Impeachable? Here Are 18 Immigration Executive Orders Issued by Recent Republican Presidents

Presidents Eisenhower, Ford, Reagan, Bush and Bush all altered immigration law by executive action, yet none were impeached


Republicans claim that that Pres. Obama’s plan to establish temporary legal status for undocumented immigrants by executive order is illegal.

Read the full report from the American Immigration Council: Executive Grants of Temporary Immigration Relief, 1956-Present

They have issued a series of threats against the president if he signs the order to stand up the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, including blocking the nomination of attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch, shutting down the government again and/or impeaching him.

According to a detailed report from the American Immigration Council, however, presidents have routinely altered immigration policies by executive order, including 18 such changes by five recent Republican presidents — Eisenhower, Ford, Reagan, Bush I and Bush II. None of these presidents was threatened with political reprisal for signing the orders, of course.

Here is an overview based on the AIC report:

Pres. Dwight Eisenhower:


By executive order, circumvented immigration quotas to allow 900 orphans to join their adoptive families in the U.S.


By executive order, allowed 31,000 Hungarian anti-Soviet insurgents to emigrate.


By executive order, allowed 600,000 Cubans fleeing Castro to emigrate. [PDF]

Pres. Gerald Ford:


By executive order, allowed 360,000 refugees, mostly from from Vietnam, to emigrate.


By executive order, allowed 14,000 Lebanese nationals to emigrate.

Pres. Ronald Reagan:


By executive order, allowed 7,000 Polish anti-Communists to emigrate.


Allowed 15,000-plus Ethiopians to emigrate.


By executive order, rescinded deportation of 200,000 Nicaraguans.


By executive order, deferred deportation of undocumented children of 100,000 families. [JSTOR]

George H.W. Bush:


By executive order, deferred deportations of Chinese students.


By executive order, reversed visa denials of 7,000 Soviets, Indochinese.


By executive order, deferred deporations of previously amnestied citizens’ 1.5 million spouses and children.


By executive order, deferred deportation of 2,000 Gulf War evacuees.


By executive order, deferred deportations of 190,000 El Salvadorans.

George W. Bush:


By executive order, expedited naturalization for green-card holders who joined military.


By executive order, deferred deportation of students affected by Hurricane Katrina.


By executive order, enabled 1,500 Cuban physicians to seek asylum at US embassies.


By executive order, deferred deportation of 3,600 Liberians.


  • FedUpLibBS
    November 21, 2014 - 6:36 am | Permalink

    The author of this article has less credibility than the WEEKLY WORLD NEWS.
    But you can see how many of the reactors get all their Info from MS-LSD~!~~!~!!

  • Esse Quam Videri
    November 21, 2014 - 7:59 am | Permalink

    Republicans should STFU and pass a bill — that is the only way to make this order go away. What the president did is completely legal. It’s not “amnesty,” it’s deferred deportation, the same action taken by Reagan and Bush. House Republicans refused to pass the bipartisan bill that passed in the Senate a year and a half ago hoping to prod the president into this action so they could rile up their slobber-slinging know-nothing racist base, shut down the government and lynch, impeach the president. They know they can always rely on the stupidity of Republican voters!

  • Bob
    November 21, 2014 - 8:11 am | Permalink

    The difference between all of these and Obama’s is simple, he is saying that our immigration laws are broken and he is going to fix them. Read the Constitution, that is what Congress is for. It doesn’t matter if they are broken or not, they still need to be enforced until new laws are written. If this was such a big deal, why did he not go after it when Democrats controlled Congress? And looking at Bush 41, he found an error that was in the amnesty, passed by Congress, that needed to be fixed. This is a case where the president is deciding that Congress is not necessary and that is unconstitutional, illegal, and looking at poll numbers now what US citizens want. Especially considering things like this:

  • tom
    November 21, 2014 - 8:59 am | Permalink

    do we wait a few years and then let the other six million stay how about those that are going to come in wait a few more years and let them stay

  • braingrabber
    November 21, 2014 - 9:51 am | Permalink

    Not the same! Check the facts and reasoning behind the EOs. Refugees from war torn areas and Chinese students seeking political asylum are just the same as people who entered this country illegally?

    • Madison
      November 21, 2014 - 9:54 am | Permalink

      Wrong, braingrabber, Reagan and Bush I both expanded deferred deportations for undocumented family members, which is exactly what Obama has done.

  • Liz
    November 21, 2014 - 9:51 am | Permalink

    President Obama is taking executive ACTION not executive order. There is a difference.

  • November 21, 2014 - 10:13 am | Permalink

    Madison Madison Madison, it is people like you that put this moron into office, a “deferred deportation” is no where NEAR what obamA$$ is doing, he is bypassing congress AND the will of the people to grant people who are here ILLEGALLY CITIZENSHIP! how is this fair to those of us who have to pay for it? how is this fair to the people who are waiting to get into this country by following the rules? and what kind of message does this send to the millions who are not here now, but will surely come after he does this???? if obamAA$$ ran a company instead of this country he would already be in prison

  • Mike
    November 21, 2014 - 10:14 am | Permalink

    Wow the brain power in here for the Kenyan traitor might challenge an amoeba. You might want to check your facts not just the smoke and mirrors BS you liberals love to use. You cannot however fight black and white. With the exception of amnesty given to victims of war and other conflict there has been a law passed by congress, for you liberal morons that think the executive branch makes law, which the past presidents have acted upon to issue amnesty. Now for you liberal simpletons what that means is they merely enforced a law already passed. Exactly what the executive branch was designed to do. I know it would take you too much effort and you obviously don’t have the brain power to research this on your own. Something YOUR king counts on heavily. Obama does not have the approval of congress or the majority of the American people including LEGAL Hispanics. So your stories have no facts supporting them. They suit to rally the unintelligent, and uneducated, which we all know makes up the majority of your base. They funny thing is while you support Obama you cut your own throats. You can regurgitate the rhetoric from the White House. You can drink the Kool-Aide and follow blindly like the lemming you are. You cannot however honestly say and prove you are better off since 2008. You also cannot give one act, law, decry that Obama has accomplished in his entire presidency that helped this nation. If you hate this nation then leave. We don’t want or need you, and we certainly don’t need the drain on society you cause.

  • Madison
    November 21, 2014 - 10:31 am | Permalink

    What you easily duped Foxbot/Dittohead stupid American voters prove here, as if any additional proof were needed, is what we already knew. Facts don’t matter to tea baggers — as GOP Sen. Coburn said yesterday — and you can’t read, which is probably why you can’t spell. Obama’s order is a deferred deportation — in fact, your own thought-masters at Fox News called it that back in September: — “The move reportedly would likely include an expansion of deferred deportation for undocumented children to their families…” OOPS!

  • Frank Topping
    November 21, 2014 - 11:14 am | Permalink

    A perfect example of who the GOP / TP really are: !

    Yes, …show us more who you really are before 2016!

    Lovin’ it! ???

  • Renee
    November 21, 2014 - 11:25 am | Permalink

    Reading all of these comments are so close to hilarious i can hardly stand it…this is NOT about temp citizenship for 5 million illegals who have surged across our borders…its about millions of tax dollars that can be gleaned from these people…this as well is not only about Hispanics this is allowing all ethnic cultures who have managed to get into this country by illegal means..
    Islamic people’s, Muslims, Iraqis, Iranians, Hondurans was the way it was done..none of this right up to and thru our own President air lifting thousands and hiding them all over our nation and hiding them…but this is just a drop in the bucket of the illegal things this presidency has illegally accomplished lest we forget BENGAZI and all the American families still greaving over loved ones while our leaders knew the compound was being over run and Americans being slaughtered while nothing was being done to help them as this would have brought attention to the fact that Obama was sanctioning the smuggling of arms through Libya that were falling into the hands of not the rebels but the enemy…or Fast and Furious where legal gun shops were being told to turn a blind eye on thousands of arms were flowing into Mexico illegally that were killing Americans or slaughtering innocents..but instead of punishing those like Holder just to name one they are allowed to resign and fade into if this government has been allowed to duck these punishments then the temp legalization of illegal immigrants is nothing nothing at all for these people and these are just some of the things our government has been allowed to do to us legal American citizens…and this crap about many of these illegals taking all of the low paying jobs…so what if they do again the government is glossing the issue like who keeps those jobs low paying it the Republican and Democrat big businesses it’s not American peoples..and i know lots of legal Americans who hold those low paying jobs as second and third jobs so they too can support families over the choice of Welfare…and speaking of state aide and all these states kicking off what they call generations of welfare abusers and that they must prove they are seeking employment wonder why all of a sudden this is happening could it be that illeterate undocumented illegals are going to be slid into those slots if free aide makes one wonder does it not..and among all of these they say 5 million will bring with them diseases that will thin our population and make even more room for them…or how many gang members and terrorists have slid in with them…no one really knows but we will when they start bombing sites within our country because that’s what they do they kill hundreds to martyr themselves..there is so much more to all of this than temporary working citizenship so much much more..but they want everyone tied up in bigotry and hate so the real reasons stay hidden…so do the opposite look for the hidden reasons and not the obvious because the incoming president will undo any and all possible that Obama is now putting in place because he’s on the path out he has less than 2 years left and all can be repealed and believe me a lot will b and immigration just being one

  • Blah
    November 21, 2014 - 11:38 am | Permalink


  • Tom DeSimone
    November 21, 2014 - 12:39 pm | Permalink

    This is typical liberal misdirection and misinformation. None of these presidents acted without congressional approval. Obama is not following the wishes of congress or the American people. I am all for allowing people to come to legally come chase the American dream just like my ancestors but some of these people are here for the wrong reasons.

  • disappointed
    November 21, 2014 - 12:50 pm | Permalink

    Impeach him!! He is ruining our country!

  • jackie
    November 21, 2014 - 2:14 pm | Permalink
  • November 21, 2014 - 3:02 pm | Permalink

    W was the worst however as Cheney ran W we need to cut W some skack.

  • Vashra Araeshkigal
    November 21, 2014 - 3:49 pm | Permalink

    1. For Eisenhower’s first, you lie. It wasn’t circumvention beyond his authority as President, it was a legal reversal within the bounds of his authority. *And* it didn’t apply to criminal invaders already here through criminal acts.

    2. You can completely eliminate anything with the word “emigrate” from the argument as that does not apply to the issue of giving amnesty to criminal invaders already in our nation through the commission of criminal acts. This wipes out well over half your picks.

    3. Neatly sums up the difference here, and also explains the few cases in which certain illegals MIGHT be granted permission to stay (think of the one foot rule for Cubans).

    4. Obama trumped all that. He’s ignoring some laws, commanding the violation of others, and has granted a blanket pardon to a ton of folks whose places of origin do NOT fit the allowed deportation exception on the books.

    He is a traitor. They should impeach him, try him for high treason, and when the preponderance of evidence proves he’s guilty, convict and sentence to the fullest extent of the law.

  • J_Phred
    November 21, 2014 - 4:14 pm | Permalink

    Close the damn borders. If immigrating LEGALLY was good enough for my grandparents over 100 years ago, it’s good enough now.

  • Dexter Franklin
    November 21, 2014 - 4:50 pm | Permalink

    This is very sad. When this place so many calls American. We talk about family and value alone with faith. But when our President Obama try to do something right for people and give them away to put money back into our government and keep family together. All hell break out. Congress had a chance to do so, ,but they did not even put an effort to do. With 6 years and you keep putting it off. Come on people if I keep telling you I’m going to do it but keep put it off and you have the means to do it you would not do it. And you tell me that you would do it. Don’t be mad at the President Obama. Be mad at Congress for not doing the job we pay them to do. We want look at all the money taxes payer has went to waste behind the people who we elect in Congress. Government shut down, our debt and more issues. The best thing is to let it go. All the one who is 16, ,and17will be able to vote in 2016. You have the President.And some Congress that may be up for elect. Stop living in the present 2 years will be here before you know it. And if you think 16 and 17 going to for get it you are wrong.

  • November 21, 2014 - 4:58 pm | Permalink

    What Obama is doing is more severe. He is creating a permanent open door policy. Not that I am taking sides. I dont like either party’s.

  • November 21, 2014 - 5:04 pm | Permalink

    Vashra Araeshkigal – You have to take anything you read at the right-wing Federalist propaganda site with a huge grain of salt. No, Reagan did not provide amnesty by executive order. No president can do that. His order deferred deportations of certain groups — which is exactly what Pres. Obama’s order does.

    All executive orders end with the presidencies of their authors. The next president can either let them stand or kill them with the stroke of pen.

    For example, George W. Bush signed an executive order that reversed the Presidential Records Act passed by Congress and sealed the records of his father’s illegal actions during the Iran-Contra scandal, when the Reagan-Bush administration traded arms to Iranian terrorists for hostages and illegally propped up the right wing insurgency in Nicaragua. When Pres. Obama took office in January 2009, he could have immediately killed Bush’s “illegal” executive order, but, being a gentleman, he let it stand, so the truth about Bush I’s crimes will remain sealed until he dies. That’s how executive orders work.

  • JW
    November 21, 2014 - 7:49 pm | Permalink

    DIFFERENCE! They ALL worked with Congress!!

  • Pingback: Immigrant Amnesty 2014: Obama Latest US President To Push Immigration … -

  • Red
    November 21, 2014 - 8:55 pm | Permalink

    How come no one ever questioned, Goldman Sachs buying Alltel and the selling to Verizon six months later at a 5 billion profit. Obama must have had some deal. Interesting thing is his stock in Vzs went up. Our Alltel CEO would have never sold to Verizon because he thought that vzw was arrogant and would not do right by empolyees or customers, which has been exactly right. We at Alltel never thought we would be submitted to unfair employment practices like we have been. Justice department should have never approved this deal and the 27000 now down to approximately 1000 employees, most of us heavily demoted. Alltel employees have suffered as a result. Someone was paid off while this went down and it should be investigated. There is only a few of us left but unfair treatment continues. What’s funny is we at Alltel, know more about wireless especially rural wireless over VZw folks but we are held back and sanctioned. As for the guy writing this, I do not have to work anymore but have stuck around to protect my team and customers. I hope this post reaches the right people. Just way things to be right!!


  • Madison
    November 21, 2014 - 8:57 pm | Permalink

    SOOOooo… With just 8 days left in the lame duck, and after ginning up their base to the point that nothing less than lynching the president over his immigration order will satisfy them — Boehner and the do-nothing know-nothing tea baggers who run Congress … take a vacation for a week.


  • SPI
    November 21, 2014 - 9:00 pm | Permalink

    As long as we are speaking honesly, let’s look at the difference between these execffutive orders and Oboma’s – every one you cited was either used at the bi-partisan urging of congress or to clarify an ambiguous section of law . . . as is the common and legal reasoning for executive order. In this case, the congress was/is in session and his executive order is in direct opposition to law, and also in opposition to congress. Before you start with the BS, I am an immigrant (legal) and I am not registered as either R or D . . . I vote the issues. I get my information from a miriad of sources and use intellectual scrutiny to cipher fact from fiction. Maybe more of you should do the same rather than swallowing any tidbit that supports your opinion.

  • Practical
    November 21, 2014 - 9:12 pm | Permalink

    Obama acted because Congress would not.

    This forces Congress act on immigration and/or limit executive authority. That is better than “do nothing”. Failing that then the next president can “undo” Obama’s order.

    This is a TEMPORARY action and can be easily undone by the action of the Congress or of the next president.

    And by acting unilaterally Obama hakes it harder for immigration being used as a political bargaining chip in budget negotiations with the Republican Congress.

    All he has done was put the ball in the Republican Congress’ court. We’ll all get to watch for the next 2 years to see what they do with it.

  • November 21, 2014 - 10:32 pm | Permalink

    I can’t believe this article has even been published. It is total fantasy, a pack of lies. Follow this link to see black and white proof that this article has been written to deceive.

  • November 22, 2014 - 7:51 am | Permalink

    So, if they are anti-socialist this might be equivalent.

  • November 22, 2014 - 10:10 am | Permalink

    Wait just one damn minute. I am surprised that not a single person of the many posts I read picked this up. The very definition of the word defer.

    past tense: deferred; past participle: deferred
    put off (an action or event) to a later time; postpone. SO these republicans did not, I repeat did not change the immigration laws they deferred them. That means simply that the deportation would not be sought at this time. You would have to go back in history to see what was happening in those regions to make the president want to protect these people from possible harm. Oh dumb ass is simply trying to make him self a legal resident along with million others to shroud his illegal status. A president can defer anything he wants but he cannot change. He can pardon someone but he cannot change the law that convicted them. You phreaking dems have got to get over the fact that your POS potus is a scathing idiot and has broken numerous laws with no consequences at all.

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