Monday, November 24, 2014

Obama ruling by "fiat" rather than by democratic process

Last Thursday night, President Obama issued his executive order that would grant amnesty to 5 million illegal immigrants. Not calling it an "executive order", but a presidential memo, it is the same thing.

Obama stated that he had waited for Congress to present him with an immigration bill, and that they had simply not done this. No mention of the fact that the Democrats held both the Senate and the House of Representatives for the first two years of his presidency and that they had done nothing on the immigration issue during that time, when they had the ability to do so easily. Some Democrats offer the reason that Obama was intent on getting his health care bill through and that it was the pressing issue of those first years. This implies that he can't do two things at the same time, which was disproved recently in China when he was caught on camera, walking and chewing gum simultaneously.

Over the weekend, a headline caught my eye - that the Congress of American Bishops had approved of Obama's move on immigration.

It has long been known that the Catholic Congregation of Bishops wants an overhaul of the immigration law, and there is no doubt that such an overhaul is necessary. However, to approve of what Obama did on Thursday is to approve the ends, regardless of the means.

President Obama does not have the patience to wait for the newly elected members of the Senate and House of Representatives (both of which are now Republican majorities) and so he rammed through his executive order without even trying to work with them. Obama, more than any other president, has no will to work with the other side. As has been stated time and again, he is an ideologue who does not stoop to deal with the reality of issues. He prefers to rule by fiat.

Is this fair? Scott Johnson points out something that should be obvious:

The proposed executive action on immigration (or whatever name you want to give it) will allow [illegal aliens] who have US citizen or green-card children and who have been here for five years to apply for some kind of quasi-status and open market work authorization. That would allow them to work for a period of time at any employer, the authorization presumably renewable until they decide to leave or have an option for US permanent resident status (green card status). This, the administration tells us, is fair and just and Biblical – yada/yada.
 But this option is explicitly NOT available to those in the US in a valid legal status. There are millions of people in the US who have temporary status – as students or temporary workers or researchers or as investors (lots of Koreans own businesses with E-2 investor visas, for example). These people – many of them have US citizen children and have been here five years. These people who have been here legally and not violated their immigration status – these people are explicitly NOT eligible for open market work authorization, renewable indefinitely.
 You must be in violation of the law to benefit from this provision.

Meanwhile, the newly elected Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, aims to launch a lawsuit against the federal government for acting in an unconstitutional manner. And there is plenty of evidence that he is correct. Obama himself has been recorded over twenty times, stating that he cannot change the law on immigration by himself and that it has to be changed by the legislature. Suddenly ten lawyers were found who told him that he could change the law by himself and so he went ahead.

But the consequences of his actions will be dire. Over the summer, 70 thousand children came across the border into Mexico. Most of them had been brought over by crooks who take large sums of money from their parents to bring them into the US, where they will be united with relatives who are already here. Each month, one thousand illegal immigrants come across the Texas border and the state of Texas is left to deal with the health issues of these people, and the task of relocating them somewhere. They have been told not to send them back. And who could do such a thing, knowing that they would face great danger to their lives if they were to be returned to Mexico?

The immigrants are coming from Mexico, Central and South America. And now a large group of Cubans are awaiting their flight to the US, since they feel reassured by Obama that they will be welcomed and cared for upon their entry into the US. 

Yes, the immigration law is broken but executive order is not the way to fix it.

People coming to the US from countries, where their lives are in danger from drug cartel overlords, are seeking a country where the rule of law works. It is ironic that they come to the US, where the rule of law has just been overturned by the President himself.  How long will the US remain the country they believe it to be, if the power of the president is allowed to run unchecked? What is to stop the next president, who may be Republican, from doing a similar thing on another issue?

As Ronald Reagan once said:
“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”    

The issue of immigration in the US is not just an issue about the 11 million illegal immigrants who have sought a new home in a new country. It is an issue about the overreach of the executive branch of government, something that the founders of the Constitution fought hard to prevent. The three branches of government, executive, legislative and judicial are held in a fine balance in order to preserve individual freedoms. The USA is the only country in the entire world that is founded on such a principle of individual freedom.

What is at stake here is the very loss of that precious freedom by a President who thinks that he knows better than the elected officials of the government. The image of him chewing gum shows him as he really is, a man who is insolent toward those for whom he has no respect. His latest actions show that it is not just nations abroad that he does not respect; he does not respect his own country and its citizens.

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