Some months ago, President Obama said "I am the President of the United States. I am not an emperor. My job is to execute the laws of the United States" in response to increased pressure from immigration reform groups pressuring him to grant amnesty to millions in this country here illegally. There are many more examples of President Obama declaring that action taken solely by him, as in executive action, would be an unconstitutional move.
Go here for more examples of his flip flop:
Thursday night, President Obama gave an executive action statement on television. The big alphabet networks - ABC, NBC, and CBS all declined to give him a spot in prime time to make the announcement. Instead he was shown on cable networks. Oh, and he was shown on Univision. Univision was expecting a large audience Thursday all along - it was the night of the Latin Grammy awards. This was the only yes Team Obama really wanted.
The justification for the boldness used in pursuing executive action and bypassing Congress from Team Obama is that President Reagan and President GHW Bush did it. For Republicans to object is hypocritical, they say. Prosecutorial discretion is allowed under the Constitution and it was used by Reagan and GHW Bush for a targeted group of people. Obama is writing his own requirements for legalization. It is to come from Congress, according to the Constitution.
These Reagan and Bush 41 executive actions were obviously different than what Obama is doing now. They were trying to implement a complicated amnesty that Congress had already passed. Congress’ action was a form of immigration relief that obviously fit within our constitutional system. Moreover, Congress left a gap when it came to immediate family members, including minor children, of individuals who qualified for the amnesty. Presidents Reagan and Bush 41 forbore from deporting people in that select group.
Obama, in contrast to Reagan and Bush 41, is not trying to implement a lawfully created amnesty. There has been no congressional amnesty. In fact, there has been no immigration action from Congress in the past few years except the post-9/11 REAL ID Act of 2005, which made it harder, not easier, for aliens to qualify for immigration relief. More than that, Congress declined to pass a legalization of the type Obama is issuing during both Obama’s term and in a hotly-contested bill during President Bush 43′s term.Thus, Obama is clearly contravening both ordinary practice and the wishes of Congress—as expressed in statute—by declaring an amnesty himself. This is nothing like Reagan’s or Bush’s attempts to implement Congress’ amnesty. The progressive media’s claims otherwise are blatant lies, relying on their readers’ ignorance of events in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Such attempts should be rejected wherever they are found.If Obama wants to justify his lawless immigration action, he will have to do it some other way than citing (blaming, more like) prior Republican presidents. They, to their credit, were trying to implement Congress’ will. Obama, on the other hand, has declared that his government will act despite Congress, or, I suspect, to spite Congress. Such pettiness finds no support in the presidencies of Reagan and Bush.
This executive action will be called a memo. Just as DACA (Dreamer Act) was a memo at the eleventh hour before the 2012 election (his re-election) and before that, the Morton memo in 2011 that commanded ICE Director Morton to not deport certain people. This is how Obama operates. It is all about politics, not compassion. It is cynical and unlawful. It is shameful.
The good news is that most Americans polled believe in immigration reforms but do not agree that this is the way to do it. The bad news is we are stuck with this until a new person is in the White House, if then.
None of this was necessary. It was the ultimate poking a finger in the eye of his opposition, mostly Republicans, after a truly dismal showing for the Democrats on election night. As with Obamacare, I think this stunt will prove to be bad news for future elections for the Democrats.
In January, the new GOP controlled Congress must remain calm and focused. Coordinate calendars and bills between the House and Senate and pass common sense, realistic immigration reform - one step at a time, if necessary. They must prove they can lead now.