Even in liberal circles, you will find few pundits who will tell you that Barack Obama’s executive order providing temporary amnesty to the children of illegal aliens is constitutional.
It isn’t. Barack Obama knows this – he said this repeatedly as a candidate then a president: the Executive branch doesn’t set immigration law.
So we had a bit of a conundrum. The children of illegal immigrants – brought to this country ostensibly against their will when they were children – now are part of the fabric of this country. The vast majority are employed. Many are in college and many are currently in the military.
So Obama told Congress: address this problem. The left wanted citizenship or permanent residency to these “Dreamers” as they called them. But for whatever reason – political, ideological (the left would say xenophobic racism, whatever), Congress failed to act.
That’s their prerogative. We live in a country where if you don’t like what your lawmaker does, you vote them out and put someone in who does do what you want.
But that wasn’t enough for Barack Obama. He wasn’t satisfied that Congress wouldn’t act. So he unilaterally acted. He signed the DACA Executive Order, standing for “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.” It gave temporary – read temporary – deferral for deportation for anyone brought over here as a minor after passing a background check. There are around 800,000 DACA-eligible people in this country. Everyone knew it was temporary.
Constitutional conservatives were furious. Several court judges and ultimately the Supreme Court ruled, that no – the executive branch does not have the authority to implement DACA or expand it, as Obama was trying to do.
These lawsuits started two years ago. Congress could have acted. They didn’t. Maybe they didn’t want to. Maybe they are heartless, cruel bastards who want to round up little children and toss them into the Rio Grande. Maybe they’re generous, caring people who were unable to negotiate a way to keep these kids (most of them are in their 20s now) from being deported to a country they know nothing about. It doesn’t matter.
Obama’s Executive Order was unconstitutional. Period. End of story.
Listen to even DACA’s most ardent defenders admit that, yes – Obama violated the Constitution:
“I understand if you have a problem with the constitutionality of how DACA was created,” said Alfonso Aguilar, President of Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles. “It wasn’t constitutional. I agree with that. If you care about them, the president should make a commitment to support permanent status to DACA recipients and ensure that Congress passes legislation. It’s not enough to punt to congress and say it’s your responsibility, it’s a legislative responsibility.”
But Mr. Aguilar: it is a legislative responsibility. It is not only “enough” to punt – it’s the only thing President Trump can do under the Constitution.
Despite what the media is telling you, President Trump did not invoke a timeline for ending DACA. He merely said it was ending. It’s quite possible – as the commentators said – that Trump could extend the program. But that doesn’t mean he should.
Now – finally – Congress has to make a decision: pass some sort of legislation protecting these people from possible deportation or not.
If Congress doesn’t act and these so-called “Dreamers” are eventually subject to deportation, then that’s the will of Congress. If they act to protect them, that’s also Congress’s doing.
Like it or not, that’s Congress’s job.
Personally, I think these people should not be subject to deportation based on the crimes committed by their parents. Maybe you disagree. That’s fine. And in 2018 and beyond, when we elect a new legislative branch, we can argue both sides of the issue, where it belongs.
It is not to be done by executive fiat from a president who thinks he can operate above the Constitution, but by the people’s elected representatives and the rule of law.
H/T: Raw Story