: a person who rules a country with total authority
First everyone reading this should understand that I am supportive of content of President Obama's executive order. For decades we have encouraged people to sneak into the US to work here, often in the underground economy. Both parties have looked the other way while this has happened - Republicans because some businesses want it and Democrats to please their Hispanic constituents. Expelling people who have been here for years (often decades) would be as unjust as a complete amnesty. A plan that enables them - after paying a fine, paying back taxes, and becoming functionally fluent in English - to obtain permanent guest worker status is both just and compassionate.
Second, THERE IS ZERO DOUBT THAT WHAT PRESIDENT OBAMA HAS DONE IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL - AND HE KNOWS IT. It is not an exaggeration to say that he has just made himself a dictator - albeit a compassionate one.
If this is tolerated, American democracy is over. Pres, Obama's reason for issuing this illegal order is simple: Congress refused to do what he wanted them to do - so he decided to assume the power granted to congress and "do it without them". Think about this for a moment. Think about what this means in the future. Quite simply, if tolerated, the House and Senate just became completely powerless and irrelevant, If a president can simply bypass a coequal branch of government with the stroke of a pen, why should they even bother to meet? The danger here is not the direct effect of this illegal order - it is the precedent it establishes. If Obama gets away with this, what is to prevent him - or a future president of either party - from simply ruling by decree? What is to stop him or her from ignoring Supreme Court rulings? Perhaps most frightening, what is to prevent this or a future president from declaring an emergency and suspending elections in order to stay in office? THE ANSWER TO ALL THESE QUESTIONS IS THE SAME: NOTHING! Sadly, such actions are the norm in much of the world, because the rule of law is ignored. We are now one huge step closer to joining them.
There is also zero doubt that President Obama knows that what he is doing is illegal and unconstitutional. He knows full well that this is an impeachable offense. In fact, he has said such action would be illegal - on video - more than two dozen times. He is a constitutional lawyer and professor, He knows that he just became a dictator. Consider these 22 documented quotes and the following video clips:
Yes, there are many legal things any president may do in regards to those who are here illegally. He can prioritize those who are deported - ignoring those working to support families and otherwise obeying the law and focusing upon criminals. He can also pardon anyone - including those here in violation of immigration law (which is not, in and of itself a crime - it is a civil matter) - of any crime they have committed. These actions are within his authority as president. He may also, when supported by underlying law, issue executive orders. However, what our president has just done DOES NOT FALL INTO ANY OF THESE CATEGORIES.
Even MSNBC is questioning the legality of what President Obama is doing:
His order goes far beyond simply ignoring those here illegally who are behaving themselves - it grants them legal status AND THAT REQUIRES PASSAGE OF A NEW LAW. A new law can only come from Congress.
One might also ask this question: What is the emergency? None of these people are in danger of being deported because President Obama's lawful prioritizing of deportation. When one considers this fact it exposes this action for exactly what it is: A RAW POWER GRAB BY A PRESIDENT WHOSE PARTY JUST LOST AN ELECTION BY A LANDSLIDE.
Additionally, the American people are overwhelmingly opposed to this action. According to this poll, only 20% of voters in the recent elections supported such an order. Stunningly, 54% of Hispanics opposed such an order!
Dictatorships emerging from democracies (without a coup) seldom begin with harsh and unpopular decrees. Hitler, after getting lawmakers to vote themselves into irrelevance, did not start with a decree ordering millions to be killed - he began by issuing decrees to put people back to work. As I have said, the real danger here may not be what this president does - but what a future president may do.
So, what shall be done?
First, it should be understood that it is not just Republicans who are concerned about this issue. Remember, this order effectively makes all lawmakers irrelevant - not just Republicans. This, combined with pressure from voters has caused several Democrats to come out against President Obama's action. Consider this quote from CNN's Jake Tapper:
"Several Senate Democrats are not happy with Obama’s executive amnesty order. Tapper said he’s gotten “expressions of concern about POTUS action from Dems” including Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Joe Manchin (D-WV). Sen. Angus King (I-ME), an independent who caucuses with Democrats, also expressed opposition to Obama’s amnesty order."
"Before the election, Democratic Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Al Franken (D-MN), Mark Warner (D-VA) and Mary Landrieu (D-LA) all came out against it too. This number of Democrats and independents is enough to overcome the 60-vote threshold for cloture to block Obama’s executive amnesty with funding orders, if the Democrats who said they’re against it are serious."
Doing the math, this means that Republicans are starting with six Democratic Senators who are prepared to go on record TODAY as opposing this illegal order. Combined with the 54 votes from Republicans, that's enough to use the power of the purse to invalidate the order - and should it come to it, Republicans only need 7 more votes to remove Obama from office.
There are basically two ways Congress can successfully oppose this order:
First, and most likely, the Congress could split funding into several bills each funding an area of government - and then withhold funding from INS, thus preventing them from implementing the order. This would leave the president with three choices:
1) Admit defeat and withdraw the order
2) Veto all the funding bills and demand funding for his order
3) Issue another unlawful order funding his previous unlawful order
Given that he has already violated the Constitution by issuing the order, I think it likely that he will choose the last option. Why not? It is supported by all the same arguments and is no more or less unconstitutional. That will leave us with one option: IMPEACHMENT.
If impeachment is attempted, it should be remembered that this time it will not be about something "unrelated to his job", it will be about his actions as president. Additionally, there are several unrelated scandals being investigated right now (think Benghazi and Fast and Furious) that could "blow up" both providing more charges and reducing public support for Pres. Obama. Contrary to what Democratic pundits supporting the president are saying, I do not think President Obama wants to be impeached.
In addition to this, legal action is possible. It is even possible that the Supreme Court could expedite hearing such a case. There is zero doubt that the current court will rule against the president by at least five to four. It could be unanimous. However, once again, there is the question: Will the president simply ignore the order? If he does, we are back to impeachment.
This crisis - and it is a crisis - is the greatest internal threat the nation has faced since the Civil War. Every American who prays should pray for our nation.