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Hannity

What to expect from Obama's executive immigration order

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," November 19, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Welcome to "Hannity." And this is a Fox News Alert. Ladies and gentlemen, it is on! Tomorrow night, in a live address to the nation at 8:00 PM Eastern Time, the emperor-in-chief of the United States is going to declare war on the U.S. Constitution and grant amnesty to millions of people! Now, President Obama gave a short preview in a speech in a Facebook video earlier today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Everybody agrees that our immigration system is broken. Unfortunately, Washington has allowed the problem to fester for too long. And so what I'm going to be laying out is the things that I can do with my lawful authority as president to make the system work better, even as I continue to work with Congress and encourage them to get a bipartisan comprehensive bill that can solve the entire problem.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Now, while all the details of his plans to act without Congress are still unclear, according to The Washington Post, we do know that in addition to his plans to grant amnesty to up to five million illegal immigrants currently in the country, his plans include broadening visa programs for skilled technology workers and heightening security along the southern border. However, The Post gave zero specifics on as to how he's going to accomplish that goal.

And just to be clear, after years of telling you, the American people, that taking such an action would amount to an unconstitutional abuse of power, it's now safe to say that all of that was one big lie.

Here with reaction, Fox News political analyst Juan Williams, and the host of "Outnumbered" and "The Five," Andrea Tantaros. Guys, good to see you. Good to see you, Andrea.

ANDREA TANTAROS, CO-HOST, "THE FIVE": Good to see you.

JUAN WILLIAMS, FOX POLITICAL ANALYST: Nice to see you.

HANNITY: Juan, if a president knows something is lawless and unconstitutional, and he does it anyway, what would that say about him, hypothetically?

WILLIAMS: That would be wrong, Sean. I mean, you know that and I know that.

HANNITY: Yes. Let me play Barack Obama because I -- because I don't think I could make as compelling a case against what he's going to do as well as he did. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: The notion that I can just suspend deportations through executive order -- that's just not the case.

For me to simply through executive order ignore those congressional mandates would not conform with my appropriate role as president.

Now, I know some people want me to bypass Congress and change the laws on my own, but that's not how -- that's not how our system works.

The problem is, is that, you know, I'm the president of the United States, I'm not the emperor of the United States. My job is to execute laws that are passed.

If, in fact, I could solve all these problems without passing laws in Congress, then I would do so. But we're also a nation of laws.

I cannot ignore those laws any more than I could ignore, you know, any of the other laws that are on the books.

What I said in the past remains true, which is until Congress passes a new law, then I am constrained in terms of what I'm able to do.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Is there any ambiguity there, Juan Williams, any at all?

WILLIAMS: No, I think he really put himself in a box there, Sean. And I don't think that the intent is what everybody takes it to be, but that's what he said. I think his intent was to say he would prefer to have Congress act. I think everybody would. But you know, in fact, he was wrong when he says that he doesn't have the authority because President Reagan acted on exactly the same basis, took executive action for people under 18. You know, President Bush did it, President Clinton did it...

HANNITY: That was a tweak of the law, very different from what this president is doing.

WILLIAMS: No, that's not right.

HANNITY: Yes, it is!

WILLIAMS: Now I got you, buddy, because it was 40 percent of the illegal immigrants in the country who were saved from being deported under those actions...

HANNITY: But Juan...

WILLIAMS: ... and it's exactly that...

HANNITY: ... not under the circumstances where he's wanted an act passed, the Dream Act, Congress refuses to go along with it, and he's now acting unilaterally, and we're talking about millions of people, Andrea.

TANTAROS: OK, so he says that he's going to do this under prosecutorial discretion, right, which is not a tool used to undermine our criminal laws. It's never been that way. And it shouldn't be a tool that's used to circumvent Congress.

I mean, why would President Obama use a tool that's typically reserved for tyrants? I mean, this reminds me of the moment, Sean, that Caesar crossed the Rubicon. I'm glad that Juan is actually saying that, you know, he doesn't think that this is the right way to go. I know a lot of folks on the left are probably going to argue it's constitutional because the precedent that it will set is a really ugly place, I think, for the office of the president to go.

HANNITY: Yes. And just to be fair, Juan, it's -- it's not -- I'm a conservative. Andrea is conservative. You even recognize that he shouldn't do this.

Let's go to Jonathan Turley, George Washington University law professor and a guy that we've had on the program many, many times. And he says between making recess appointments when the Congress is -- when the Senate's not in recess -- we know the Supreme Court weighed in on that, health care, changing the law, welfare law's not being enforced, immigration law is not being enforced -- here's what he says about all of this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JONATHAN TURLEY, GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY: We have a Congress that is coming in with the full voice of the American people behind them.

That's what an election is. Now, you may disagree with the outcome, but you have to respect the outcome. What the president is suggesting is tearing at the very fabric of the Constitution.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: And previously said we're at a constitutional tipping point, the way he's pushing this. Do you agree with Jonathan?

WILLIAMS: You know, I -- no, I think Jonathan's way over the line here. I have a great deal of respect for him. But you know, what I'm saying -- and by the way, I think the president is within his constitutional rights to do this. That's why I cited to you what Reagan, Bush, Clinton had done in the past on the same exact basis.

I don't think it's smart in terms of the preference being that Congress, which has a Senate bill sitting there for a year-and-a-half, that we'll get this done, that's what John Boehner said, and then does zilch, zip, nada!

HANNITY: You know what...

TANTAROS: President Obama doesn't want to be...

WILLIAMS: That's terrible, and I understand why the president needs to act.

TANTAROS: No, he's doing this because he doesn't want to get boxed in by Republicans when they come back and they have the Senate and they pass a border security bill, simply clean, simply to close the border. President Obama, Sean, does not want that bill floating to his desk because he wouldn't sign it because he doesn't believe in border security.

WILLIAMS: But Andrea...

TANTAROS: So he's trying to...

(CROSSTALK)

TANTAROS: ... congressional Republicans right now. This is -- honestly, Juan, this is wrong. We have elections. That's the consequence of elections. And he is throwing a constitutional tantrum right now.

WILLIAMS: Well, let me just say...

TANTAROS: And it will come back and bite the left in a big way...

WILLIAMS: You're a Republican...

TANTAROS: ... especially if the courts rule that he cannot. Then what, Juan?

WILLIAMS: Your Republican predecessors...

TANTAROS: Then what?

WILLIAMS: ... never said that about Ronald Reagan. And let me just tell you, I think when you have a situation where you've got a Senate bill that addresses your security concerns, Andrea, where...

HANNITY: No, it doesn't, not to the extent.

(CROSSTALK)

WILLIAMS: ... border security.

HANNITY: Let me quote the president. Regardless of what Reagan and Clinton and your argument because, I mean, that's the talking point we've been hearing from Democrats all day.

WILLIAMS: But it's the truth!

HANNITY: Wait a minute. What the president has expressed -- this is his view on the matter when he said, "With respect to the notion that I can just suspend deportations through executive order -- that's just not the case." And then he said, "I don't have the power."

So he has expressed that he doesn't believe he can do this, but he's going to do it anyway. I liked Andrea's line about a constitutional tantrum. I wish I'd thought of that.

(LAUGHTER)

HANNITY: I think that pretty much sums it up.

WILLIAMS: No, he -- well, but don't you get the idea? Once we admit

-- he spoke badly and he said he can't do it, and now he's going to do it, so that's hypocrisy. But don't you agree the Congress is the one who has not acted? They've got a bipartisan Senate bill...

HANNITY: I disagree. Congress has acted!

WILLIAMS: ... fourteen Republicans...

HANNITY: There's a law.

WILLIAMS: ... agreed with it...

HANNITY: He doesn't like the law! We have a law!

TANTAROS: Yes, just...

(CROSSTALK)

WILLIAMS: What do you mean, he doesn't like the law?

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: We're not enforcing the current law of the land!

TANTAROS: That's right.

HANNITY: He said it's his job, that that is what his job definition is, to execute the laws of the land!

WILLIAMS: But he is -- look, we've got record levels of deportations.

We've got more border security than ever, and the Republicans still want to

-- and let me ask Andrea a question. Andrea, what is the Republican option to doing nothing?

HANNITY: He's getting louder because he's a little...

TANTAROS: I was going to say, all you have to do is show the footage of the children pouring over the border from a couple months ago. I think we both know, Juan, the border is far from being secure. And again, I would take this up...

WILLIAMS: Oh, my God!

TANTAROS: ... when a Republican president decides, oh, I don't know, not to issue EBT cards or maybe not to collect taxes, what is the left going to do then? Because I'm telling you, we are headed for a constitutional crisis.

And I say this as a child of an immigrant who believes in legal immigration, a father who never took a dime from the government, created jobs, Sean. I know Hillary Clinton doesn't believe my dad did...

HANNITY: Listen, I know your dad's story.

TANTAROS: But...

HANNITY: It's a great story.

TANTAROS: ... this is not the way to go about doing it. And the precedent that it sets takes us to an ugly place where the left isn't going to like it if a Republican president...

HANNITY: Let me ask you one question...

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: Roll Call earlier today had a piece -- the Republicans have been ordered not to use the I-word, impeachment. Is that an impeachable offense, but politically it's just a dumb idea?

TANTAROS: I think we have to see what he does specifically because we're still waiting to see exactly what he does. But politically, it is a pretty risky idea. And it's a shame because this is a violation of the Constitution if he does act in the way that we think he's going to act.

WILLIAMS: Andrea wants to impeach the president! This is too much!

(CROSSTALK)

WILLIAMS: Oh, my God!

(CROSSTALK)

WILLIAMS: You know, you are a wonderful person, but come on.

HANNITY: I'll tell you what's sad...

WILLIAMS: You want to impeach Obama...

HANNITY: Juan? Juan...

WILLIAMS: ... because he's doing what...

HANNITY: Juan...

WILLIAMS: Did you try to impeach Reagan?

HANNITY: The president by his own definition said this is lawless and unconstitutional.

WILLIAMS: Look, you guys are right...

(CROSSTALK)

WILLIAMS: ... dead to rights on that. He said...

HANNITY: No, he has said it repeatedly.

WILLIAMS: ... it. You played the tape.

HANNITY: And he won't even live up to his own...

WILLIAMS: But you know that part.

HANNITY: ... standard in pursuit of power. That's something you need to think about.

WILLIAMS: But it's not impeachable offense, Sean. It's nothing to shut the government down about...

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: ... stomps on the Constitution, I beg to differ.

TANTAROS: Juan, you cannot use an executive pen to circumvent criminal laws. It doesn't work that way. It's not the way that our country was set up. Even President Obama said he can't...

WILLIAMS: Listen, he has the discretion...

TANTAROS: ... but he doesn't care.

WILLIAMS: It's built into (INAUDIBLE) prosecutorial discretion. It's called administrative relief. And you can't deport 12 million people, Andrea. You know that.

TANTAROS: Well, I'm shocked...

WILLIAMS: ... so what are we going to do?

TANTAROS: I am shocked. I thought you were agreeing. I am shocked that you are not disagreeing with the process in which this is done in a lame duck session...

HANNITY: All right, we got to...

TANTAROS: ... and not letting Congress act.

HANNITY: We got to break.

WILLIAMS: I want Congress to act. That's all I'm saying.

HANNITY: I -- we -- thank you both.

WILLIAMS: I want Congress to act.

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