“The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their Constitutions of Government. But the Constitution which at any time exists, till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole people, is sacredly obligatory upon all.” — George Washington (1796)
On last Thursday night President Obama announced his plans for issuing an Executive Order (he called it an Executive Memo) that would halt the deportation of roughly 5 million illegal immigrants and grant them Social Security cards and work permits. In essence this is amnesty.
All but the most dedicated progressive-liberal spinners and so-call Democratic Strategists realize that what Obama is doing is in total violation of the Constitution and is a slap in the face of our Founders’ construction of the balance of powers in the Constitution.
Article I, Section 8.4 of the Constitution clearly states: The Congress shall have power to “To establish a uniform rule of naturalization, and uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies throughout the United States
As Constitutional lecturer Obama has to know this. If he does not then his resume is a fraud. If he does he is willfully violating his oath of office when he stated; “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States” (Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution) This could be considered legal grounds for impeachment.
Barack Obama claims to be a “professor of constitutional law,” but a genuine constitutional scholar, George Washington University’s Jonathan Turley, a self-acknowledged liberal Obama supporter, has offered severe criticism of Obama’s “über presidency,” his abuse of executive orders and regulations to bypass Congress.
When asked by Fox News host Megyn Kelly how he would respond “to those who say many presidents have issued executive orders on immigration,” Turley responded, “This would be unprecedented, and I think it would be an unprecedented threat to the balance of powers.”
In July, Turley gave congressional testimony concerning Obama’s abuse of executive orders: “When the president went to Congress and said he would go it alone, it obviously raises a concern. There’s no license for going it alone in our system, and what he’s done is very problematic. He’s told agencies not to enforce some laws [and] has effectively rewritten laws through active interpretation that I find very problematic.”
“Our system is changing in a dangerous and destabilizing way. What’s emerging is an imperial presidency, an über presidency. The president’s pledge to effectively govern alone is alarming but what is most alarming is his ability to fulfill that pledge. When a president can govern alone, he can become a government unto himself, which is precisely the danger that the Framers sought to avoid in the establishment of our tripartite system of government. … Obama has repeatedly violated this [separation of powers] doctrine in the circumvention of Congress in areas ranging from health care to immigration law to environmental law. … What we are witnessing today is one of the greatest challenges to our constitutional system in the history of this country. We are in the midst of a constitutional crisis with sweeping implications for our system of government. There could be no greater danger for individual liberty. I think the framers would be horrified. We are now at the constitutional tipping point for our system. No one in our system can ‘go it alone’ – not Congress, not the courts, and not the president.”
Turley reiterated this week:
“[Obama has] become a government of one. It’s becoming a particularly dangerous moment if the president is going to go forward, particularly after this election, to defy the will of Congress yet again. What the president is suggesting is tearing at the very fabric of the Constitution. We have a separation of powers to protect Liberty, to keep any branch from assuming so much authority that they become a threat to Liberty. The Democrats are creating something very, very dangerous. They’re creating a president who can go it alone – the very danger that are framers sought to avoid in our Constitution. I hope he does not get away with it.”
On Thursday night Obama said in his address:
“Now here’s the thing: we expect people who live in this country to play by the rules. We expect that those who cut the line will not be unfairly rewarded. So we’re going to offer the following deal: If you’ve been in America for more than five years; if you have children who are American citizens or legal residents; if you register, pass a criminal background check, and you’re willing to pay your fair share of taxes – you’ll be able to apply to stay in this country temporarily, without fear of deportation. You can come out of the shadows and get right with the law.”
He’s talking about roughly 5 million people not the 186 thousand Reagan gave amnesty to in 1986 with the full support of Congress. All Presidents do not take this unilateral, unconstitutional action.
For six years President Obama has failed to lead on any meaningful immigration reform. Now, following a sweeping Republican victory on Election Day and just over a month before a new Republican Senate majority will take over, President Obama has announced a blatantly unconstitutional move to grant amnesty to at least 5 million illegal immigrants by executive order.
For years, President Obama has chastised Republicans, used immigrants as props for political purposes, and time and again deflected responsibility from his own party’s failure to act on immigration reform. Keep in mind that for the first two years of Obama’s presidency, Democrats controlled the House, Senate and White House -- yet he failed to pass immigration reform.
So why the rush to grant amnesty now?
President Obama knows that in January the new Republican House and Senate plan to take action on a long term solution to our nation’s immigration problem. The plan would likely include, but not be limited to, immediately securing our southern border, developing an effective legal immigration system that meets the needs of our nation’s employers, and repealing Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which led to the humanitarian crisis at the border earlier this year.
After six years of Democrats’ inaction, President Obama doesn’t want Republicans to get even an ounce of credit for finally addressing our nation’s broken immigration system. But further, by granting mass amnesty during the lame duck right before members go home for Thanksgiving, President Obama is setting a divisive tone for the immigration battle, effectively poisoning the well for Republican-led bipartisan reform next year. This is an effort by the White House to sabotage the best shot at a long-term immigration solution since this president took office -- and all to make sure Republicans don’t receive credit.
Simply put, President Obama’s immigration strategy is all about politics and getting credit rather than about families and people. This is not what the American people deserve.
President Obama’s DACA gave us a glimpse into the problems that will arise from granting amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants. DACA led to a mass influx of illegal immigrant children crossing the Mexican border into the U.S. who came believing they would likely be able to stay.
Between October 2013 and July 2014 more than 63,000 unaccompanied children were caught at the border. Many others tragically never made it. These children risked exploitation, kidnapping, abuse at the hands of coyotes, and even their lives to make the dangerous trek hundreds of miles through the desert terrain.
The president’s latest amnesty move signals to millions in Central and South America that U.S. laws don’t hold any real weight anymore, and if they illegally enter the U.S., they’ll likely be able to stay. This creates a dangerous environment of lawlessness and puts immigrant and American families at great risk.
Notably, the majority of Americans do not support executive action on immigration. Among Americans of Latino descent, only 43 percent supported executive amnesty, according to an NBC/WSJ poll.
Further, President Obama’s executive amnesty is an unprecedented abuse of executive power. I’d invite President Obama to refer to Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution, (as stated above) which clearly grants the authority to make laws on naturalization to Congress, not the Executive Branch.
In his address Obama also stated:
“Families who enter our country the right way and play by the rules watch others flout the rules. Business owners who offer their workers good wages and benefits see the competition exploit undocumented immigrants by paying them far less. All of us take offense to anyone who reaps the rewards of living in America without taking on the responsibilities of living in America. And undocumented immigrants who desperately want to embrace those responsibilities see little option but to remain in the shadows, or risk their families being torn apart.”
“Third, we’ll take steps to deal responsibly with the millions of undocumented immigrants who already live in our country.
I want to say more about this third issue, because it generates the most passion and controversy. Even as we are a nation of immigrants, we are also a nation of laws. Undocumented workers broke our immigration laws, and I believe that they must be held accountable – especially those who may be dangerous. That’s why, over the past six years, deportations of criminals are up 80 percent. And that’s why we’re going to keep focusing enforcement resources on actual threats to our security. Felons, not families. Criminals, not children. Gang members, not a mother who’s working hard to provide for her kids. We’ll prioritize, just like law enforcement does every day.”
Addressing the second statement first I have one burning question — how is ICE going to vet 5 million people. They cannot even deal with those illegals who have committed felonies such as murder, rape, and robbery and have been arrested and convicted. There are numerous case across the nation where these illegals are not even deported and languish in our prision system or are released to commit more crimes. Gang members are filled with illegals just ask and police chief in any large city.
The other is issue is jobs. President Barack Obama once declared that an influx of illegal immigrants will harm “the wages of blue-collar Americans” and “put strains on an already overburdened safety net.”
“[T]here’s no denying that many blacks share the same anxieties as many whites about the wave of illegal immigration flooding our Southern border—a sense that what’s happening now is fundamentally different from what has gone on before,” then-Senator Obama wrote in his 2006 autobiography, “The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream.”
”Not all these fears are irrational,” he wrote.
“The number of immigrants added to the labor force every year is of a magnitude not seen in this country for over a century,” Obama noted. “If this huge influx of mostly low-skill workers provides some benefits to the economy as a whole—especially by keeping our workforce young, in contrast to an increasingly geriatric Europe and Japan—it also threatens to depress further the wages of blue-collar Americans and put strains on an already overburdened safety net.”
If these feel like the words of one of Obama’s opponents, it’s because they’re the exact argument the president’s critics have been making as he now rushes to announce a sweeping executive order that would give work permits to millions of illegal immigrants in the country.
Via his executive order, he is also about to provide work permits to at least 3 million illegal immigrants, allowing them to compete against the very Americans — black, white, Latino and Asian — who he once said would be harmed by such a move.
The new work permits would be in addition to the 600,000 work permits given to younger illegals under the 2012 “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” program.
Roughly 4 million Americans will enter the job market this year.
Careful observers of Obama’s modern-day immigration rhetoric will note that he does not discuss the impact millions of formerly-illegal immigrants would have on the wages of American workers. Rather, Obama has repeatedly declared, “It’s the right thing to do.”
Yesterday I had a conversation with my African-American neighbor who is a contractor. His small business provides sub-contracting services to larger contracts on mainly infrastructure projects. During our conversation he hesitantly asked me if I supported President Obama. I replied that I did not. He said he voted for Obama and that he now thought that was a big mistake and he called himself stupid. He felt it would be good for him and the nation when Obama was gone.
I then asked him how this new Executive Order would affect him and his business. He told me that the influx of these 5 million new “legals” would have a big impact on the construction industry. He said that many small sub-contractors, who were fearful of hiring illegals due to the severe penalties and loss of contracts would now hire the new “legals” and reduce their payroll. Labor amounts to about 50% of the cost for these contractors. They would be replacing a laborer earning $20-$25 per hour (mainly Latinos and Blacks) with persons who would now be paid $15 per hour. This would lower their labor costs by 20 to 25 percent and allow them to put forth lower bids to gain more work. Pity the worker who was earning 25$ per hour. He was now out of work. At $15 per hour a worker would earn $30,000 per year if he or she worked every available day – which is rare in construction. $30, 000 per year puts the worker in the earned income tax bracket and makes them eligible for food stamps and WIC.
All of the small contractors like my neighbor would have to do this in order to compete. Many of those Latinos who marched waving Mexican flags and demanding amnesty would now find themselves out of work and on welfare unless they accept a 20% pay cut. They will now find out that there are always unintended consequences or a Bastiat stated — the seen and the unseen.
I have not even addressed the increased burden this amnesty will place on the states. These illegals now with work permits and social security cards will be eligible, and no doubt apply for, all the benefits that are available. This will include things like food stamps, Medicaid, WIC, aid to dependent children, and the earned income tax credit. This will far outweigh any income derived from taxes these 5 million will pay — if they pay it.
It is estimated that the cost of an illegal immigrant family is $20,000 per year. If you consider a family of five the additional cost in benefits would be $20 billion per year and this does not include the earned income tax credit or the financial burden on the public school system.
Granting amnesty to those who willfully broke the law makes a mockery of our legal system and encourages even more lawlessness — potentially more severe crimes than entering the U.S. illegally. It also does a disservice to those who followed the legal routes to gain entry into the country and sends the message that lawlessness will be tolerated—in fact, it will be rewarded.
The American people spoke on Election Day. The Republican victory wasn’t simply a referendum on failed Democratic policies pushed by the White House and Harry Reid — it was also a referendum on the inability of Congress and the White House to work together to get things done.
President Obama’s decision to bypass Congress and to act unilaterally on amnesty is a slap in the face to American voters, sends the wrong signal to immigrants, and jeopardizes the first real shot at bipartisan, long-term immigration reform.
Once again, it is politics over people for this administration. A classic example of the administrative state and the actions of a king — something we did away with in 1776.