TIME Bizarre

Feel Good Friday: 10 Photos to Start Your Weekend

From snow men to fire breathing, here's a handful of photos to get your weekend started right.

TIME

House GOP Sues Administration Over Health Care Law

(WASHINGTON) — House Republicans have sued the Obama administration over steps President Barack Obama took to put his health law into place.

The lawmakers say the president overstepped his legal authority.

The lawsuit was filed Friday against the departments of Health and Human Services and the Treasury.

Republicans voted earlier this year to sue Obama over his actions to unilaterally waive provisions of the law.

Democrats have said any suit would be a political sideshow and waste of money.

The suit comes hours after Obama said he was acting on his own on immigration — further infuriating Republicans.

TIME

The Best Pictures of the Week: Nov. 14 – Nov. 21

From a dramatic snowstorm in Buffalo, N.Y. and the slaying of worshipers in a Jerusalem synagogue to Obama’s immigration plan and the murder of Honduras’ beauty queen, TIME presents the best pictures of the week.

TIME Immigration

Arizona’s Sheriff Joe Arpaio Sues Obama Over Immigration Plan

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio speaking with the media in Phoenix on Jan. 9, 2013.
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio speaking with the media in Phoenix on Jan. 9, 2013. Ross D. Franklin—AP

The Arizona sheriff has been investigated by the Justice Dept for alleged abuses of power

Joe Arpaio, the Sheriff of Maricopa County, Ariz., and a vocal foe of illegal immigration, announced Thursday he has filed suit against President Barack Obama over his announced plan to use his executive authority to offer legal status to roughly five million illegal immigrants in the United States.

“This unconstitutional act by the President will have a serious detrimental impact on my caring out the duties and responsibilities for which I am encharged as Sheriff,” Arpaio says in his formal complaint. “Specifically, it will severely strain our resources, both in manpower and financially, necessary to protect the citizens I was elected to serve. For instance, among the many negative affects of this executive order, will be the increased release of criminal aliens back onto streets of Maricopa County, Arizona, and the rest of the nation.”

In an address to the nation Thursday, Obama announced executive action to give roughly five million immigrants currently in the U.S. illegally—primarily the parents of U.S. citizens and legal residents—the option to register with authorities and receive protection from deportation and work permits.

Arpaio gained national attention in recent years due to his aggressive—and some say illegal—crackdown on illegal immigration in Arizona, one of the states most heavily burdened by the influx of undocumented people into the U.S. from across the border with Mexico.

A years-long investigation by the Department of Justice ended without charges due to insufficient evidence to surmount the burden of proof, but records obtained by the Arizona Republic reveal that FBI agents reported finding probable cause to recommend felony charges for obstructing criminal investigations, theft by threat, tampering with witnesses, perjury and extortion.

House Republicans also announced plans on Friday to sue the President over his unilateral actions — but on the healthcare reform law, not the newly-announced immigration plan.

TIME Opinion

Is Obama Overreaching on Immigration? Lincoln and FDR Would Say ‘No’

Barack Obama
President Barack Obama announces executive actions on immigration during a nationally televised address from the White House in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 20, 2014 Jim Bourg—AP

Like Lincoln and Roosevelt before him, Obama occupies the White House in a time of great crisis

Last night, President Obama announced new steps that will allow about five million undocumented immigrants to obtain work permits and feel free of imminent deportation. Given that we now have an estimated 10–11 million such people within our nation and that many of them clearly will never leave, this seems a reasonable first step towards giving them all some kind of legal status. But, because of the anti-immigration stance of the Republican Party, which will entirely control Congress starting on Jan. 3, the President will have to base this step solely on executive power. And even before the President spoke, various Republicans had accused him of acting like an emperor or a monarch and warning of anarchy and violence if he goes through with his plans.

There are, in fact, substantial legal and historical precedents, including a recent Supreme Court decision, that suggest that Obama’s planned actions would be neither unprecedented nor illegal. This is of course the President’s own position, that no extraordinary explanation is needed—yet we can also put his plans in the broader context of emergency presidential powers, which in fact have a rich history in times of crisis in the United States. It is not accidental that this issue of Presidential power is arising now, because it will inevitably arise—as the founders anticipated—any time a crisis has made it unusually difficult to govern the United States. Like Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt, Obama occupies the White House in a time of great crisis, and therefore finds it necessary to take controversial steps.

The Founding Fathers distrusted executive authority, of course, because they had fought a revolution in the previous decade against the arbitrary authority of King George III. But, on the other hand, they had come to Philadelphia in 1787 because their current government, the early version of the U.S. system established by the Articles of Confederation, was so weak that the new nation was sinking into anarchy. So they created a strong executive and a much more powerful central government than the Articles of Confederation had allowed for—and having lived through a revolution, they also understood that governments simply had to exercise exceptional powers in times of emergency.

They made one explicit reference to an emergency power, authorizing the federal government to suspend the right of habeas corpus—freedom from arbitrary arrest—”in cases of rebellion or invasion [when] the public safety may require it.” Nearly 80 years later, when the southern states had denied the authority of the federal government, Abraham Lincoln used this provision to lock up southern sympathizers in the North, and eventually secured the assent of Congress to this measure. He also used traditional powers of a government at war—including the confiscation of enemy property—to emancipate the slaves within the Confederacy in late 1862. With the help of these measures, the North won the war and the Union survived—apparently exactly what the Founders had intended.

When Franklin Roosevelt took the oath of office in the midst of a virtual economic collapse in March of 1933, he not only declared that the nation had “nothing to fear but fear itself,” but also made clear that he would take emergency measures on his own if Congress did not go along. That spring, the country was treated to a remarkable movie, Gabriel Over the White House, in which the President did exactly that—but as it turned out, the Congress was more than happy to go along with Roosevelt’s initial measures. It wasn’t until his second term that Congress turned against him; he, like Obama, used executive authority to find new means of fighting the Depression. In wartime he also claimed and exercised new emergency powers in several ways, including interning Japanese-Americans, this time without a formal suspension of habeas corpus. In retrospect both a majority of Americans and the courts have decided that some of these measures, especially the internment, were unjust and excessive, but the mass of the people accepted them in the midst of a great war as necessary to save the country, preferring to make amends later on. Though opponents continually characterized both Lincoln and FDR as monarchs and dictators trampling on the Constitution, those are judgments which history, for the most part, has not endorsed.

As the late William Strauss and Neil Howe first pointed out about 20 years ago in their remarkable books, Generations and The Fourth Turning, these first three great crises in our national life—the Revolutionary and Constitutional period, the Civil War, and the Depression and the Second World War—came at regular intervals of about 80 years. Sure enough, just as they had predicted, the fourth such great crisis came along in 2001 as a result of 9/11. President Bush immediately secured from Congress the sweeping authority to wage war almost anywhere, and claimed emergency powers to detain suspected terrorists at Guantanamo. (Some of those powers the Supreme Court eventually refused to recognize.) The war against terror was, however, only one aspect of this crisis. The other is the splintering of the nation, once again, into two camps with largely irreconcilable world views, a split that has paralyzed our government to an extent literally never before seen for such a long period. Immigration is only one of several problems—including climate change, inequality and employment—that the government has not been able to address by traditional means because the Republican Party has refused to accept anything President Obama wants to do.

The Founders evidently understood that when the survival of the state is threatened, emergency measures are called for. We are not yet so threatened as we were in the three earlier crises, but our government is effectively paralyzed. Under the circumstances it seems to me that the President has both a right and a duty to use whatever authority he can find to solve pressing national problems. Congressional obstructionism does not relieve him of his own responsibilities to the electorate.

David Kaiser, a historian, has taught at Harvard, Carnegie Mellon, Williams College, and the Naval War College. He is the author of seven books, including, most recently, No End Save Victory: How FDR Led the Nation into War. He lives in Watertown, Mass.

TIME Immigration

Nearly Half of Americans Oppose Obama’s Impending Immigration Move

President Barack Obama speaks at the 'ConnectED to the Future', in the East Room of the White House in Washington D.C. on Nov. 19, 2014.
President Barack Obama speaks at the 'ConnectED to the Future', in the East Room of the White House in Washington D.C. on Nov. 19, 2014. Pablo Martinez Monsivais—AP

According to a new poll ahead of his primetime speech Thursday

Nearly half of Americans oppose President Obama taking his planned execution action on immigration, a move that could keep as many as 5 million undocumented immigrants in the country, according to a new poll released Wednesday.

Forty-eight percent of Americans oppose the move, according to the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll conducted Nov. 14-17, while 38% are in favor and 14% aren’t sure. Fifty-seven percent of Americans would prefer a pathway to citizenship for the undocumented, which could have been a possibility under a comprehensive reform law that passed in the Senate in 2013, but the House refused to take up the bill.

MORE: Obama Expected to Shield 5 Million Immigrants From Deportation in Executive Action

Among other measures, Obama’s proposal is said to allow parents of children who are legal citizens to stay, in addition to immigrants with high-tech skills. The long-promised reform is set to be announced Thursday at 8 p.m. ET in Las Vegas via a primetime address, the White House said Wednesday.

[NBC News]

TIME celebrities

Orange Is the New Black Star: My Parents Were Deported When I Was 14

The Television Academy And SAG-AFTRA Present Dynamic And Diverse: A 66th Emmy Awards Celebration Of Diversity
Actress Diane Guerrero attends the Television Academy and SAG-AFTRA's presentation of Dynamic and Diverse: A 66th Emmy Awards celebration of Diversity on August 12, 2014 in North Hollywood, California. (Paul Archuleta--FilmMagic) Paul Archuleta—FilmMagic

Diane Guerrero plays Ramos on the hit Netflix series

On Orange is the New Black, Diane Guerrero plays inmate Maritza Ramos, whom she describes as a “tough Latina from the ‘hood,’” but her real-life story isn’t so rosy either. In an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times published Friday, Guerrero writes about her parents and older brother getting deported when she was only 14.

Guerrero, who also has a supporting role on Jane the Virgin, is a U.S. citizen, but her parents and brother are from Colombia. She writes that they struggled to get citizenship, but despite going through numerous ineffective lawyers and mountains of legal fees, they remained undocumented. Then, when Guerrero was 14, the worst happened:

One day, my fears were realized. I came home from school to an empty house. Lights were on and dinner had been started, but my family wasn’t there. Neighbors broke the news that my parents had been taken away by immigration officers, and just like that, my stable family life was over.

Not a single person at any level of government took any note of me. No one checked to see if I had a place to live or food to eat, and at 14, I found myself basically on my own.

Guerrero ends her op-ed by calling on President Obama to provide deportation relief to keep families together. The President is expected to announce a new immigration plan imminently that could give temporary papers (but not citizenship) to millions of immigrants.

Read more at the Los Angeles Times

 

TIME Know Right Now

Know Right Now: From the FIFA Probe to Kim Kardashian’s Assets

Here are four of the biggest stories for the second week of November

This week, a number of media reports suggested President Barack Obama is poised to unilaterally overhaul the U.S. immigration policy, in a move that could allow up to 5 million undocumented immigrants to remain in the country.

The European Space Agency’s Philae probe became the first to land on a comet. The probe landed one kilometer away from its target site, but may run out of energy soon due to lack of sunlight.

FIFA ruled that Qatar will still host the 2022 World Cup, despite allegations it had paid officials to campaign for the bid back in 2010.

And Kim Kardashian posed nude for the cover of Paper magazine, which said its goal was to “Break the Internet.”

TIME G20

Russian Incursions Into Ukraine Will Loom Large at the G-20 Summit

Putin looks back at Obama as they arrive with Xi Jinping at APEC Summit plenary session in Beijing
Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, looks back at U.S. President Barack Obama, left, as they arrive with Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, at an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit plenary session in Beijing on Nov. 11, 2014 Reuters

Talks about the global economy may well be overshadowed

Leaders from across the world are set to gather in Australia for the G-20 summit this weekend to discuss the health of the global economy; however, tensions between the White House and the Kremlin over Russian incursions into southeastern Ukraine are casting a long shadow over the forum.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott told media that “the focus of this G-20 is growth and jobs,” the Sydney Morning Herald reported. However, White House officials say they’re ready to press the Ukraine issue with European leaders once President Barack Obama arrives in Brisbane.

“At the G-20, I imagine the President will have a chance to see his European counterparts — Chancellor [Angela] Merkel and others — and be able to have discussions on the margins there about the situation in Ukraine,” Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit in Burma on Thursday.

During the past week, the Obama Administration has been particularly strident in its criticism of Russia’s fresh forays into Ukraine. At a U.N. Security Council session earlier this week, U.S. envoy Samantha Power accused Moscow of systematically undermining a two-month-old peace accord between the Ukrainian military and pro-Russian rebels.

Power’s comments followed the publication of numerous reports from European monitors confirming the movement of unmarked, heavily armed columns in separatist-held territory this week, sparking fresh fears that Russia may be helping the rebels prepare for all out conflict with Kiev.

Experts say that Russian support for the separatists shows no sign of abating, even as falling oil prices and Western sanctions continue to pummel the country’s floundering economy.

“Putin’s aggression seems to just to keep on getting greater and greater,” says John Besemeres, a professor and adjunct fellow at the Australian National University’s Center for European Studies. “This is strange behavior from someone who wants to get sanctions lifted.”

But even as Washington and Moscow continue to trade barbs over Ukraine, Putin may be privy to a harsher welcome from the Australian public. The G-20 summit in Brisbane will mark the first time President Vladimir Putin has visited Australia since the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which killed nearly 300 people including 38 Australians.

Anger continues to simmer throughout the country over Russia’s alleged role in providing rebel forces with the sophisticated weapons system that shot down the jet, even though Moscow has denied having a hand in the downing of the flight.

In September, Australian opposition leader Bill Shorten issued several calls to ban Putin from attending the summit. Online petitions have also echoed the demand. Last month, Prime Minister Abbott threatened to “shirt-front” Putin when he saw the Russian leader at the G-20, using a term from the Australian football code that refers to the illegal making of a head-on charge to bring an opponent to the ground.

“There is public anger about that issue. That public anger hasn’t entirely gone away,” Rory Medcalf, security-program director at Australian think tank the Lowy Institute, tells TIME.

During a question-and-answer session with reporters in Canberra, Abbott called on Moscow “to come clean and to atone” for its alleged role in the downing of MH17. Keeping the agenda focused on jobs and not on Russia is going to be a tough call.

TIME #TheBrief

#TheBrief: The Most Important Thing About the U.S.-China Climate Deal

The ambitious plan will face opposition at home and abroad

The U.S. and China announced a landmark joint agreement Wednesday to cut back on greenhouse gas emissions.

“We have a special responsibility to lead the global effort when it comes to climate change,” stated Obama at the APEC summit on Nov. 12.

Together, the U.S. and China emit almost a third of the world’s greenhouse gasses. Under the terms of the proposal, the U.S. will emit at least 26% less carbon dioxide in 2025 than it did in 2005. China said it would boost use of renewable and nuclear energy to begin reducing emission levels.

This plan, however, is not popular with everyone. Watch #TheBrief to find out the most important thing about the deal.

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