Why the Republican freak-out over Obama's immigration order is both dumb and inhumane

Critics have labeled his impending executive action "domestic Caesarism." But the conservative backlash is out of touch with reality.

President Obama
(Image credit: (AP Photo/The Dallas Morning News, Kye R. Lee, Pool))

Like it or not, these are the facts: There are 11.7 million undocumented immigrants living in United States. The U.S. Immigrant and Customs Enforcement only has the capacity to remove about 400,000 per year. That's less than 4 percent of the total undocumented population.

Keep these facts in mind as President Obama prepares to announce an executive action to protect certain classes of undocumented immigrants — and as Republicans lose their minds over it. Obama's expected move isn't a sinister example of "domestic Caesarism," as Ross Douthat would have it, or "stealth amnesty," in the words of Reihan Salam. It is an eminently reasonable response in the face of congressional inaction, while the conservative opposition puts them on the wrong side of both basic humanitarian instincts and public welfare.

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