Warren Mass

Speaking from the White House on prime-time television on November 20, President Obama did not deliver any surprises as he unveiled his plan to use executive action to grant protection from deportation to millions of illegal immigrants. After all, the administration had already repeatedly made clear its intent to rule by decree on immigration and other issues, despite the fact that under the U.S. Constitution, only Congress may make law.

A November 18 vote to allow the USA Freedom Act to proceed to the floor of the Senate for debate fell two votes short of the 60 required to end a Republican-led filibuster and failed by a margin of 58-42. Only four Republicans — Ted Cruz of Texas, Dean Heller of Nevada, Mike Lee of Utah, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska — voted “Yea” with 52 Democrats and two independents. One Democrat, Bill Nelson of Florida, voted “Nay.”

As noted in our article on November 13, a source close to the White House said that President Obama is likely to unveil a plan for executive action on immigration as early as November 21. That news surprised no one. Obama told those gathered at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute’s 37th Annual Awards Gala in Washington on October 2: “I would act to fix as much of our immigration system as I can on my own, and I meant what I said. So this is not a question of if, but when.”

Voters in Oregon overwhelmingly rejected a ballot measure on November 4 that would have upheld a law passed in 2013 granting "driver’s cards" to illegal immigrants. By a margin of 68 percent to 32 percent, voters in every one of Oregon’s 36 counties except for Multnomah (where Portland is located) rejected Ballot Measure 88 — a voters’ referendum on SB 833, a bill passed in the Oregon legislature and signed into law by Democratic Governor John Kitzhaber on May 1, 2013. SB 833 would have granted driver cards (in lieu of driver's licenses) to individuals “without requiring a person to provide proof of legal residence in the United States.”

The Spotsylvania County (Virginia) Public School District has relented and given its approval to the proposed “Students for Life” club after the principal of Courtland High School initially denied the students’ request. The school district backed down after an attorney with the nonprofit Thomas More Society sent a letter to Courtland Principal Larry Marks on November 11 accusing him of violating the constitutional rights of the student who had sought approval for the club.

President Obama is likely to unveil a plan for executive action on immigration as early as November 21, according to a source close to the White House. The plan includes expanding deferred action for illegal immigrants, which effectively grants amnesty for migrants brought into the country illegally as children.

General Philip Breedlove, an American who is NATO’s supreme allied commander, Europe, as well as commander of U.S. European Command, has said that Russian troops and trucks carrying military equipment have crossed the border into the eastern part of Ukraine.

Responding to a question from host Bob Schieffer on Face the Nation on November 9, President Obama repeated his past statement to Speaker of the House John Boehner: “John, if you don’t do it, I’ve got legal authority to make improvements on the system.”

In a letter sent secretly to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei last month, President Obama maintained that the two nations shared a common interest in fighting Islamic State militants (known as ISIS or ISIL) in Iraq and Syria. 

During a post-election press conference at the White House on November 5, President Obama said, “before the end of the year, we’re going to take whatever lawful actions that I can take that I believe will improve the functioning of our immigration system.”