While some of us are quietly easing out of 2014, desperately hoping for a better new year, President Barack Obama has been increasingly flexing his man-in-charge muscles and roaring like a lion, rather than a lame-duck president, contrary to everything for which his critics have prayed.

Currently being sued by a collective of 24 states over his recent executive orders on immigration, by the House of Representatives on Obamacare, and, until recently, by one Arizona public official on immigration policy, the president is not going quietly into administrative retirement and resting on his laurels. The Arizona public official, Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a persistent Obama critic, had his case against the president dismissed in federal court in December 2014. The House case is already in serious difficulty and is most probably going to be dismissed this month on the technical ground called “lack of standing.” The state class action suit is similarly almost certain to fail—it is not a federalism case of state versus federal government authority as the states are trying to publicize it. It is one again of challenging the president’s long-held authority over enforcing (or in this case delaying enforcement) deportations of illegal immigrants.

Short of Congress writing very specific and narrow enforcement mandates into law, the courts rarely, if ever, rule against the president’s “prosecutorial authority” over immigraton and other enforcement obligations. This authority gives the president, as the chief executive of the federal government, the duty to enforce federal laws and the discretionary authority to decide how to get that done. That means the president, the Department of Homeland Security, and other enforcement agencies of the government, retain the authority to decide who to investigate, arrest, detain, charge, prosecute or deport, and when. The president, and other enforcement authorities, can decide how to prioritize the available resources (provided by congressional appropriations) needed for enforcement activities. This principle of ‘prosecutorial discretion,’ as applied to immigration issues, is regularly used in one of three ways: deferred action (a decision to defer the removal of individuals), as occurred for the Dreamers group in 2012 under DACA (deferred action for childhood arrivals); parole in place, which means individuals can be allowed to come into the United States temporarily for humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit; and deferred enforced departure (DED), which means exactly what it says. Some 30,000 Haitian immigrants in Miami and other places, and thousands of Liberians have been allowed to stay in this country through DED policies followed by former President Bill Clinton and President Obama. DED is based on the president’s authority over the nation’s foreign policy.

Although some critics have asserted that former presidential decisions are not court precedents, since 1956, every U.S. president has issued some form of executive order on immigration based on the enforcement authority described above. For example, former president Jimmy Carter signed orders to allow the “Mariel Cuban” flotillas of more than 123,000 Cuban emigrants to come into the United States in 1980-81; George H. Bush gave DED orders for Chinese immigrants in 1990, and for citizens from El Salvador in 1992.

President Obama’s new executive orders, which do not formally take effect until early 2015, although they do allow green card “work permits” and school matriculation, do not offer paths to citizenship, nor permanent legal status, as some critics have inappropriately claimed. Only congressional legislation can do that. The president’s orders also do not relax border security, and do not stop immediate deportation of new arrivals.

In short, the president is on solid legal grounds for his new executive orders and we should expect him to prevail against his opposition.

We hired/elected the president to lead. He is doing that. We wanted him to bring change. He is doing that too, in spite of relentless efforts to undermine his activities. He is not a ‘failed president’ as some want to label him. In fact, he is just the opposite.

Lead on, Mr. President, sir. Lead on.

Professor David L. Horne is founder and executive director of PAPPEI, the Pan African Public Policy and Ethical Institute, which is a new 501(c)(3) pending community-based organization or non-governmental organization (NGO). It is the stepparent organization for the California Black Think Tank which still operates and which meets every fourth Friday.

DISCLAIMER: The beliefs and viewpoints expressed in opinion pieces, letters to the editor, by columnists and/or contributing writers are not necessarily those of OurWeekly.