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WASHINGTON (AP) — Former President Bill Clinton on Wednesday noted that previous U.S. presidents have issued some type of executive order on immigration, suggesting his Democratic successor was on “pretty firm legal footing.”

The former president spoke on the eve of President Barack Obama’s scheduled announcement of executive actions that could spare as many as 5 million immigrants from being deported from the U.S. Clinton said during an event honoring the magazine The New Republic that it was part of a larger debate about the nation’s role around the globe.

“As far as I can tell every president in the modern era has issued some executive orders affecting immigration, so I think it — I imagine he’s on pretty firm legal footing,” Clinton said at a gala celebrating the publication’s centennial.

Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush extended amnesty to family members who were not covered by the last major overhaul of immigration law in 1986.

Clinton sought to frame the debate in a larger context, saying Americans should be optimistic about the nation’s future. He said the next two decades could be positive for the country if the U.S. can develop inclusive economics and inclusive politics.

“In a world where borders look more like nets than walls, we are interdependent whether we like it or not, so the only thing that remains is to define the terms of our interdependence,” he said.

Clinton joked that nobody cares what an ex-president says unless his wife might run for office. Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is considering a White House campaign in 2016.


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7 comments to this article

  1. No Joke

    on November 21, 2014 at 8:32 am - Reply

    We are where strangers…President Obama

    • No Joke

      on November 21, 2014 at 9:15 am - Reply

      We were once all strangers…

  2. Really Doah?!

    on November 21, 2014 at 10:16 am - Reply

    Make dem move dem rass. Dem did tink say dem coulda drag it out forever. They made no progress so him make a decision. Bout grounds for impeachment. Ah wah come up deh an impeach di whole lot a unnu

  3. Anonymous

    on November 21, 2014 at 11:53 am - Reply

    The commander in chief had mentioned that he would put his pen to use as well as to execute his executive power. He has grounds to do so. The problem is now that many immigrants will have a voice the tea party doesn’t like that. The same immigrants who take care of their children, who clean their homes and so on will now have a voice. The voice that will demand better pay, and a better way of life. I await to hear these voices come to life and no longer have to stay quiet.

  4. Little Willie

    on November 21, 2014 at 3:44 pm - Reply

    This is the first time I’ve heard Mr Obama sound like his Give-A -Fu©k meter bruk. Well done Pres. Now close Guantanamo and end the embargo on Cuba let’s watch some Republicans commit political suicide.

    • Met

      on November 21, 2014 at 3:58 pm - Reply

      him wap wap wap under dem skin an neat up di licks dem

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