Back in 2010, President Obama participated in several interviews/speeches in which he discussed the topic of immigration reform in the United States. One interview in particular really stands out though for me in this conversation, here is a question and the President's response from a radio interview with Univision Radio Network:
SOTELO: Under your administration, Mr. President, almost half a million immigrants have been deported, more than any other president. I want to be clear that I'm talking about immigrant families that are hard working, are learning the English language and are helping our economy. What can your administration do to stop deportations now?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, the main thing we have to do to stop deportations is to change the laws. What my administration has done is actually change our priorities because you mentioned that there are a lot of families out there, but the truth is, it's actually that the way we're now enforcing the law puts less emphasis on families, more emphasis on those with criminal records and so the big increase in deportations has actually to do with people with criminal records who've been engaging in illegal activity, not just because they don't have papers, but because they've been engaging in criminal activity. But the most important thing that we can do is to change the law because the way the system works -- again, I just wanna repeat, I'm president, I'm not king. If Congress has laws on the books that says that people who are here who are not documented have to be deported, then I can exercise some flexibility in terms of where we deploy our resources, to focus on people who are really causing problems as a opposed to families who are just trying to work and support themselves. But there's a limit to the discretion that I can show because I am obliged to execute the law. That's what the Executive Branch means. I can't just make the laws up by myself. So the most important thing that we can do is focus on changing the underlying laws. That requires Congress to cooperate. As I've said before, I've got the majority of Democrats who are ready to make those changes, but we are gonna need some help from the other side and that's where our focus has to be.
I made sure to include the entire question and answer portion to make sure we don't run into any "gotcha moment" issues.
I don't see much need to elaborate the importance of this quote from the President, as his own words on the subject of over-reaching executive authority speak for themselves...
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