History Shows on Immigration First Executive Action, Then Legislation


President Obama’s immigration executive actions raised an outcry from critics who asserted these orders would be unprecedented unless first authorized by Congress. In fact, the record demonstrates the exact opposite.

This fact sheet examines the modern history of U.S. immigration policy and shows that it’s almost routine for presidents to act first to permit the entry of people outside normal immigration channels or to protect large numbers of people from deportation, with legislation ratifying executive action coming later.


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