I’m going to make this short because my opinion on the issue is quite easy to understand.
Yes, there are a lot of children crossing the border, especially here in Texas. We’ve spent the past while arguing on the state and national level over what to do about it. Unfortunately, members of Congress decided it would be better to go home and work on their reelections than accomplish something on the issue (aside from put out inflammatory press statements). Something still must be done, though, while they hang out at diners meeting voters. President Obama has offered to do that — via executive order.
I’m in agreement with Ross Douthat (it scares me a little, too) that the executive should not usurp the legislative branch’s role in government. This is an issue we’ve been debating. Obviously, Congress needs to do be the one to act on such a controversial issue surrounded by so lively a debate.
Now’s where the synthesis and context come in: Congress should have done something about this crisis, but, since they left of their own accord in the middle of it, the president must do something — and if that requires an executive order or two, so be it. Congress abdicated its responsibility.
In an ideal situation, I would choose the strict separation of powers approach. In this real situation, leeway seems prudent. As does humanitarianism.