Law Professor Says Amnesty Is Beyond Obama’s Authority

The Immigration Reform Law Institute recently posted about how legal opinion is coming around to the idea that President Obama’s executive amnesty is beyond his legal power to act.

Chapman University law professor, John Eastman, recently wrote an article criticizing the Obama Administration for its latest amnesty directive, in particular, its use of “prosecutorial discretion” to issue work permits. The Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) itself has admitted that basing work authorizations on the doctrine has made it “unlike most exercises of enforcement discretion.” For Eastman, notwithstanding the exercise of “prosecutorial discretion” to provide blanket grants of amnesty, using it to provide work permits is “a distortion of the doctrine beyond recognition.”

About Author


Founded in 1987, the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) is a national, nonprofit, public-interest legal education and advocacy law firm.


  1. avatar

    Correct me if I am wrong, but History indicates that our forefathers left England to evade the control of a tyrant, and now America’s apathetic society is embracing one of the most narcissistic presidents to date! The consensus is apparently, “…..someone will stop him and make our country all better again.” No, the lobbyists are paid to buy Congressional votes and the greed exhibited by our electorate is simply overwhelming. America needs patriots and She needs them today!!

    Amnesty will not produce a new breed of American patriots from the illegal alien masses. These people have no desire to become citizens of this country for they are acutely aware that this process will require them and their satellite family members to be responsible for their own welfare. Their existence in this country will radically change from that of parasitic to one of autonomy. This method was attempted years ago and failed for these very reasons.

    The American people have tired of Razaunida and other hispanic crusaders lobbying in Congress. The proof of this statement is the increasing mantra which is pervading from state to state: representation of Americans in Washington, not illegal aliens!
    These radical groups have but one goal and that is to incite chaos and violence within our communities. Neighbors against neighbors and friends against friends.
    Sadly, thus far they are succeeding.

    The illegal aliens brag that Americans will not work the jobs that they are willing to do. Americans will work. We, however, cannot work for the wages that the illegal aliens accept for we do not get a free ride in our own country, nor do we expect it! We pay income taxes; social security; healthcare; education and provide food for our families. The illegals can work for a mere pittance for they enjoy all of our freedoms without paying a dime. Thank you Obama!
    Razaunida rants that the illegal aliens are subjected to pathetic living environments and poor wages. They neglect to state the obvious: these people are not forced to cross our borders illegally, they make this decision on their own volition with complete knowledge of the ramifications.

    As for our nation’s future: we are dependent upon a media which has been held hostage by radicals whose only goal is to create a united Mexican race. One must question: if these members are so determined to create this society, why will they not return to their country of origin and alter the path of destiny within Mexico’s borders?

    Solutions are relatively accessible:
    * America’s most sensible immigration policy is to ENFORCE our laws and cooperate with state and local governments in that enforcement.
    * Circumvent the problems encountered with the original Bracero Program. This idea proved to be an efficient, although naturally not ideal, economic incentive for many years for both America and Mexico.

    America continues to be the home of the brave, and we must not back down. We cannot allow Mexico, via Obama and his cohorts, to continue to control our future.
    We must not allow Arizona’s courageous first line of defense against the illegal alien crisis remain America’s only line of defense.
    Think about it.

  2. avatar


    • avatar

      You’re right. At this juncture, the GOP could easily impeach, but it would never get 67 votes in the Senate to convict and remove.

  3. avatar
    Barbara Griffith on

    Jeh Johnson should have been included in the lawsuit against Obama since he seems to be Obama’s right hand man of the moment. What probably surprised Obama is the number of states that filed the suit to begin with. I doubt he and his followers were expecting that number of states to take a stand against his lawlessness. Keep in mind too what Jessica Vaughn uncovered about the huge parallel immigrant work authorization system outside the limits set by Congress….that number was 5.5 million this was carried out the past five years no wonder unemployment has not dropped all that much. What the two hour meeting that Obama had with members of the Muslim Brotherhood is something none of us will ever know unless someone that was in the room speaks up about it.

  4. avatar

    You cannot put the genie back in the bottle. If federal district Judge Andrew Hanen had not issued an injunction on 2/16/15 halting President Obama’s executive action, the implementation by the Homeland Security Department giving work permits and protection from deportation to unauthorized aliens would now be fully underway. Even if the plaintiffs (Texas joined by 25 other states) win down the road, Obama knows it is just about impossible (practically) to unwind or undo the irrevocable harm this unlawful (Article 1, Section 8 U.S.C.) executive decree would cause. America just dodged a bullet

  5. avatar

    Why is “prosecutorial discretion” an issue in the amnesty scheme. Removing illegal aliens from US national territory is an administrative action. It does not require any kind of criminal prosecution.

  6. avatar

    Obama is on the verge of achieving what he had in mind for this country all along, which is total amnesty. He knew he couldn’t do it all at once, so he’s doing it one step at a time. He has to be stopped now.

  7. avatar

    I apparently will have to leave this earth not understanding why elected representatives in this government will not simply remove this arrogant man from the office of President. He is NOT a legal citizen to hold that office and is hell bent on destroying this nation. Why will Congress not take action??? It is their nation as well as mine and their children are going to suffer this man’s destruction also. What does it take to wake them up? My congressmen don’t want to talk with me about it. I am a native born American military veteran.

    • avatar

      What will it take? I too am a Native American,vet…”We the People” have the right according to our constitution to walk up to OUR WHITE house ,walk in and insist speaking TO OBAMA. Any ideas, thoughts of making change is not up to presidents, it is up to,”we the people” to vote on those ideas,thoughts, obama care,etc., and not up to those in congress grooming whomever they select that fills their pockets at, “We the People’s ” expense. Obama doesn’t have the right to make any decision without the democratic process of the people.

    • avatar

      Congress is the one pushing and supporting obama and his civil rights violating decisions to line their pockets, where have you been….you’re typical sitting, assuming ,waiting for something and someone else to fix the mess my generation, the generation before that,the one before that,etc.,allowed this train wreck to keep going.

    • avatar

      Duh! It is up to,”We the People” to remove bad presidents from the position, impeachment is up to us. Waiting for those who put that arrogant person there, who allowed illegals to vote, who had NO legal right to vote and who made money buy allowing illegals to vote and now, 2nd term you are just now not wanting obama there. Little late,but not too late. Glad you woke up long enough to join in.

    • avatar

      Because cowardice and laziness are easy refuges. We must shake things up, if possible, if we are to have any hope of saving the country. And good luck with that. The vast majority of us are preoccupied with paying the rent or celebrity gossip. Lighting a match under this herd will be problematic.

  8. avatar
    Jim in Virginia on

    Obama never signed an Executive Order to grant amnesty. He let his lap dog Jeh Johnson, Secretary of DHS to issue a Memo. His memo directed that these certain people be given work permits, Social Security numbers and drivers licenses. These things can only be done by Congress. So, considering all the money Mr. Johnson has spent to put his plan into action, it would seem to me, that at the very least, he is guilty of misappropriation of government funds and should be prosecuted.

    • avatar

      They don’t like it Tough!!!! Our Constitution is and ALWAYS will be the Supreme Law of the Land and it is overdue ,”We the People” stop sitting complacent allowing congress and the political party choosing,making decisions for ,”we the people “.
      If every Legal citizen bothered to READ their Constitution instead of assuming or taking advantage they are American therefore entitled and no reas o n to bother reading, they would understand what their Constitution states, how the selection process really is and it is NOT the 3 selected Through Congress or political parties.
      It is UP to ,”We the People” who we select, not Congress.

      Do your civic duty as American legal citizens..stop assuming what your constitution says, read it…..educate yourselves.

    • avatar

      They will rewrite it. By the time they’re done, it will be toilet paper.
      And there is a 2% chance of that not being our future.
      I sincerely grieve what is to be lost.
      How green was our valley….while it lasted.

  9. avatar

    I will never understand rewarding illegals for breaking the law… executive order or no executive order… illegals broke the law being here…. we reward them with free benefits.. they trample on the rights of the citizens…demanding we cater to them… Obama has trampled on the constitution with no respect for the country or its citizens.. .. giving amnesty to illegals who boldly broke our laws and would do it again.. is wrong… period…. this will encourage more and more illegals to come and we all know the government will do as it always does.. IGNORE the laws .. the immigration system is NOT broken.. it is simply NOT enforced… our government does not care…

    • avatar

      You’re right; it’s not our immigration system that’s broken, it’s the federal government.

  10. avatar

    Absolutely correct. Prosecutorial discretion was historically meant for limited instances, usually on an individual basis. To say that it applies to entire classes of those who broke the law can only lead to the logical conclusion that ANY act can be excused on a broad basis. And as noted, issuing work permits is not merely a failure to prosecute, but an actual proactive action. It legislating by the executive branch.

    • avatar

      Failure to support the US Constitution, abuse of power, enabling convicted criminals (36% of the illegal aliens Obama wants to grant amnesty to are convicted criminals), threat to US national security…

      • avatar

        The obama’s are both members of the black panther party, who are on the national security watch list,,I hope those who voted obama in have nightmares and reget.