By: Chris Wessling
Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly is warning that if President Barack Obama ever bypasses Congress and uses his pardon power to make millions of illegal aliens citizens, he could face serious calls for his impeachment.
“If President Obama were to sign an executive order giving illegal aliens amnesty, his career would be over and an impeachment movement would explode,” O’Reilly said Friday night on his “Talking Points” segment during his top-rated Fox show.
At the same time, O’Reilly said he did not believe reports that the Obama administration would grant such a blanket amnesty.
Fox News, however, reported this week: “The Obama administration has been holding behind-the-scenes talks to determine whether the Department of Homeland Security can unilaterally grant legal status on a mass basis to illegal immigrants, a former Bush administration official who spoke with at least three people involved in those talks told FoxNews.com.”
The Department of Homeland Security estimates that at least 10.8 million illegal immigrants are living in the United States.
During his 2008 campaign, Obama promised pro-immigration and Hispanic groups that he would make an amnesty program a top priority. But such a plan has taken a back seat in favor of other Obama legislative initiatives, including healthcare and financial regulation reform.
With congressional elections fast approaching, both the legislative calendar and the climate for new immigration legislation appears to offer immigration legislation a slim chance of passing this year.
Republicans, led by Arizona Sen. John McCain, have been angered that Obama has done little to secure the U.S.-Mexico border, and have made that a prerequisite condition before any discussion of immigration reform can take place.
Reports that the Obama administration is weighing ways to circumvent Congress have Republicans worried. On Monday, eight Republican senators sent the president a letter saying they are concerned that he will grant unilateral amnesty to America’s illegal immigrant population if his efforts to overhaul current U.S. policy fails in Congress.
The letter called on Obama to abandon any attempt to “unilaterally extend either deferred action or parole to millions of illegal aliens in the United States. Such a move would further erode the American public’s confidence in the federal government and its commitment to securing the borders and enforcing the laws already on the books.”
The eight senators who signed the letter were Charles Grassley of Iowa, Orrin Hatch of Utah, David Vitter of Louisiana, Jim Bunning of Kentucky, Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, Johnny Isakson of Georgia, James Inhofe of Oklahoma and Thad Cochran of Mississippi.
GOP Rep. Steve King of Iowa told Fox News that the White House has solicited opinions from experts on possible avenues for granting “amnesty for a large number of people.”
A former Bush administration official also told Fox News that talks on the subject have been held by Obama officials who are “studying legal ways to legalize people without having to go through any congressional debate about it.”
Republicans believe that Obama is anxious to grant citizenship to millions of illegals so he can add millions of new Democratic voters to the electoral rolls, ensuring his re-election in 2012 and tipping the national balance of power in favor of Democratic candidates for the foreseeable future.
O’Reilly also criticized the Obama administration for its lax treatment of the illegal alien issue, noting that Obama had appointed Harold Hurrt to be the liaison between the federal government and states over the increasingly contentious issue of illegal immigration.
Hurrt is the former police chief of Houston and Phoenix, and O’Reilly says he is “outwardly sympathetic to illegal aliens. As [police] chief, he refused to enforce federal immigration law. Now Hurrt is a federal immigration official? Come on, that’s insane.”
Hurrt’s appointment “proves that the president is extremely left on the immigration issue,” O’Reilly said.