Immigration

Sorry Conservatives, Obama is Not Acting Lawlessly on Immigration

|

Conservatives are united in their outrage over King President Obama's proclamation last week that he'll use his

King Obama
SS&SS / Foter / Creative Commons

executive authority to hand temporary legal status to unauthorized foreigners in legal limbo after Congress skipped town without doing anything on immigration reform. New York Times columnist Ross Douthat  accused Obama of "domestic Caesarism." Even folks who are generally sympathetic to more open border policies are troubled by Obama's unilateral rewriting of the nation's immigration laws through "selective enforcement," a pattern that began with Obamacare. If Obama can ignore the will of Congress that refused even to pass the Dream Act, can a Republican president simply decide that America's corporate taxes are too high and unilaterally slash them to make America more globally competitive without congressional authorization?

It is a powerful argument, till one gets into the bowels of immigration law where it becomes stinkingly clear that immigration is different. Unlike health care or tax law, on immigration Congress has made Obama Caesar, I suggest in the Washington Examiner this morning.

"The Immigration and Nationality Act and other laws are chock-full of huge grants of statutory authority to the president," notes Margaret Stock, a Republican immigration lawyer and member of the Federalist Society. "Congress gave the president all these powers, and now they are upset because he wants to use them."

Far from acting lawlessly, nothing Obama has proposed is outside his prosecutorial discretion. The real mystery is not why Obama is doing so much, but why he isn't doing more to offer relief to the victims of our insane immigration system.

Go here to read the whole Washington Examiner piece.

NEXT: Sheldon Richman on the US's Latest Misguided Effort at Subverting the Cuban Government

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Please tell me this is sarcasm.

    1. I hope so. Doubt it.

    2. Nope. I saw the headline and was puzzled, but then I saw the author and it makes perfect sense.

      The rule of law means nothing to Shikka when rule by laws can create open borderz.

  2. Classic.

  3. Oy gevalt!

  4. It’s not lawless. The president is doing the same thing with Obamacare! Other presidents have even done it!

    Yeah, not compelling.

  5. “The Immigration and Nationality Act and other laws are chock-full of huge grants of statutory authority to the president,” notes Margaret Stock, a Republican immigration lawyer and member of the Federalist Society. “Congress gave the president all these powers, and now they are upset because he wants to use them.”

    Please point to the clause in Article 1 Section 8 that gives Congress the power to delegate its authority to the Executive.

    1. Don’t bother dude, it’s Shikha town.

    2. Please point to the clause in Article 1 Section 8 that gives Congress the power to delegate its authority to the Executive.

      Please point to the clauses in Article 1 Section 8 that gives Congress the power to do 90% of the crap they have done over the decades.

      Dead letter at this point.

    3. Yeah, what Francisco said.

    4. The President should just pardon them all.

      1. How about a 24-free-for-all like those stupid Purge movies? Any that get in alive get to stay.

          1. I thought we were just tossing around really stupid ideas?

            1. What’s so stupid about a pardon? It’s a victimless crime, just like marijuana possession.

              1. The welfare state makes the taxpayers victims of illegal immigration. LA alone spends $650 million a year on welfare for illegals. This latest influx will cost many billions more.

        1. Let’s do it. Only everyone on Federal land is open game and Congress has to be in DC when the clock starts.

  6. Using the authority from an unconstitutional act is still unlawful.

  7. “Obama is not acting lawlessly”

    I’m not sure I’d agree with any headline that began with those 5 words.

    1. +1.

      Shikha’s just trolling.

  8. Unfortunately, it’s not hard to argue that most anything anybody in government does at anytime is perfectly legal. It just depends on what your definition of “is” is, and you can find any number of lawyers and Constitutional scholars to agree with your position.

    As I’ve said before, is there any example of any pundit opining on an upcoming Supreme Court decision who, having argued how clearly and obviously the decision must go in one way or the other and having had the decision go the other way, has offered the opinion that he was mistaken in his analysis and now clearly sees the error in his analysis and agrees that the Supreme Court was correct in ruling contrary to how the pundit had suggested they obviously must rule?

    I don’t think so, there’s no longer much argument that the Supreme Court is offering a nonpartisan, neutral, authoritative ruling on the merits of an argument – everybody accepts that they’re just making shit up as they go and as soon as we get a different Supreme Court they’ll reverse all the terrible rulings of the current Court.

  9. Sounds like some pretty serious business dude.

    http://www.AnonGalaxy.tk

  10. but why he isn’t doing more to offer relief to the victims of our insane immigration system.

    You mean, like those people who don’t have the good fortune of being born within spitting distance of our southern border and instead spend tens of thousands of dollars and wait years upon years just to get an entry visa, guest worker permit, and legal resident status?

    Oh, no you meant the hordes of potential fast food workers and aspiring TANF and SNAP recipients that aggregate along the southern border.

    1. If you have a point here, it’s hard to see.

      1. Try this:

        If anyone should be regarded as a victim our our stupid and broken system, its the ones who try to play by its rules. Not the ones who willing assume the risk of breaking its rules.

        1. Why can’t it be both?

          If you happen to agree with the general premise that it is immoral to restrict the movements of peaceable people, then both groups are victims.

          1. No, the people coming over here via the southern border aren’t victims of a broken American immigration system. They’re victims Central American political and economic system that is thoroughly fucked. And they’re beneficiaries of an insane immigration system that gives priority to those who defy the laws of the country they seek entry at the expense of those who navigate the throes of bureaucratic compliance.

            1. The president hasn’t yet said exactly what he’ll do, but some reports suggest that he might “defer action” against undocumented aliens who are parents of U.S. citizens or have held steady employment.

              Why do you assume that this kind of relief applies only to one category and not the other?

              1. Because one category is comprised almost entirely of undocumented immigrants while the other is comprised of individuals who filled out 18 different forms in triplicate, spent thousands of dollars, and waited years for their initial entry. The latter is far more motivated to ensure all the paperwork is up to snuff.

                1. That does not really answer my question. you’re assuming that the executive actions are only going to benefit one group and not another, but you have no real proof.

                  1. Because one group is comprised almost entirely of undocumented individuals (those who illegally cross the border) while the other group is comprised almost entirely of those who’ve invested considerable time and money into compliance in order to stay above the board.

                    I have trouble believing you’re this fucking dense and unable to decipher the plain meaning of words. You’re just being a smarmy douche.

                  2. you’re assuming that the executive actions are only going to benefit one group and not another

                    Perhaps because that is what his executive actions on immigration so far have done? And what he is telegraphing he will do again?

                    Show us an executive action benefiting those trying to be legal residents of this country, and we can talk. I’m not aware of any, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t out there.

          2. Libertarianz can haz moralz?

        2. This.

          I thought the phrasing rather transparent. But let me try rehashing it in words that are more appropriate for contemporary political discussion:

          “There are some who say that the real victims of the broken immigration system are those that follow the letter of the law, play by the rules, spend tremendous amounts of money and time waiting for their chance to enter America. But the real victims of the system are the ones who subvert the legal process and scamper over our southern border with a sense of entitlement. That’s what America’s all about.”

          1. I like how you just kinda make things up as you go. For example, “sense of entitlement”. Says who? Are you a mind reader now?

            As I said, both groups can be victims. A French dude who stays after his visa expires and a Guatamalen child are both victims of a system that says they are not allowed to be within these lines because we fucking say so.

            1. I don’t care about their sensibilities. Unfortunately, our idiotic laws and rules do do actually entitle them to all sorts of goodies.

              1. Like what? Please be specific.

                1. SNAP, TANF, Section 8, etc. etc. etc. ad infinitum.

                  1. Are we assuming they are fully legal aliens? Because illegal aliens are ineligible for all of those programs.

                    1. Because illegal aliens are ineligible for all of those programs

                      TANF benefits are doled out to the undocumented parents of anchor babies born in the U.S. Because the parents have no verifiable source of income due to working in the shadows or with your SS#, the govt shows here are three young American citizen children all living in a household with no income to speak of. So they cut a check for each child and issue a debit card that provides the family with food. All the while, the money earned cutting chickens at El Pollo Loco gets sent back down to Ciudad Juarez so the next in line can afford to pay off coyote and make it al norte and cash in on the same graft-riddled racket.

                2. Food, medical treatment, housing, possibly a nice bus ride to their new home. Then public education, after a few years they are in the system for all the welfare benefits.

                  1. If you have a quibble with food, medical treatment, and housing, I’ll get behind any push to privatize the provision of those services.

                    You have to take up public education with your state legislature.

                    All in all, I’d hardly call food, triage medical care and a bus ride, “goodies”, but you know, I’m not an Outrage Muppet about furriners.

                    1. “All in all, I’d hardly call food, triage medical care and a bus ride, ‘goodies'”

                      Odd, many folks here call those things “goodies” when the governments gives them to citizens. Why do illegal immigrants deserve free shit that citizens don’t?

                    2. Hahahaha. Triage medical care. Ya, that’s it. Ever been to emergency room? They ain’t showing up for triage care. They’re showing up for a stomach flu, at great cost to the citizen whose taxes are being diverted into such services and insurance costs are artificially elevated to account for the hospitals billing private parties 50% above market rates to account for the govt paying well below market rates. All the while, you sit in there bleeding profusely or suffering a ruptured appendix waiting 4 hours because the emergency room is inundated with a mass of humanity that is more reminiscent of a Oaxaca greyhound bus station than a sterile medical environs.

                    3. Hey Sudden. You’re a SoCal guy, right? Remember that the rest of the country is not experiencing what we are. If you live in New Castle, IN you don’t really understand the tide of humanity that is washing in to SoCal. It’s palpable.

                      No offense to Tone Police, but you really have to live here to understand the scope of this situation. There is a noticeable increase of Central American immigrants. And it ain’t necessarily making the neighborhood better.

                    4. Well, seeing how you aren’t an “Outrage Muppet” and all, I for one, am willing to meet you half way. Why don’t you send some honest third party broker your address and social security number, and we can send the bill for this piddling cost of “food, medical treatment, and housing” directly to you. I mean, after all, what’s the big deal with having to provide support to a few thousand kids. You’re a generous guy, aren’t you?

                3. Texas alone will spend $45mm, minimum, on education just for the current wave of illegals. Note: there is exactly zero offsetting tax revenue or economic activity – this is pure deadweight cost.

                  http://www.breitbart.com/Breit…..ign-Minors

                  Does that help?

  11. The real mystery is not why Obama is doing so much, but why he isn’t doing more to offer relief to the victims of our insane immigration system.

    Yeah, it’s a fucking enigma why anyone wouldn’t want to add a bunch of minor detached from parents with no skillsets (or even an understanding of English) to an already burdened welfare system indefinitely. Absolutely baffling why someone wouldn’t want to do that.

    Well, I guess it is a mystery with this President, but still.

  12. What this King grants, the next can take away.

  13. the victims of our insane immigration system

    Sorry, but this stinks of “coming to the nuisance.” The victims Shikha is crying about here made themselves victims by deciding to risk a crazily dangerous journey across another country entirely (Mexico) and then risk (or demand, take your pick) that we scoop them up and put them in camps.

    Is our immigration system stupid and broken? Sure. But charging headlong into a stupid and broken system doesn’t make you a victim.

    1. So here I wonder why it is that other Reasonistas get all shirty when a prosecutor goes after a hash brownie peddler. Do we believe in prosecutorial discretion or don’t we?

      1. I’d rather “believe” in drug legalization than half-ass implementation of our laws, but maybe that’s just me not wanting to being “discretioned” out of justice for areas of the law that are in fact valid.

        1. So in the interim, throw the book at them? I’m asking you directly.

          1. Yes. One of the reasons Prohibition ended much more quickly than the WoD has is because of the inconsistent application of the law, making it more likely for segments of the populace to not notice what our drug laws are and how they function.

          2. We are talking about sending people home, not prosecution and incarceration.

            If I show up on the Canadian border without a passport, a nice Mountie will “throw the book at me” by telling me to turn my car around and go away.

            1. This shows you do not know much about immigration law. you can be, in fact, prosecuted for illegal entry. It’s called due process.

              1. And the penalty for illegal entry without aggravating circumstances or other crimes is deportation.

            2. Moreover, if Rufus shows up at the Canadian/American border without a passport, the American Border Patrol will confiscate various and sundry items from him, possibly detain him for days on end, and send him back to Canada a broken and helpless man instead of allowing him the chance to spend a few days in the bucolic New Hampshire countryside.

              But God forbid you try and have some consistent practice at the southern border, you’ll be considered a vile racist worse than Hitler for not wanting to open the floodgates to people who aren’t looking for a bucolic weekend in New Hampshire but rather seek permenant residency, employment, and a generous portion of the public fisc.

              It’s absurdity.

              1. Nicely put, Sudden.

                1. Seconded.

      2. So here I wonder why it is that other Reasonistas get all shirty when a prosecutor goes after a hash brownie peddler.

        Perhaps there is a difference between someone who is trying to engage in voluntary transactions, and someone who is coming to this country in order to live off the public dole in some fashion for years? I am referring here, not to adults who come here to work, but to the illegal minors who cannot work and are destined to be a pure drain on the system.

      3. Oh dear. Tone Police has missed his morning enema again, hasn’t he?

      4. Maybe because our Constitution includes as a power of Congress:”To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization” while being completely silent on regulating what we put into our bodies.
        Or are you of the wing of the libertarian party that thinks the Constitution is too restrictive?

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.