Did Obama overreach on immigration?

Did Obama overreach on immigration?
President Obama announces executive actions on immigration during a nationally televised address from the White House on Thursday. (Jim Bourg / Associated Press)

To the editor: Your editorial on President Obama's unilateral action on immigration doesn't articulate the real reason that what he did was necessary. ("For many people living under threat of deportation, Obama offers relief," Editorial, Nov. 20)

On June 27, 2013, the U.S. Senate passed a bipartisan immigration reform bill. House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) took an extremely partisan approach and refused to bring the bill up for debate and a vote.

Boehner's message was clear: The tea party and the GOP are not interested in immigration reform and prefer the status quo .

Obama deserves praise for maintaining the spirit of this immigrant-created nation.


Frank Ferrone, El Cajon


To the editor: Thanks to The Times for pointing out that Obama should have used the legislative process to address our illegal immigration problem rather than taking unilateral action. Though the president did say Congress should pass a bill, for the first two years of his presidency Obama's Democratic Party had control of both houses of Congress, and the president failed to promote such legislation.

Illegal immigration is a significant and divisive problem in this country, but a vast majority of Americans will support orderly reform if, and only if, our borders are first secured. Obama has said our borders are secure. If that's true, how have tens of thousands of unaccompanied minor children walked across the border this year?

The timing of this action is not lost on those of us who pay attention. If the president truly wants to work with Congress, he should wait for the new one to be installed in January. Obama is doing this now because he's a lame duck.

I fear what other actions this constitutional scholar might attempt over the next two years.

Rick Kern, Incline Village, Nev.


To the editor: Now Obama has gone and done it! He has acted on immigration and poisoned Boehner's well, just as the House speaker said he would.

Let's face it: Obama was never going to get so much as a sip from that well. That's the well with the big sign on it saying, "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone, especially you, Mr. President."

It is time for Boehner to do the right thing and draw up the bucket from the well that has the long-ignored immigration legislation in it. Putting the Senate bill up for a vote is the least he owes the American people.

No more posturing and threats, please.

Marcia Goldstein, Laguna Woods


To the editor: Obama delayed his plan to create his own immigration laws until after the recent elections to help his own party members. His decision then was political, and now he's pandering to the vocal immigration reform element.

I think the American voters expressed themselves very clearly as to what they thought about a sweeping, unfair plan to institute "reform."

I have to ask one question: Since the rollout of Obamacare insurance exchanges was so flawless and perfect, how are the president's plans going for a tracking system to take care of the millions of immigrants who will receive a reprieve?

Rosemary Hagerott, Sierra Madre


To the editor: Whether one agrees or disagrees with the president's actions, realistically, something needed to be done. Preferably, Congress should be the body to legislate, and last year the Senate did pass a bipartisan bill on immigration reform that the House sat on.

If squabbling children refuse to get along, what is the parent supposed to do? Do what all parents should do: Make an executive decision. Regardless of party affiliation, you cannot have a productive working environment when one player informs the other that there will be no cooperation regardless of what the other player does.

Intuitively, it is impossible that everything this president has proposed is wrong, especially when some of his ideas (the individual mandate in healthcare reform comes to mind) germinated in the GOP. Why should the nation suffer because 535 people won't do their jobs?

Rodney K. Boswell, Thousand Oaks

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