respect to deportations. Last year, President Obama issued an executive order involving those who were brought to the United States at an early age and are attending or have graduated high school. This executive order, creating Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), targeted those who would have been eligible for the DREAM Act, had it become law.
The President does, in fact, have the authority to essentially ‘legalize’ the undocumented immigrants in the United States. This is something that Senator Marco Rubio recently mentioned during a radio interview and it created a bit of controversy when immigration reform opponents accused him of a form of blackmail.
When you think about it, it is better for the Republicans in the House to craft their version of immigration reform and attempt to hammer out a compromise with the Senate than to lose control of the process and leave it up to the President. It is similar to a mediation when the first thing a mediator says to the parties is, “You can come to an agreement and have input, or you can leave it up to a Judge to impose a decision on you”.
At the end of the day, the opponents of immigration reform must realize that it is a better choice to understand that the President of the United States could impose his own version of immigration reform and, as such, direct their collective energies towards a compromise that will result in the passage of an immigration reform bill.