Obama Trashes Constitution

Obama immigration

Gary McCoy, Cagle Cartoons

Immigration: A Power Grab that Exacerbates the Problem

The President doesn’t seem to get the point that he must work with the government he has, not the government he wants. But despite Congress and the American people’s resistance to President Obama’s unilateral action—action the President himself said would ‘violate our laws’ and be ‘very difficult to defend legally’—the President has decided to go it alone yet again.

As President Obama himself said, ‘there are enough laws on the books by Congress that are very clear in terms of how we have to enforce our immigration system.’

We urge the President to listen to his own words. America is a country of laws, and our Constitution does not grant the President the authority to legalize millions of immigrants with the stroke of a pen.

Not only is this action wrong, it does absolutely nothing to solve the underlying problems of our open border and broken immigration system. In fact, it may exacerbate the problem.

The President’s action is a prime example of Washington cynicism. He has responded to Congress and the public’s desire for positive change with an all-or-nothing approach that only damages the prospect of future cooperation. He did not even attempt to start on the right foot and work with us in the new year.

While House Republicans will still work to do everything we can to move the country forward, it is our obligation and responsibility to fight this brazen power grab that doesn’t solve the real problems.

Majority Leader, United States Congress

This article was originally published on Fox and Hounds Daily

Obama Welcome Mat

Immigration ObamaRick McKee, The Augusta Chronicle

Obama poised to accelerate CA’s rolling amnesty

Many Americans across the country have expressed uncertainty or alarm about president Obama’s executive action on immigration, which he will announce today.

However, in California, where millions of illegal immigrants live, a semi-formal version of state-level amnesty has been gathering steam for years. Despite dogged opposition by Republican and Tea Party activists, Sacramento’s slow-motion legalization of the undocumented has paved the way for the White House’s planned moves to receive a much smoother reception than in other state capitols.

Still, the exact details of Obama’s intended actions remain murky, and even among libertarian-leaning immigration doves, his assertion of sweeping executive powers has hit against fierce criticism. Indeed, as the Washington Post noted, the president himself previously disavowed the constitutionality of what he may now have resolved to do — insisting he was “not a king” and could not “just suspend deportations through executive order.” Californians have not been immune to the sense of ambiguity surrounding Obama’s shifting immigration policy.

Apprehension and expectations

In an interview with the San Jose Mercury News, one illegal immigrant described his discomfort in emblematic terms. Ernesto Perez — a 44-year-old father of four who has spent 19 years residing illegally in the United States — told the paper, “Obama is the only hope we have right now. Because three of my kids live with me, I’m always afraid that I will be separated from them. They need me. We need each other.”

Perez’ long undocumented stay underscored just how lax California has been in prosecuting illegal immigration, and for how long. His personal uncertainty, however, confirmed what millions of legal and illegal residents have known about president Obama for years: his willingness to deport. Critics from the left, such as Bill Moyers, have slammed Obama for breaking records with over 2 million deportations during his time in office.

That’s why illegal immigrants in California have depended so much on the Golden State’s incremental approach to legalization. Through a battery of state laws and regulations, Sacramento has given undocumented residents several protective paths toward the kind of status that makes it harder to deport.

With taxpayer money, access has been opened to educational loans for college, legal representation in juvenile court proceedings, driver’s licenses and the practice of law without a Social Security number. The California Supreme Court ruled in January that Sergio Garcia, an illegal immigrant who duly passed the California Bar Examination, could not be prohibited by the state from practicing law; Gov. Jerry Brown authorized Garcia’s license soon thereafter.

A push from activists

California activists dedicated to full legalization have used the state’s legal landscape as a justification for pressing president Obama for sweeping changes. In a typical statement making the rounds, California Immigrant Policy Center director Reshma Shamasunder urged Obama “to move on executive action and end unjust deportations that have caused the separation of families, as quickly as possible. Given the stalling we’ve seen in Congress for so many years, we hope he is bold in his action and covers as many people as possible.”

As KQED reported, California’s rules helped swell the immigrant population to its current level, with about half of the children in state claiming an immigrant parent and one in four residents claiming foreign birth. Although legal immigrants have not pushed in a collective way for swift and full amnesty, Latino voters have consistently shown support for some kind of expanded “path toward citizenship,” as policymakers in both major political parties often put it.

For their part, Republicans have warned of consequences if Obama opts against enforcing the immigration laws on the books. Michael Steel, the spokesman for Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-OH, adopted the colorful language characteristic of today’s media relations officials, “If ‘Emperor Obama’ ignores the American people and announces an amnesty plan that he himself has said over and over again exceeds his Constitutional authority, he will cement his legacy of lawlessness and ruin the chances for congressional action on this issue — and many others.”

Rhetoric or reality? With the president’s announcement on amnesty coming tomorrow, the fireworks will begin in earnest. The new, Republican-dominated Senate is seated in January, added to continued GOP control of the House.

Obama is leaving office in two years due to term limits. So in the new year, jockeying to be his replacement will intensify in both the Republican and Democratic parties, with his amnesty possibly the top issue out of the starting gate.

This piece was originally published at CalWatchdog.com

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