Top Democrats are gearing up for President Obama’s expected executive action on immigration by arguing his Republican predecessors also made policy by decree.
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But a review of steps taken by former Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush — whose executive actions Democrats have cited as precedent — shows they only used their power to expand laws recently passed by Congress, not to impose new laws.

By contrast, what Obama is expected to do would go far beyond his predecessors’ actions. And Obama’s expected executive actions would not be rooted in any recently passed law.

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