Posted by Curt on 5 March, 2015 at 9:23 pm. 1 comment.


Hans A. von Spakovsky:

Congress has proved unwilling to fight the president and stand firm for defunding his immigration amnesty plan. It appears that there is nothing this president can do, no matter how far outside his executive authority, that can goad our supine lawmakers into taking action to protect the rule of law, our constitutional system of government, or the nation’s economic well-being.

Unlawful, unconstitutional, unilateral action has become the hallmark of this president and his administration. In one action after another, he has ignored the restraints and limits imposed on the president by the Constitution, bending, changing, and rewriting federal laws according to his whim. He has “amended” Obamacare on numerous occasions, from delaying the enforcement of the employer mandate to providing federal subsidies for plans specifically excluded by the law. The U.S. Supreme Court itself struck down his unconstitutional “recess” appointments to the National Labor Relations Board in Noel Canning v. NLRB, in which the president tried to claim that he — not the Senate itself — had the authority to determine when the Senate was in a recess.

In addition to rewriting federal laws, this administration has abused its executive power by improperly asserting that prosecutorial discretion gives it a general license to ignore and refuse to enforce the law. President Obama’s Justice Department has also abandoned its duty to defend the constitutionality of laws passed by Congress and signed by prior presidents.

But it is in immigration policy that the president has most exceeded his constitutional powers. In two separate programs, he has provided “deferred action” for millions of aliens who are in the United States illegally and who are not authorized to remain under the comprehensive immigration law passed by Congress. The Legislative Branch, not the Executive, holds exclusive authority over immigration. It says so right there in Art. 1, Sec. 8 of the Constitution.

President Obama himself acknowledged that fact on numerous occasions, at one point saying, “I’m not a king . . . I can’t just make the laws up by myself.” As a federal district court in Texas pointed out in a lawsuit filed by 26 states against the administration, the president stated that he “did not have the power under the Constitution or the laws of this country to change the immigration laws.” Yet he proceeded to do exactly that, acknowledging after his latest announced amnesty policy that “I just took action to change the law.” Apparently, he changed his mind about not being a “king” and making “the laws up” by himself.

The administration isn’t just refusing to enforce the law. According to the federal court, the administration “has enacted a wide-reaching program that awards legal presence to individuals Congress has deemed deportable or removable, as well as the ability to obtain Social Security numbers, work authorization permits, and the ability to travel.” None of this is authorized by federal immigration law. Under President Obama’s direction, the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security is “not just rewriting the laws; he is creating them from scratch.”

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