In presenting her defense of President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi laid out the historical argument Thursday, praising a number of actions Republican presidents had taken on immigration and drawing parallels from Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 Emancipation Proclamation to Obama’s immigration order.
“Does the public know that the Emancipation Proclamation was an executive order?” Pelosi asked during a news conference Thursday. “People have to understand how presidents have made change in our country.”
The California Democrat was trying to establish a history of presidents making significant changes without going through Congress, and she brought up the pattern of Republican presidents in the past 50 years exerting their executive authority to act on immigration.
Asked whether Republicans had a case proving what the president was proposing was unconstitutional, Pelosi said Obama’s action was “absolutely, positively” not outside his constitutional bounds.