If Obama's immigration actions are upheld, what's left of Congress?

Article author: 
Jon Feere
Article publisher: 
The Hill
Article date: 
8 June 2016
Article category: 
National News
Article Body: 

Congress may lose much of its authority over immigration this month.

For decades, the Supreme Court has held that authority over immigration is shared between the political branches — the legislative and the executive. But if the court sides with the Obama administration in United States v. Texas, that balance will forever be upset and Congress will find itself with little recourse. Put another way, if the White House wins, the voters will have greater difficultly shaping immigration policy through congressional elections, and petitioning Congress on immigration will serve little purpose.

There's a central reason why President Obama went around Congress and decreed his controversial Deferred Action programs: He couldn't get them through the legislative process because they are unpopular with the public ...The McCain-Kennedy bill went down in flames in 2007 and a few years later, the Schumer-Rubio bill was similarly defeated. The DREAM Act was also repeatedly introduced but repeatedly failed to gain traction ...

Congress has largely allowed the White House to enact immigration policies that the legislators themselves could never put into a bill, lest they be thrown out of office by angry constituents.

Obama is aware of this and decided to wait until shortly after the 2014 midterm election to announce his currently enjoined amnesty for illegal alien parents (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans, or DAPA) and his unilateral changing of the terms of his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) amnesty to expand it include even more people. He did not want legislators to have to defend such an unpopular plan, so he did them a favor and waited until after the votes were counted ...

Currently, big policy changes within administrative law must go through a notice-and-comment process which allows the public to provide feedback and presumably influence the policy before it goes into effect. (Congress created the Administrative Procedure Act decades ago to make sure that the White House would be responsive to the public.)

A key argument of the states suing the Obama administration is that DAPA and the extended DACA never went through this process ...

CAIRCO Research 

Timeline: How the Obama Administration Bypassed Congress to Dismantle Immigration Enforcement Senator Jeff Sessions, Breitbart, February 16, 2015

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Texas Federal Judge: US government assisting child smuggling Denver Post, December 19, 2013