Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) warned in an interview with USA Today that unless President Obama rescinds executive action on immigration, then “you could see violence,” reported Talking Points Memo. This is yet another GOP trying to incite fear and hysteria over a completely legal, presidential action.
“The country’s going to go nuts, because they’re going to see it as a move outside the authority of the president, and it’s going to be a very serious situation,” said Coburn. “You’re going to see – hopefully not – but you could see instances of anarchy. . . You could see violence.”
There many things wrong with Coburn reasoning and statement. The first issue is saying that there will be violence. That’s wrong. No one is going to riot in the streets over Obama’s executive action. No one rioted because of the new EPA rules, and no one is going to riot because of immigration reform. That’s utter nonsense.
Also, Obama isn’t going “outside the authority of the president,” as Coburn insisted. In fact, legal scholars have already mentioned that the president is well within his spectrum of authority to make such an order. A panel of legal experts called the Federalist Society held their annual convention this week, which is very popular among American conservatives.
Reluctantly and “begrudgingly,” as the Huffington Post puts it, the panel of conservative, legal experts agreed that Obama “has wide legal latitude to prioritize and shape deportation laws.”
“I think the roots of prosecutorial discretion are extremely deep,” said Chris Schroeder, the Charles S. Murphy Professor of Law and Public Policy Studies at Duke Law School. “Let me put it this way: Suppose some president came to me and asked me in the office of legal counsel, ‘Is it okay for me to go ahead and defer the deportation proceedings of childhood?’ Under the present state of law, I think that would be an easy opinion to write. Yes.”
It’s funny, though. Republicans had absolutely no problem when President Bush circumvented Congress to exercise his brand of executive action on immigration reform in 2007.
Republicans continue to accentuate the fear aspect among their constituents in classic, right-wing fashion. Not only is saying that “anarchy” and “violence” will occur because of executive action stupid; it’s also dangerous. Republicans are just naturally theatrical and dramatic.
After Obama makes the official announcement today, look out of the window. Nothing is going to happen.