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Three things that are illegal about Obama's immigration plan

Article author: 
Gregg Jarrett
Article publisher: 
Fox News
Article date: 
November 20, 2014
Article category: 
National News
High
Article Body: 

...If Obama ever finds himself in a court of law, he would surely be advised to invoke the Fifth Amendment. He is prone to contradiction and tends to be a good witness against himself...

Consider his self-incriminating statements on immigration and executive powers. A year ago, when asked if he had the authority to end deportations of illegal aliens he said, “Actually, I don’t.” Three years earlier, when pressed as to why he could not act on his own on immigration he said, “The notion that somehow I can just change the laws unilaterally is just not true.”

Well, now the president says it is true -- he can alter the laws unilaterally. Why the metamorphosis? What changed? The law and the Constitution are still the same. Which leaves Obama. When it comes to the truth, inconvenient or otherwise, he is a chameleon like no other politician...

President Obama’s favorite justification for his executive action is that “Congress failed to act.” No, Mr. President, Congress did not fail to act, it chose not to act in granting amnesty...

Now, however, by granting legal status to roughly half the nation’s population of illegal immigrants, Obama is twisting the law, ignoring the Constitution, and forsaking his primary responsibility as chief executive. For years, he argued publicly it would be unconstitutional for him to take such action because he said, “I’m president, I’m not king.” Apparently, he now favors a crown on his noggin. In truth, he is king of self-confutation, negating himself with his own words...

The president’s executive order to legalize illegals by nullifying existing law, constitutes a stunning abuse of office: usurping the power of Congress, while abdicating his duty to uphold and enforce the laws. Here are three ways this is happening:

 

1. Distorting Prosecutorial Discretion

President Obama claims he is entitled to overhaul immigration laws in the name of “prosecutorial discretion.” It is one of those wonderfully fungible phrases in the law. Elastic because it is vague and ambiguous. Useful because it can be easily abused. Mr. Obama has appropriated this doctrine to argue he has near boundless discretion to amend, revise, waive or suspend the execution of immigration laws. As chief executive, he is empowering himself to decide what laws may be enforced or ignored and what persons may come or go across our southern border irrespective of what the law actually states.

In past decisions, the U.S. Supreme Court has cautioned the executive branch that its prosecutorial discretion, while broad, is not “unfettered.” It is subject to restrictions. The doctrine may not be used to adopt a sweeping policy of non-enforcement of the law. It applies only to decisions not to prosecute or expel specific individuals or small groups of people, typically for exigent reasons like war, civil unrest or political persecution.

By contrast, President Obama is bestowing a wholesale, blanket amnesty for an entire class of nearly 5 million people. He is doing so not for the reasons allowed by law, but for purposes that appear to be purely political...

 

2. Usurping Legislative Authority

Our Constitution clearly delineates a separation of powers. Congress is vested with writing laws and the President is charged with executing those laws. This is especially true when it comes to immigration.

At the end of the 19th century, the Supreme Court declared that Congress had “plenary power” (meaning full and complete) to regulate immigration. Derived from Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution, the doctrine is based on the concept that immigration is a question of national sovereignty, relating to a nation’s right to define its own borders and restrict entrance therein. As the high court observed, “Over no conceivable subject is the legislative power of Congress more complete.”...

 

3. Breaching His Sworn Duty

President Obama’s decision that existing laws shall not be enforced against some 5 million illegal immigrants violates his sworn constitutional duty. Article II, Section 3 requires that the President “shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” Nowhere is it written that the chief executive is granted the latitude to pick and choose which laws he wants to enforce. He cannot ignore or nullify laws he does not like because the constitution gives him no power not to execute laws. To infer such latitude would invite an authoritarian rule anathema to our founding fathers’ vision. President Obama admitted as much when he said, “The fact of the matter is, there are laws on the books that I have to enforce.” He was specifically talking about immigration laws...

Men like Madison, Jefferson and Adams were keenly aware of the tyranny and corruption of authority concentrated in too few hands. They knew the thirst for power posed an existential danger to those who cherish freedom. Their genius was in crafting a sustaining document that would end the arrogance of one man rule and protect the inherent rights of all men. They knew that absolute power corrupts.

And they feared future presidents like Mr. Obama...