This week, the Supreme Court began oral arguments for United States v. Texas, the case that challenges President Obama’s 2014 executive amnesty program that granted “lawful presence” to four million aliens living here illegally.
Much has been made of this case, with Washington talking heads babbling on about “take care” clauses and mandatory language. But to me, this case is pretty simple:
No one is above the law. Including President Obama.
By granting legal stay to four million illegal aliens, the President acted as though he is.
Elementary school civics teaches our children that the legislative branch writes laws, while the executive enforces them. As Justice Kennedy said Monday, Obama’s actions have “the president setting the policy and the Congress executing it. That’s just upside down.” This statement from Justice Kennedy is spot on and alarming.
In a nutshell? Obama broke the law.
His amnesty program, the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Records (DAPA), usurps Congress’ rightful power over immigration rules and regulations. The President claims he has the power to do this because of “prosecutorial discretion,” but as a lawyer, he should know that this claim is an outrageous misrepresentation of a commonplace legal practice. For instance, a prosecutor can legitimately decide not to prosecute a street vendor who doesn’t hold a permit. But that same prosector cannot decide that, as a matter of policy, street vendors no longer need permits and then go ahead and create a separate area in the public sphere that allows them to sell their goods.
And that is exactly what President Obama has done. DAPA doesn’t just adjust how immigration law is enforced; it is a complete rewriting of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
Now it’s clear that the President doesn’t care for our immigration laws as written. Well, you know what? I don’t care for them either. That’s exactly why I included immigration policy in my Succeed or Leave pledge. But, my dislike of the current code does not give me the right to ignore it.
And it doesn’t give that right to President Obama either.