... to slap around the House Repubs on immigration reform: He could issue an Executive Order declaring a moratorium on all deportations. I'm not the first to think of this (Moratorium on Deportations Campaign), but I don't think I've seen it here at DKos yet.
Obama could say, "Law enforcement organizations will still arrest people for committing crimes, and those people will go into the justice system like anyone else, but we won't go after anyone just for being undocumented. Anyone we're holding for that right now, we'll let 'em go – back to their families and the lives that they've made here. We'll still do legal immigration the same way — issue visas at entry points, have the Border Patrol still do its job, etc. But if people find a way to come in undocumentedly, well okey dokey. Maybe after we try this for a while & see if it smooths things out, we'll even start issuing visas and green cards (not citizenship, just documentation) to people who've been here N number of years (who can prove it in some way – employment records, housing leases, utility accounts, whatever). You, Congress, are falling down on the job of fixing the completely messed-up immigration system. So okay then, if that's how you want it, as of now we have only a tiny little immigration system. If you don't like it this way, then quit forking around and FIX the damn thing already."
The righties would immediately go all hissy-fit and whiny-baby, but maybe the ones with a modicum of sense would discover enough gonads to stand up to the loonies.
And another possible benefit might be that the ICE personnel who are currently dedicated to deportation activities could be reassigned to help deal with the refugee flood. Then we wouldn't need that $3.7billion (not all of it, anyway) to staff up for that.
I reckon there's probably a down side that I'm not seeing. Other than the obvious things that the R's will yell, like "too many immigrants" and "not enough jobs" (like they care about jobs). They're usually wrong about cause-and-effect prognostications, though, like "tax cuts for the rich pay for themselves" and "privatizing government functions saves money" and "supply-side economics blah blah blah" and "they'll greet us with flowers; this war won't cost us a thing," etc. Etc. Etc.
I'd like to hear what anyone has to say on this. Sorry I won't be able to respond to comments right away, but will have some time tomorrow to check back in.