Utah Policy/KSL Insider Survey: Should Obama Act on Immigration Reform?

Should President Obama go around Congress to make changes to immigration policy on his own? That’s the question we put to our UtahPolicy.com/KSL “Political Insiders” this week.

As you might guess, results were split right down partisan lines. An overwhelming number of Democrats – 89% – said Mr. Obama should move on his own if Congress continues to avoid voting on immigration reform. Just 11% of Republicans and 35% of our readers felt the same.

On the other hand, 53% of Republicans and 52% of our readers said the president did not have the authority to act on immigration reform without Congressional approval. None of our Democrats said he did not have the authority to take matters into his own hands. 

More Republicans than Democrats – 33% to just 11% – said Obama should do more to work with Congress to find an immigration solution.

Selected anonymous comments:

“I didn’t realize that the President has constitutional authority to legislate.”

“While we desperately need our immigration policy fixed, and Congress should be doing it, I don’t support an improper way of doing it. The ends don’t justify the means. Congress is supposed to pass laws, and the executive branch is supposed to implement them. Too much regulatory legislating going on currently with EPA, Forest Service, and BLM.”

“The president has nothing to lose. He can add this to his legacy. It’s time to get something done.”

“House Republicans are foolish for not passing something. Anything. They can find broad agreement on several key points that would show they are willing to at least engage on the issue. Otherwise they appear unwilling to help fix something that everyone agrees is a problem.”

“Our country’s immigration system is broken, and as a result, we are witnessing harm to US businesses and so much unnecessary human suffering. Immigration reform is desperately needed. That being said, we can’t allow our federal government system to be completely circumvented by executive order. This is a dangerous path to pursue. Somehow Congress must be pressured to fulfill its role in the process, or the executive branch will render Congress meaningless.”

“For a president that ran on getting something done with bipartisanship, the latest actions are concerning.”

“Congress is at a complete standstill. They can complain about Obama’s executive orders all the want but the solution is for them to get off their lazy partisan butts and do their jobs. They are a joke.”

“I support limited executive action, but too much is setting a bad precedent for the future balance of powers.”

“The do-nothing Congress gives him little choice. It is hard to lead if Congress acts only to win elections, rather than serve the people who elected them.”

“We absolutely need changes in our immigration system. We also cannot have a president usurp Congressional power and rule by fiat.”

“While I am a supporter of immigration reform, I think it should be done in the right way. King Obama can’t just do whatever he wants.”

“We are supposed to have checks and balances not a dictator. We need to revamp immigration with more temporary visas.”

“This is a win-win idea. The Democrats will see a little motion on a subject they consider important. Very conservative Republicans will have another thing to gripe about, while the moderate Republicans who would like to see changed immigration policies but are afraid of the Tea Partiers will see some motion in the direction they favor but are afraid to publicly support. And the rest of the country will finally get some action in a nation paralyzed by partisanship.”

“Immigration reform is not a priority at this time. Solve the problems with the VA, balance our budget, end the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and provide for full employment for U.S. citizens. Those should be the priorities of Congress and the President.”

“The Republicans can’t have it both ways. Either they pass legislation, or the President acts. The Country needs resolution, not immobilization.”

“I thought we fought a Revolutionary War to get from under a King and his one-man orders and allow the people’s elected officials to work together and develop the best policies although that can be difficult. All other Presidents have done it. Why not President Obama?”

“People like Mike Lee & Jason Chaffetz are not able to govern. So an enterprising President will expand into the vacuum.”