Utah’s GOP attorney general: Obama immigration move totally within his power
A number of Republican officials and conservatives have responded to Obama’s immigration announcement by attacking it on process grounds, arguing that the decision to circumvent Congress was an abuse of power, an affront to democracy, and even unconstitutional — and could encourage further lawbreaking.
But in an interview with me just now, Mark Shurtleff, Utah’s conservative Republican attorney general, dismissed those objections, arguing the move was perfectly within Obama’s powers, good law enforcement policy, and even a “conservative” solution.
“This is clearly within the president’s power,” Shurtleff said. “I was pleased when the president announced it.”
Shurtleff, a Mitt Romney supporter who is a diehard conservative on many other issues, is perhaps the nation’s most prominent Republican staking out an alternative to the GOP’s hard line on immigration. His support for the president’s policy represents a larger split within the party, between those who see Arizona as a model for the nation and those who want the party to adjust to demographic (and related political) realities with another approach.