Republicans want you to notice that a Wall Street Journal/NBC poll published yesterday shows that a plurality of Americans would prefer that immigration reform be achieved by congressional action rather than presidential executive order.


But a more important finding in that poll is that a clear majority –57  percent — are in favor of the pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants proposed by President Obama. The majority increases to 74 percent when respondents are told that such a pathway requires paying fines and back taxes, as well as passing a security background check.


What this means is that a relatively small percentage of Americans are diametrically opposed under any circumstance to the reforms proposed by Obama. That sort of stubborn opposition is at the heart of inaction on the part of the Republican-controlled House.


A firestorm of protest is likely to arise when Obama signs the executive order at issue tomorrow, but it’s just as likely that it eventually will blow over as more Americans come to realize that there’s historic precedence for such actions without violation of the Constitution.


Indeed, every president of the past 60 years — Democratic and Republican alike — has changed U.S. immigration policies by executive order.


 

Republicans want you to notice that a Wall Street Journal/NBC poll published yesterday shows that a plurality of Americans would prefer that immigration reform be achieved by congressional action rather than presidential executive order.

But a more important finding in that poll is that a clear majority –57  percent — are in favor of the pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants proposed by President Obama. The majority increases to 74 percent when respondents are told that such a pathway requires paying fines and back taxes, as well as passing a security background check.

What this means is that a relatively small percentage of Americans are diametrically opposed under any circumstance to the reforms proposed by Obama. That sort of stubborn opposition is at the heart of inaction on the part of the Republican-controlled House.

A firestorm of protest is likely to arise when Obama signs the executive order at issue tomorrow, but it’s just as likely that it eventually will blow over as more Americans come to realize that there’s historic precedence for such actions without violation of the Constitution.

Indeed, every president of the past 60 years — Democratic and Republican alike — has changed U.S. immigration policies by executive order.