“I, Barack Hussein Obama, do solemnly swear 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.”
“…faithfully execute…” >chortle<
Barack Obama took an oath to faithfully execute the office of President, and that includes respect of the law. Despite the fact that he is the biggest liar ever to stain the White House, hold that thought.
It is said that to provide what he calls “relief” to illegal immigrants Obama would wield something called “prosecutorial discretion.”
Prosecutorial discretion refers to the fact that under American law, government prosecuting attorneys have nearly absolute powers. A prosecuting attorney has power on various matters including those relating to choosing whether or not to bring criminal charges, deciding the nature of charges, plea bargaining and sentence recommendation. This discretion of the prosecuting attorney is called prosecutorial discretion.
Liberals are quick to defend it:
Here are some things to remember. President Obama is a Constitutional lawyer. He won on the Affordable Care Act. If he employs prosecutorial discretion in an executive order to grant amnesty to certain affected immigrants, he will probably win that fight too. The fundamental reason that the President will likely win is because Congress invented the flawed law that requires the executive branch to deal with the consequences of Congressional failure. That is the American system of government, by intelligent design, right?
Actually, no, but that’s for another time.
Some argue that the President has wide latitude in prosecutorial discretion:
“As a legal matter, [Obama’s] discretion is really broad. As a political matter, I think it’s much more constrained,” University of California, Los Angeles law professor Hiroshi Motomura told Bloomberg Businessweek earlier this year.
Charles Krauthammer disputes this:
“This idea of prosecutorial discretion is really a travesty. It is intended for extreme cases. for a case where you want to show mercy for individual or two where it’s unusual incident unusual circumstances and you say, okay, we’re going to give this person a pass. it was never intended to abolish a whole class of people subject to a law and to essentially abolish whole sections of a law.”
If a President claims prosecutorial discretion broad and large enough the result is nullification the law. Granting amnesty to 6 million would constitute nullification of immigration law.
At The Daily Signal Morgan and Inserra offer four reasons Obaam should not grant amnesty:
1. It would be an abuse of executive power for Obama to grant millions of illegal immigrants amnesty.
2. It’s not fair to prospective immigrants, legal residents, and American citizens.
3. Amnesty would be extremely expensive.
And arguably, the best reason:
4. Amnesty doesn’t work. If Obama pursues an administrative amnesty of millions of people, potential future illegal immigrants might think (wrongly) that they could qualify under this grant of amnesty or (rightly) that another amnesty is likely in the future if they can avoid deportation in the meantime. The end result will be more illegal immigrants crossing our borders.
It didn’t work in 1986 and it won’t work now. All the 1986 law did was to quadruple the number of illegal aliens in this country.
Let’s argue against Obama offering amnesty with the words of a “Constitutional Professor”:
We are talking about the same constitutional law professor here, aren’t we? I believe it was the same one who said in 2010:
“I Believe Such An Indiscriminate Approach Would Be Both Unwise And Unfair. … This Could Lead To A Surge In More Illegal Immigration.”
In March of 2011:
“With Respect To The Notion That I Can Just Suspend Deportations Through Executive Order, That’s Just Not The Case….”
In September of that same year:
“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.”
and also said:
“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.”
Yesterday the NY Times adds:
WASHINGTON — President Obama is poised to ignore stark warnings that executive action on immigration would amount to “violating our laws” and would be “very difficult to defend legally.”
Those warnings came not from Republican lawmakers but from Mr. Obama himself.
For years, the president has repeatedly waved aside the demands of Latino activists and Democratic allies who begged him to take action on his own, and he insisted publicly that a decision to shield millions of immigrants from deportation without an act of Congress would amount to nothing less than the dictates of a king, not a president.
Senator-elect Tom Cotton (R-AR) suggests a targeted approach:
Arkansas Sen.-elect Tom Cotton hinted on Sunday at exactly what he and fellow Republicans might do in response to President Obama’s vow to use executive action on immigration reform: selectively block the president’s spending like the GOP did on the Guantanamo Bay prison issue.
Cotton, a House member recently elected to the Senate, told “Fox News Sunday” that the GOP-controlled lower chamber could pass a spending bill that limits the president’s ability to spend on Social Security cards for illegal immigrants, who may be granted some type of U.S. residency status through executive action.
Cotton compared the strategy to House Republicans passing a Defense spending bill in June that included a provision that barred funding for transferring detainees in the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, established after the 9/11 terror attacks.
There is another thing that could be done. Make it clear to Senate and House democrats that the next Republican President can take from the threatened precedent and act in a similar fashion. The next Republican President can write an EO, via prosecutorial discretion, that would choose not to enforce the penalty for not having insurance, not to enforce the tax code for two years and not to enforce any EPA regulations at all.
A unilateral action on the part of Obama would signal that he has no intention of engaging in cooperation with Congress during his last two years and in return he should get none. Obama would be sculpting his own legacy.