On TV last night our illustrious President told the nation and the world that he will ignore the laws outlined in the Constitution and make changes to our immigration and deportation laws on his own, bypassing the governing body that by law is responsible for immigration. President Obama not only says he has the authority to do so but that he "cannot wait anymore." And in doing so he has seriously violated his oath of office and broken the law.
For years President Obama told the American people he does not have the Constitutional authority to do what he did last night. (He was correct.) Suddenly, after his policies were slammed by the American people in the mid-term elections and the Republicans very decisively won control of the House and Senate, President Obama somehow decided that he does have the authority to change immigration law to suit his own agenda and announced that he will do just that today. (He offered no explanation as to why he didn't have the authority for 5 years but suddenly has it now.)
President Obama said our immigration system is broken. And he's correct. But there is one main reason it is broken and that's because no President in the last 50 years has really enforced the laws of the land. The border has been open the entire time against the wishes of the American people and in violation of the law. That's the reason we have so many illegals in the country today. (And I don't care what the whiners say about them not being "illegal" because that's exactly what they are. They are in the country without authorization and broke the laws of the land by coming here. That makes them aliens who are here illegally. Period.)
Our immigration system is broken because the various Presidents, from Reagan all the way to Obama, have done nothing to secure the border and effectively enforce the laws as written. We may need reform to make the legal immigration process easier but if we don't enforce the laws we already have what makes anyone think we'll enforce new laws?
The President says his administration has deported more illegal immigrants than any other President. But that's simply untrue. What Obama has done is change the reporting system. Until Obama took office the only deportations of illegals reported were those who were caught living inside the United States, were arrested and tried and deported by court order. President Obama, being the slick politician that he is, changed the reporting procedures to include any and every person stopped at the border and returned immediately. That made his numbers jump even though the numbers are bogus. But it made him look good in the eyes of his followers. I know several very intelligent liberals who believe Obama's numbers even though the evidence of his deception is there.
President Obama says he's deporting criminals first. What that means is that he's deporting illegals who get arrested for criminal acts, or who are discovered to have long criminal records in their own country, ahead of the average person who sneaks across the border and doesn't do anything illegal while he's here. But since sneaking across the border is illegal the are all criminals.
Obama also says that our immigration system "yanks children from the arms of their parents." While that's a heart tugging visual,the fact is that the only reason that might happen is if the parents are deported but the children are allowed to stay. And if I recall correctly, the President himself is the one that made that legal by signing his "Dream Act" Executive Order that allows children to stay regardless of the status of their parents. The Dream Act yanks the parents away from the children. And that's because of President Obama himself.
President Obama said last night that his order wasn't amnesty. He said what we have now is amnesty. Let's take a look at that. Merriam-Webster defines amnesty as "a decision that a group of people will not be punished or that a group of prisoners will be allowed to go free." By very definition what he's doing with his Executive Order is granting temporary amnesty. Remember, this is a "Constitutional law professor." I think I'll send him a Merriam-Webster dictionary for Christmas...
So how did the President violate the Constitution and break the law, you might ask. The President does have the right and authority of prosecutorial discretion. That means he can decide in which order to prosecute and/or deport illegals based on current laws. He has the right to deport criminals before mothers and children and has the right to deports people caught for traffic violations before seeking out illegals working in a field somewhere and deporting them. That's all legal.
Where he overstepped his authority with this Executive Order is that he basically said he will not arrest, prosecute or deport any illegal for the next two years except those few for which he determines its necessary. He has chosen not to enforce the law of the land and has broadcast that to the world. But Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution requires the President to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” It does not say that the President can enforce some laws and ignore others and does not say he can unilaterally dismiss laws that he doesn't agree with. So in signing this order he is in violation of the Constitution.
A second way he is violating the Constitution is with his intent to issue Social Security numbers and work permits to the illegals effected by this order. The law of the land says that people who are in the country illegally are not legally permitted to work. President Obama is waiving that illegal status and giving them legal work status instead - something he does not have the authority to do.
President Obama has likened his actions to those of past Presidents, including Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. But he's misleading the public when he says that. Both Reagan and Bush went through Congress to take their immigration actions and had newly passed legislation behind their actions. President Obama has no legislation except what he's making up as he goes. His actions are in no way the same as Reagan or Bush. On that particular point he's simply lying to the people. But that's nothing new. You can keep your doctor and your health care plan, remember?
What happens now? The President has basically told Republicans "I will do what I want. Try to stop me." And short of impeachment, which I believe Obama wants to happen so he can play the race/victim card, the Republicans can either simply allow it or they can take his order apart financially. Contrary to what some conservative pundits say I believe a government shutdown, which is being discussed, would be a bad move. They need to fund the government but with specific language that disallows funding for his work permits and other portions of his order. If he can't pay for it he can't enact it. And that's where Congress has the power.
So we wait. We wait to see what the Republicans will do about President Obama's unlawful acts. The actions of the Republicans over the next few months will determine the course of the federal government for the next two years. If they sit back and complain without taking decisive action then the election might as well have gone to the Democrats. And since Boehner and McConnell don't have much of a track record for defying Obama's actions, the chances of nothing happening are good. The ball is in their court. We shall see what happens.