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Show once again his utter disdain for the people and their representatives in Congress, President Obama once again issued executive orders that effectively grant amnesty to illegal aliens in this country. How did he do it this time? By telling Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) to stop following immigration laws if the illegal alien can allege that he or she is the primary provider for a child, legally here or not, or is the parent or guardian of a child who has U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status.
Lest anyone need reminding, under the Constitution, the President is tasked with enforcing the laws, not with ordering his subordinates to disobey them. House Judiciary Committee chairman Bob Goodlatte (R, Va.) spoke for all law-abiding Americans when he rebuked the president for his unconstitutional conduct:
President Obama has once again abused his authority and unilaterally refused to enforce our current immigration laws by directing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to stop removing broad categories of unlawful immigrants.
Obama is not stupid, and he knows that he lacks constitutional authority simply to overturn America’s immigration laws. What he’s done, instead, is to issue incremental executive orders disabling ICE from enforcing our laws. Heritage.org explains:
In June of last year, the Obama Administration’s Department of Homeland Security issued a memorandum telling U.S. immigration officials how they should “enforce the Nation’s immigration laws against certain young people who were brought to this country as children and know only this country as home.” The move essentially served to implement major portions of the DREAM Act—which has been introduced and failed in Congress more than 30 times—by executive fiat.
Americans are a compassionate people, and they are not unaware of the fact that the increasingly lax enforcement of immigration laws over the last decades has resulted in children who were raised entirely in America, but who are nevertheless illegally here because their parents are illegally here. It’s a problem that should be addressed as humanely as possible.
Having said that, the method for addressing the problem is to amend the law. There is no authority whatsoever for the president of the United States to ignore laws with which he doesn’t agree. The Heritage Foundation has a suggestion for what could be done instead:
A proper solution would uphold the principles of immigration reform and not open the door to a blanket amnesty. Finding an actual solution through the legislative process would give the law legitimacy and more permanency, and it might even result in a bipartisan agreement.… In our system of government, Congress is the legislative branch and is responsible for making the laws. Presidents are supposed to “faithfully execute” the laws to the best of their ability, not reshape them to suit their own policy goals.