Coburn: Immigration Order Could Cause Violence
Administration braced for legal onslaught
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 20, 2014 3:56 AM CST
US citizens Esmeralda Tepetate, 10, with her brother Sebastian, 2, are seen during a rally for comprehensive immigration reform outside of the White House.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
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(Newser) – How angry are opponents of immigration reform about President Obama's upcoming executive order? Enough to riot, according to Sen. Tom Coburn. "The country's going to go nuts, because they're going to see it as a move outside the authority of the president, and it's going to be a very serious situation," the Oklahoma Republican tells USA Today. "You're going to see—hopefully not—but you could see instances of anarchy," he says. "You could see violence." He accuses Obama of acting like an "autocratic leader," in a way that is the "total antithesis of what this country was founded on." In a speech at 8pm EST tonight, the president is expected to announce moves to shield 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation. More:

  • Ronald Reagan and George HW Bush also issued executive orders on immigration, and Bill Clinton believes Obama is on solid legal ground, the AP reports. "As far as I can tell, every president in the modern era has issued some executive orders affecting immigration, so I ... imagine he's on pretty firm legal footing," the former president said at an event in Washington, DC, last night, saying the US should be optimistic about its future in a world where "borders look more like nets than walls."

  • Rep. Michele Bachmann, meanwhile, had one of the more extreme GOP responses, the Washington Post reports. She accuses Obama of ignoring the "social cost" of "unskilled, illiterate, foreign nationals coming into the United States" for political reasons. The workers involved won't be granted citizenship, but Bachmann suspects they will become Democratic voters in 2016 anyway. "People do vote without being a citizen," she says. "It's a wink and a nod, we all know it's going to happen."
  • Conservatives aren't just denouncing the plan, they're already preparing lines of legal action, Politico reports. Rick Perry has threatened a lawsuit, and Sen. Rand Paul has warned of a Supreme Court showdown. But senior administration officials say lawyers believe Obama has plenty of legal justification for his actions and the administration is ready to deal with the expected legal onslaught.