Has Obama abused executive power? His 5 most controversial uses.

Faced with a balky Congress that is unwilling to move his agenda or compromise on most matters, President Obama says he has no choice but to use executive power. House Speaker John Boehner plans to sue. Here are our picks for Mr. Obama’s most controversial uses of executive power:

3. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA

Jacquelyn Martin/AP/File
In this June 15, 2012, file photo, Ricky Campos (l.) and Katye Hernandez, bot h illegal immigrants originally from El Salvador, who live in Silver Spring, Md., hold signs saying "Thank You President Obama" in Washington, D.C. The group Casa de Maryland rallied outside the White House in support of the president's announcement that the US government will stop deporting and begin granting work permits to younger illegal immigrants who were brought to the US by their parents when they were children, known as 'Dreamers.'

This policy, announced by the Department of Homeland Security in 2012, came via a memorandum that directs authorities to exercise "prosecutorial discretion" in dealing with some young undocumented immigrants.

If they meet the criteria for eligibility, they are shielded temporarily from deportation and allowed to work. Critics say that waiving deportation laws for more than a million people is not "prosecutorial discretion" – it's policymaking by executive fiat, usurping the role of Congress. Defenders say DACA is an acceptable exampl of presidential discretion in policymaking.

Ten immigration agents challenged DACA in federal court, saying the policy undermined their duty to enforce the law. In 2013, the judge threw out the ecase on jurisdictional grounds, but suggested that DACA was inherently unlawful.

Politics also infused DACA. Obama was making a play for the Latino vote ahead of the 2012 election. Republican leaders, wary of alienating Latinos, chose not to challenge the policy.

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