Saturday, June 16, 2012

Illegal Presidential Directives Immigration Rears Its Ugly Head Again

Last September, President Barack Obama said this (emphasis mine):
I just have to continue to say this notion that somehow I can just change the laws unilaterally is just not true. We are doing everything we can administratively. But the fact of the matter is there are laws on the books that I have to enforce. And I think there’s been a great disservice done to the cause of getting the DREAM Act passed and getting comprehensive immigration passed by perpetrating the notion that somehow, by myself, I can go and do these things. It’s just not true
[W]e live in a democracy. You have to pass bills through the legislature, and then I can sign it. And if all the attention is focused away from the legislative process, then that is going to lead to a constant dead-end. We have to recognize how the system works, and then apply pressure to those places where votes can be gotten and, ultimately, we can get this thing solved. And nobody will be a stronger advocate for making that happen than me.
Yesterday he said this:
“Effective immediately, the Department of Homeland Security is taking steps to lift the shadow of deportation from these young people,” Mr. Obama said in an appearance in the White House Rose Garden. “Over the next few months, eligible individuals who do not present a risk to national security or public safety will be able to request temporary relief from deportation proceedings and apply for work authorization.”
Um, okay.  It's amazing how much difference a few months, a looming election, and some dismal polling will do to change one's mind, isn't it?

So what we have here is the result of Congress (with a Democrat supermajority, mind you) not passing the DREAM Act a couple years ago combined with the fact that Obama thinks he's above the Constitution and the law of the land - he's stepping right around Congress and granting illegal immigrants a de facto amnesty.

He added this:
“This is not amnesty,” Mr. Obama said. “This is not immunity. This is not a path to citizenship. It’s not a permanent fix. This is a temporary stopgap measure that lets us focus our resources wisely, while giving a degree of relief and hope to talented, driven, patriotic young people. It is the right thing to do.”
Really?  Is it the right thing to do for all of the genuine American citizens who are out of work and would undoubtedly fall even farther back in line if millions of new low-pay workers enter the work force?  In fact, one reporter actually shouted out that question...but Obama scolded him for interrupting and then ignored the question.

And they've apparently made up a new term for this latest attempted amnesty:  deferred action process.  The Department of Homeland Security was quick to point out that only those who have ironclad documentation meeting the requirements would be approved for this 'deferred action process', though this is also coming from the political party who actively and viciously opposes the requirement of providing documentation to vote, so let's all take a wild guess as to how this documentation thing is going to work out.

And besides, the conditions aren't all that arduous to begin with:

Here are the five conditions an illegal immigrant must meet to qualify for deferred action, according to the Department of Homeland Security:

  1. Came to the United States under the age of sixteen; 
  2. Have continuously resided in the United States for a least five years preceding the date of this memorandum and are present in the United States on the date of this memorandum;
  3. Are currently in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a general education development certificate, or are honorably discharged veterans of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States;
  4. Have not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety;
  5. Are not above the age of thirty. 

As with most prospective amnesties, it's an open question whether the immigration bureaucracy will be able to meaningfully enforce these conditions.
Right.  And if that was possible, if you think this would only apply to 800,000 people, you're nuts.

Keep in mind, too, that this is the same Obama administration that is actively suing the state of Arizona for enforcing federal immigration law.

No, the reality here is that it appears Obama is simply trying to shore up a base constituency (Hispanics) that is traditionally Democrat but currently wavering, helping them compete for the few jobs that are available right now...against American citizens!  It's not as if immigration has been a hot button issue of late - remember, illegal immigrants have actually been leaving America lately because the economy has tanked so badly; creating and announcing this policy not only ignores the entirety of American law, but it actually reverses a trend that most Americans see as beneficial, and one that is economically better for America.

In other words, it's typical Obama.

The reactions have been very interesting to watch.  Here's one of my favorites:

President Obama’s claim that he can refuse to deport 800,000 aliens here in the country illegally illustrates the unprecedented stretching of the Constitution and the rule of law. He is laying claim to presidential power that goes even beyond that claimed by the Bush administration, in which I served. There is a world of difference in refusing to enforce laws that violate the Constitution (Bush) and refusing to enforce laws because of disagreements over policy (Obama)…
Imagine the precedent this claim would create. President Romney could lower tax rates simply by saying he will not use enforcement resources to prosecute anyone who refuses to pay capital-gains tax. He could repeal Obamacare simply by refusing to fine or prosecute anyone who violates it.
So what we have here is a president who is refusing to carry out federal law simply because he disagrees with Congress’s policy choices. That is an exercise of executive power that even the most stalwart defenders of an energetic executive — not to mention the Framers — cannot support.

Yeah, good point.  Just because you disagree doesn't mean the opposing viewpoint is illegal.  And you simply cannot ignore the Constitution.  Well, unless you're Obama.  He's done it regularly over the past three years, and with gusto.

Should be interesting to see how this one plays out.

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