June 16, 2012 6 Comments
President Obama has decided he no longer needs Congress and has unilaterally decided that illegal immigrant children under the age of 30 who have been here more than 5 years will be granted work permits and allowed to stay. This is more or less what the Dream Act would have done. Of course just last year he said he couldn’t do thinks like this alone, that he needed Congress to go along with him. All of a sudden in a fit of politics, Congress no longer matters. The Constitutional law professor has no regard for the Constitution.
This is of course a purely political move. If Obama believes he has the power to unilaterally grant work permits to illegals and create guidelines on his own for the granting of these permits, then he had this power from the moment he took office. Why bother to pass the Dream Act, which the House passed in 2009? Once the GOP won the House and all but ensured that the Act would never pass, why not unilaterally declare it in January 2011? In fact, why did Obama even tell leftist Mexican groups that he couldn’t declare illegals legal unilaterally if he thinks he can? The answer is simple, he’s pulling an illegal political power play that he thinks will boost him in the polls.
What’s interesting about this move is that just this past March the Obama administration argued that the Supreme Court should give deference to a democratically elected Congress concerning Obamacare. Now all of a sudden because Congress refuses to do what Obama wants, he doesn’t care to give deference to the very Congress that he wanted the Supreme Court to bow down to. His position is completely inconsistent. Separation of powers are there for a reason, they’re there to prevent the President from unilaterally writing law.
Make no mistake, this is a unilateral declaration of law. The President doesn’t have the power to determine who will and will not be granted temporary work visas. It is Congress that writes the law, not the President. These are mere rules which executive agencies follow, this is outright law. Obama is declaring that people who have been here 5+ years and are under the age of 30 may work here. That’s a law and it’s not something Congress has passed. Obama’s declaration is fraught with problems, not the least of which is how does an illegal prove he’s been here 5+ years and why does an illegal who came here as an adult get to stay just because he’s under 30? This is the sort of thing that gets debated in Congress and by the public before Congress passes a bill. We have been denied our Constitutional guarantees by this President.
What’s incredible about this unilateral decision is that American citizens have an 8.2% unemployment rate. It’s around 11% if we use the same number of people in the workforce in 2009 when Obama took office who have mysteriously left the job market according to the administration. So why are we allowing illegals to have work permits and compete with American citizens for scarce jobs? One reporter tried to ask Obama this and the President was having none of it. But it’s a legitimate question, why are we making it easy for people who aren’t here legally to compete with Americans for jobs? Perhaps this is the sort of thing that would have been debated in Congress had Obama followed the Constitution.
Obama insists this is “the right thing to do.” Not surprisingly Romney wonders why this wasn’t passed via legislation. Obama is taking the typical leftist, Saul Alinsky style ends justifies the means position. The ends never justify ignoring the Constitution and circumventing an elected Congress. The President simply doesn’t have the power to unilaterally act on matters such as this. On this point, it really doesn’t matter whether we’re talking about immigration or taxes. Obama doesn’t have the power to raise or lower taxes at his decree. He doesn’t have the power to unilaterally spend money. All Presidents must wait for Congress to act on these issues, their job is to enforce the law not write it. The Constitutional law professor doesn’t seem to understand this. We have a very dangerous man in the White House, one who seems interested in dictatorship.