Immigration

The DAPA Debacle Shows Obama Has Failed as a Unifier

The Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments today in the backdrop of a deeply divided country

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The Supreme Court today will hear oral arguments in United States vs. Texas, President Obama's DAPA (Deferred

King Obama
SS&SS/Foter/Creative Commons

Action for Parents of Americans) immigration executive order that would hand temporary legal status and driving licenses (that follow automatically as per statute*) to about four to five million undocumented parents of American children. The administration has some reason to be pessimistic about the outcome because the justices expanded the scope of their scrutiny beyond what even the 26 state attorney generals asked. The attorney generals, led by Texas, were simply claiming the administration played fast and loose with the Administrative Procedures Act to effectively write a new law. But the Supreme Court asked both sides to also submit briefs on how the order may affect the Take Care Clause of the constitution that requires the president to faithfully execute the laws of the land.

I have taken the position that the president's order is legal and constitutional because he has broad prosecutorial authority to set enforcement priorities on immigration law just as he does on criminal law, especially since the violations far overwhelm the resources available to prosecute them. But his opponents argue that the kind of systematic en masse relief that the president is offering without Congressional authorization is tantamount to writing laws by executive fiat.

We will see in June what the Supreme Court thinks but in the media, battle lines have already hardened along predictable partisan lines, sadly enough. The Wall Street Journal, which is second in none to its commitment on friendly immigration policies, nevertheless wrote an editorial this morning accusing the president of Caesarism. It writes:

The case implicates the Constitution's separation of powers and the basic precepts of self-government. The Anglo-American legal tradition began as the English rebelled in the late 1600s against the Stuart kings who claimed the power to suspend or dispense with laws passed by Parliament. The first two grievances against the Crown in America's Declaration of Independence concerned such "Abuses and Usurpations."

The Framers wrote Article II's Take Care clause to prevent the President from claiming the same lawmaking powers. The executive shall—not "may"—execute Congress's laws faithfully, in one of the Constitution's most specific instructions.

Congress has debated a more generous immigration policy during the Obama years, and all the while Mr. Obama insisted he couldn't act alone. "I am President. I am not king," he told Univision in 2014. "I can't do these things just by myself. We have a system of government that requires the Congress to work with the executive branch to make it happen."

But reform failed, and two weeks after the 2014 midterm election Mr. Obama decided he could act like a legislature: "I take executive action only when we have a serious problem, a serious issue, and Congress chooses to do nothing." He has no such authority.

Meanwhile, The New York Times' ran an oped by former senator Richard Luger defending the order. He writes:

But whether or not you like President Obama's actions, he has operated under longstanding provisions of law that give the executive branch discretion in enforcement. This presidential prerogative has been recognized explicitly by the Supreme Court. Moreover, the nature of immigration enforcement and the resources (or lack thereof) appropriated by Congress necessitate exactly the type of choices that the president has made.

Congress has repeatedly granted the executive branch broad power in enforcing immigration laws. The 2002 law creating the Department of Homeland Security explicitly said the executive should set "national immigration enforcement policies and priorities." The Supreme Court has recognized the leeway Congress gives the executive branch in deportations. In a 2012 majority opinion written by Justice Anthony M. Kennedy and joined by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., the court noted that "a principal feature of the removal system is the broad discretion exercised by immigration officials," including the decision "whether it makes sense to pursue removal at all."

Setting enforcement priorities is vital to the effectiveness of our immigration laws. Congress can't anticipate every situation. This is why the Supreme Court recognized in 1950 that immigration law is an area where "flexibility and the adaptation of the congressional policy to infinitely variable conditions constitute the essence of the program."

Libertarians, it seems to me, are the only honest brokers in this debate, thinking through the issues purely on the merit without regard to partisan politics, which is why they occupy both ends of the issue and everything in between. As I noted, I think the president is acting within his authority. Among the libertarians who agree with me are WaPo's Volokh Conspiracy's Ilya Somin and Jonathan Adler; among those who are torn is Randy Barnett; and among those squarely against the president is Cato Institute's Ilya Shapiro.

I'm umpiring a battle of the Ilyas this Thursday on the order when Shapiro and Somin will hopefully tear each other to shreds. Go here to see more details of the event.

But regardless of whether the president eventually wins or loses in court, he is a massive failure on his own terms. He assumed office thunderously promising to unite the country. Remember his: "There is no white America, there is no black America, there is no red America, there is no blue America, there is only the United States of America."

But seven years later, he hasn't even been able to unite libertarians. Splintering them on an issue on which they are largely on his side and on which they have no partisan axe to grind takes hard work and somehow he managed that. He may or may not be Caesar, but he is definitely no Nelson Mandela.

My piece on why Scalia may have ruled in the administration's favor here and another one examining the legal merits of Obama's order.

* The paranthetical part was added

NEXT: 'Keep in mind Hillary Clinton ran against Barack Obama's sentencing reform in 2008'

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  1. I have taken the position that the president’s order is legal and constitutional because he has broad prosecutorial authority to set enforcement priorities on immigration law just as he does on criminal law…

    Because creating the requirement out of thin air to grant drivers licenses is a question of enforcement priorities.

    Either you haven’t thought through your rationale or that’s not really your rationale.

    1. Right. There’s a difference between nonenforcement and granting privileges.

    2. So, if he gets rid of the DL “provision”, you’d have no problem with it?

      1. Nope. This:

        would hand temporary legal status

        Is not prosecutorial discretion, which is limited to whether or not to prosecute.

        Its the difference between a cop giving you a warning for not having a driver’s license, and giving you a driver’s license. Two different things.

      2. Well, there’s also the granting of temporary legal status that goes far beyond exercise prosecutorial discretion.

        Additionally, apart from my previously just responding to the justifications made in the piece, a blanket “I’m not going to enforce this law” goes beyond prosecutorial discretion and into executive nullification of laws. Now, where the line is in determining whether “enough” prosecutions have taken place that a colorable argument that the law is being enforced is non-trivial but “I won’t enforce it” is fairly clear.

        1. Okay…so to the both of you. No legal status, no DL…

          You good?

          (And I’m still not sure what the thing is with the DL. As far as I am aware, there is no federal DL. That’s up to the states, anyway.)

          Congress passes unfunded mandates all the time. Not enough money in the world to comply with the law. Prioritizing the money available is not only prudent, but necessary. Otherwise, you’re just chasing your tail with inadequate resourses.

          If he gets rid of the legal status and DL, it’s a sound argument. But, yes, clearly an end-run.

          1. If its purely a directive not to prosecute, then at least he’s in the ballpark of prosecutorial discretion.

            It does leave an interesting question, though, about when an announced policy of non-enforcement becomes akin to a post facto veto of the law.

            1. Maybe the executive should have such a power?

              It’s a can of worms, I agree.

              My opinion on laws is, if it’s so godawful important that a law is needed, it shouldn’t be too terribly difficult to get 75 or even 90% approval of Congress. If a very large majority of the population doesn’t think the law is good/needed, it probably shouldn’t ever be passed into law as everyone will be forced to live under it.

              1. No. Executive executes. Such a power would be legislation. We sure as hell don’t need a stronger executive.

                Along the lines of your last paragraph, though, it might be nice if the SCOTUS had to agree unanimously that the exercise of power by the government or the limiting of state/individual freedom is Constitutional. If the SCOTUS can’t agree, the default should be to restrict federal power.

                1. If the SCOTUS can’t agree, the default should be to restrict federal power.

                  Interesting thought.

                  *takes note for new constitution*

                2. I’m of the opinion that giving each branch expanded authority to say ‘no’ has little downside.

                  But only ‘no’.

                  But then I’d also change the SC’s role to the branch of no. That’d be their job – find a reason to tell the other branches why they can’t do something. Unlike the way they seem to see their purpose now which is to find a justification for everything the other two branches want to do.

              2. if it’s so godawful important that a law is needed, it shouldn’t be too terribly difficult to get 75 or even 90% approval of Congress.

                That’s why tax reform will be happening next year.

              3. Except when the “discretion” benefits members of congress is some way – like increasing the political power of approximately 50% of congress.

            2. I’d be fine with explicitly granting unlimited ex post facto veto power, applicable at all times to any law.

              It can never be too hard to pass new laws, nor too easy to eliminate old ones.

          2. Philosophically or practically?

            As a philosophical matter, refusing to enforce an entire field of cases isn’t prosecutorial discretion; it’s nullification. That’s problematic for me. Now, “we’re not going to deport parents of citizens if the parents have a history of employment” or whatever would be more like a defensible exercise of discretion than would a blanket refusal to prosecute at all.

            As a practical matter, cutting out the granting of benefits and limiting the order simply to which cases to prosecute would probably be sufficient to make the order pass muster, though I haven’t read every word of it. I don’t know that I’d love that, either, but it’s probably not feasible to try to micromanage that.

            1. I would say that if he had done that he could have achieved his stated goal and done so in a way that wouldn’t have horrible repercussions.

              But that’s not how these people roll. Its not ‘do it with a light touch’, its ‘what’s the point of power if you can’t do what you want DOWHATISAYIAMTHEKING!’

    3. Because creating the requirement out of thin air to grant drivers licenses is a question of enforcement priorities.

      Yeah, if the Executive Order was simply telling the INS not to waste resources on deporting illegal immigrants with American born children, that would be one thing, but requiring states to give them driver’s licenses is another thing entirely. I really don’t see how that falls within executive authority.

      1. How else can they get to the polls to vote for Democrats? That’s what this really is all about, Obama is pandering to some new D votes, there’s no other intention from him, other than that. Anyone who thinks he actually cares about these people is a moron.

        1. As much of a moron as Shikha, for even entertaining the idea that 0blama wanted to be a unifier?
          “Divide and conquer” is the unofficial motto of the progressive.

      2. but requiring states to give them driver’s licenses is another thing entirely.

        What does the provision actually say?

        Is it requiring states issue a DL or does it simply say the state won’t be punished at the federal level if it does?

        Makes a difference with the argument being presented.

        1. It basically gives the aliens in question “lawful presence”, which among many other things, allows them to apply for work permits, drivers licenses and many federal and state benefits. So yes, it amounts to de facto legalization that is far contrary to what immigration law provides for.

        2. States could never have been punished at the federal level for issuing licenses to illegals.

          1. About 12 jurisdictions already issue driving privileges to all undocumented who qualify, including California and Utah.

      3. Hell, I don’t even see how that falls into Federal authority.

    4. It’s not really Dipshit’s rationale.

  2. Mike Lee has taken the position that the President does not make the law and that we still live in a Constitutional Republic. He’s an optimistic guy.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/…..ion-policy

    1. He’s an optimistic guy naive.

      We haven’t lived in a true Constitutional Republic in a long while.

      1. We do actually live in a representative republic. They get elected and then represent their crony donors.

  3. How do you write a story about DAPA and never use the word “illegal”?

    Oh, yeah. Because facts don’t matter and neither does the law as written.

    Hey, I get it. I know reason is open borders. But selective enforcement of laws puts us in the position where laws don’t matter. Especially when we have an executive branch that believes it can kill American citizens that have not been charged with a crime.

    1. Selective enforcement is an inherent feature of legal systems, and written laws don’t matter near as much as the will and creativity of cops and prosecutors to nail people they want to nail.

      Since the government can’t possibly enforce every violation of every law, I would much rather see them ignore nonviolent violations like immigration laws.

      1. Of course they can’t enforce every violation of the law, but I’m talking about wholesale ignoring of entire sections of our immigration law. That’s not falling short of prosecuting every violation. It’s a blatant disregard for laws the executive doesn’t like that were legally passed by a separate and equal branch as well as upheld by the third equal branch.

        This should be criminal negligence since its deliberate. You don’t like entire sections of the law, then lobby for the legislature to change them. Ignoring them changes us from a nation that respects the rule of law and the process laws are enacted with and replaces it with the rule of man.

        1. So…

          If you can’t possibly enforce all the laws (a commentary on our police state), would you say that it makes sense to ignore the immoral ones?

          I’ll ask you the same question I asked Cyto below:

          How do you feel about the feds not enforcing federal pot laws in CO?

          1. I want all laws enforced as written and I want the funds necessary to enforce them to be used.

            Maybe then we’d see the fuckheads in charge not writing idiotic laws in the first place. Idiotic laws, by the way, that can be selectively enforced for political gain, to punish people that have offended or embarrassed them or to punish groups of people that oppose their personal beliefs.

            Laws are laws. They should ALL be enforced with equal vigor. That’s how you put an end to the immoral ones, sunlight/disinfectment and all that.

            1. Of course, there is no legal authority under the constitution for the existence of federal pot laws in the first place.

              1. I would tend to agree.

            2. So, I interpret your reply to mean that the feds should move in and shut down all state-legal MJ sales?

              If so, you’re being consistent.

              Tulpa, but consistent. 😉

              1. How am I being Tulpa? I want the laws enforced so the people will demand those laws be stricken from the books. That way we accomplish what we want and the state doesn’t have a bunch of laws they can arbitrarily use to keep people under their thumb.

                Look at the MJ laws in California. The Feds say they will not enforce them, but they still do from time to time SELECTIVELY so they can punish people they think aren’t paying the full amount of taxes on it. Do you think that is a good policy because they aren’t fully enriching the law?

                1. Laws are laws. They should ALL be enforced with equal vigor.

                  Sounds like a Law and Order libertarian to me. 😉

                  I’m fucking with you Sloop. I get your point. IMHO, there need to be about 4 laws.

                  1. You man not commit murder
                  2. You man not commit fraud
                  3. You may not steal
                  4. You may not assault others

                  Everything else is simply an attempt to accumulate power.

            3. During the LPTexas convention, Gary Johnson recounted one of his last vetoes as governor of New Mexico. The state legislature passed an act mandating that all pet store owners walk dogs in inventory at least three times a week. Johnson acknowledged that this would be good for the dogs, and that pet store owners ought to do something like this. However, he vetoed it because he understood that, if it became law, the government would have to establish pet store police and pet store regulators.

            4. I agree with Sloopy. Ignoring a law may seem like the right thing to do in the short-term, but the real right thing to do is enforce it as written of have it taken off the books. Otherwise it provides enough wiggle-room for selective enforcement by bad actors wielding authority – a much worse result.

          2. would you say that it makes sense to ignore the immoral ones?

            If we could trust that these laws would never, ever be enforced against a single person, maybe.

            But we know that “prosecutorial discretion” is just a polite way to say “selective enforcement”, so its hard for me to see it as a source of Good Things. They will be enforced against somebody, out in the real world, and the reasons for enforcing it against this guy, but not that guy, will not consistently be good reasons.

            1. Not to mention the “parents of an American citizen” and “has a job” provisions.

              That is certainly not “equal protection under the law”.

          3. The issue is you either have rule of law, or you don’t. Trying to play the “we’re not enforcing an immoral law” card is ridiculous because morality changes like the wind.

            If the law is a bad law, there are procedures in place to repeal, replace, or amend that law.

    2. Ironic that the sudden claim was made that they no longer had the resources to enforce these laws, but had plenty to go after states that wanted to relieve them of that burden.

  4. I’d buy the “prosecutorial authority to set enforcement priorities on [fill in the Law]” defense if it wasn’t for the sheer scale of the implicit amnesty. The half-hearted enforcement of immigration law means that we have no choice to grant a half-assed amnesty.
    This is supposed to make those illegal aliens feel safer?

    1. The pertinent part of the Constitution says that the president “shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.”
      The key word being “faithfully”.
      Claiming it is about “discretion” when any sentient person knows it is about granting a form of amnesty is not being faithful – it is more like being mendacious, in the extreme.
      That fact, alone, should make this executive action completely in violation of his Constitutional duties.

  5. attorney generals

    Do you want people to hate you, Shikha?

    1. Yes.

    2. Too late for her to worry about something like that.

  6. Among the libertarians who agree with me are WaPo’s Volokh Conspiracy’s Ilya Somin and Jonathan Adler; among those who are torn is Randy Barnett; and among those squarely against the president is Cato Institute’s Ilya Shapiro.

    So the Ilyas are split.

  7. I have taken the position that the president’s order is legal and constitutional because he has broad prosecutorial authority to set enforcement priorities on immigration law

    Which would mean that he has the ability to tell INS not to prosecute. Non-prosecution does not involve issuing any paperwork, such as temporary legal status or driver’s licenses). That’s where he went over the line.

    How do you write a story about DAPA and never use the word “illegal”?

    Because “illegal” is othering? Because they identify as legal residents?

    It is kind of weird, though, to claim that the President can direct prosecutorial discretion, without ever noting why prosecution is even on the table in the first place, much less the core executive function that justifies taking these steps.

  8. I have taken the position that the president’s order is legal and constitutional because he has broad prosecutorial authority to set enforcement priorities on immigration law just as he does on criminal law, especially since the violations far overwhelm the resources available to prosecute them.

    This might comport with current case law, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t just flat out wrong.

    Deciding where to set your priorities on enforcement is fundamentally different from saying “we are not going to enforce this law”. And simply deciding not to enforce a law is another level removed from declaring people legal residents and giving them licenses in direct opposition to the law.

    1. Deciding where to set your priorities on enforcement is fundamentally different from saying “we are not going to enforce this law”.

      How do you feel about the feds not enforcing federal pot laws in CO et al?

      1. A true counterexample would be the feds refusing to enforce pot laws nationwide.

        When it comes to states that have legalized pot, there can be a different rationale (other than prosecutorial discretion), although I don’t know if anyone in DC is smart enough or cares enough to make it. Basically, there is precedent for the feds to step out of enforcing a federal law in a given state based on that state’s laws.

        The one I am familiar with is radiation licensing and radioactive materials management. This has effectively been delegated to the states in many states.

        But, you will also note that the administration has taken exactly the opposite position on immigration law, namely, states are not allowed to base any state-level enforcement on immigration status.

      2. I think all this “will he / won’t he” on law enforcement is a problem.

        For drug law, he has the full authority to schedule Marijuana however he likes. Yet for some reason he’s keeping it illegal and deciding later to only prosecute when he feels like it. Not a very stable or predictable system. Much better to do thing the right way.

        The same goes for immigration reform. I’m on the “we need more legal immigration” side of the immigration debate. You know, the one that apparently has 250 libertarians nationwide. Everyone else seems to be on the side of “let people sneak in so we can keep an underclass in low wage jobs”. The Dems seem to want to tack on “and let’s let them vote, or at least count them in the census so we can get more power for team Blue”, but they both seem far more concerned with trolling their base than actually helping real people.

        If we allowed in a level of legal immigration that is comparable to the current illegal immigration, we’d be just fine. But we keep those visas close to the vest so we end up with tens of millions of people coming illegally. Yeah, that’s brilliant.

        It is pretty closely related to the drug trade…. with prohibition we have drugs available everywhere in an unlicensed and unregulated market. Without prohibition we’d have drugs available everywhere in a licensed and regulated market. Yeah, the way we are currently doing it is sooo much better. It achieves none of it’s goals, but has all of the costs. We suck.

        1. “I’m on the “we need more legal immigration” side of the immigration debate.”
          ‘Everyone else seems to be on the side of “let people sneak in so we can keep an underclass in low wage jobs”‘
          Wait. What?
          I think there is a rather large number that wants neither. That, while we have millions of Americans not employed or under-employed, we should allow neither unlimited legal, and definitely no illegal, immigration, just as the laws currently state.
          If Cyto and the 250 libertarians, plus “everyone else” wanted what he claims, then Congress would change the existing laws – BUT THEY DON’T. Ever wonder why?

  9. But seven years later, he hasn’t even been able to unite libertarians

    To be fair, neither has anyone else.

    1. I thought he had united us…in our hatred for him based on his abandonment of the 4A and 1A alone.

      1. Not to mention his open hostility towards the 2nd.

    2. I disagree.

  10. I have taken the position that the president’s order is legal and constitutional because he has broad prosecutorial authority to set enforcement priorities on immigration law just as he does on criminal law, especially since the violations far overwhelm the resources available to prosecute them.

    I’ll be sure to remember this nugget of idiocy when property crimes get out of control or when assaults spike.

    1. Hell, apply it to income tax violations. Maybe the next R President, if there is another one, sets the IRS’s enforcement priorities to New York City, Chicago, LA, etc. because, say, those are high-income areas and more is at stake per return.

      1. Why do you hate women and minorities most, NEM?

        1. Because he’s really an Irish puppet?

      2. Brilliant !

    2. especially since the violations far overwhelm the resources available to prosecute them.

      You beat me to it. sloopy.

      Enforcing immigration law is right up there with enforcing texting-while-driving law.

    3. What I want to know is what sudden occurrence came about that required this sudden concern about resources?
      Did Congress just cut the existing funding for the types of deportations that he blanket granted “discretion” over?
      Could the fact that there was no change, that precipitated the alteration in policy, be proof that he is lying about it being “prosecutorial discretion” and is, thus not “faithfully” seeing that the laws are executed?
      Seem pretty “faithless”, to me.

  11. I wonder, if the next President were to “set prosecution priorities” for, say, banks, by (a) immunizing certain banks against past fraud, (b) legalizing future fraud by those banks, and (c) issuing licenses to those banks to commit fraud, whether Shikha would regard that as an appropriate exercise of “prosecutorial discretion”.

  12. The Constitution only limits government when the other team is in power. When the right team is in power it is an impediment to getting things done.

  13. So why go through a draconian immigration process when you can just walk in and get handed legal status and a driver’s license? We only have a drivers license exchange with a select few countries. I know one is South Korea, can’t remember the others, but Mexico wasn’t one of them. So even most legal immigrants have to start from the ground up to get a driver’s license. That means proving residence in the state, taking tests and all those sort of things.

    Sounds like being here illegally is the smart way to go.

    1. My brother has been waiting in line for several years for an immigrant visa.

      If Obama wins this case, it would have been smarter for my brother to send his teenage daughter here illegally several years ago, and she (and her parents) would become eligible for work permits and de facto legalization.

  14. “I take executive action only when we have a serious problem, a serious issue, and Congress chooses to do nothing.”

    Dear Mr. President; Congress refusing to pass a law you want isn’t “doing nothing,” it’s “Congress refusing to pass a law you want because Congress doesn’t want you to do that thing.”

    A Constitutional Scholar should know the difference.

    1. I’m really surprised he hasn’t tried to eliminate the 2nd amendment through executive order, with that type of thinking. We all know he wants to.

      1. He’s got a few months left, don’t give him any ideas.

      2. You mean the constitution, right? After all, he has a pen and a phone. The constitution means squat compared to THAT.

    2. A Constitutional Scholar does know the difference.

    3. Let’s expand this issue to other scenarios in life.

      You see an attractive woman on the street and it causes you a serious problem, a serious issue.

      You walk up to her and proposition her to have sex with you. She refuses.

      Since she has chosen to do nothing, you take executive action and have sex with her anyway.

  15. You know who else failed as a unifier?

    1. STEVE SMITH?

      1. WRONG. STEVE SMITH UNIFIED ALL HIPSTERS INTO CARRYING PEPPER SPRAY. PEPPER SPRAY IS GREAT SEASONING FOR HIPSTER FLESH.

    2. The League Of Nations?

    3. Howard Georgi?

    4. Bobby Valentine?

    5. Petro Poroshenko?

    6. Billy Martin?

    7. Nelson Muntz?

    8. Most marriage counselors?

    9. Martin Luther?

  16. A good reason to get rid of birthright citizenship.

  17. The DAPA Debacle Shows Obama Has Failed as a Unifier

    You are right. Obama Failed as a Unifier. Jesus Christ would had failed in America to try the unify the Racist with the rest of America.

    1. Most of the race baiting over the last eight years has been coming from the left. But I bet you already knew that.

      1. Yes, the blacks and latinos have been the race problems along in America for eight years and we’ve been causing the problems.

        1. Oh, I forgot, in progderp land only whitey can be racist. What a dishonest load of horse shit.

          1. Black people in this country had 100s of years to learn how to be racist from people with similar views like yours.

            1. Nice to see confirmation that you are so stupid you can’t even comprehend the meaning of simple sentences, or manage to understand and address the actual point. Dumbass.

        2. Do all lives matter?

          Just asking, you know, for a friend.

        3. Yes, the blacks and latinos have been the race problems along in America for eight years and we’ve been causing the problems.

          No, the main problem are progressive race baiters of all races who have been fomenting racial resentment in blacks and latinos towards whites to justify the political loot they deliver to blacks and latinos in exchange for their votes.

          1. A thousand times, this.

      2. If fact, those dirty black people have been race baiting since slavery and Jim Crow. If only they gripped on to the free market.

        1. Actually most of the racism has been from white orogressives. Although some has actually come from minority groups. Most f,them don’t like each other very much.

        2. Jim Crow was eight years ago? Go back and try reading for comprehension, moron.

      3. Most of the race baiting over the last eight fifty years has been coming from the left. But I bet you already knew that.

  18. It was pretty clear Obama wasn’t a unifier seven years ago.

    1. There’s no way a black-guy can be a unifier.

      I don’t believe there’s a desire in America for Unification by certain people.

      1. Why would the orogressives ever want to unifying anyone? They prosper through hatred and division. That’s why everything is about race or who people like to fuck. The masses are easier to manipulate if everyone is focused on identity politics.

        1. It really is all projection with the left, isn’t it?

        2. Divide and conquer.

      2. There’s no way a black-guy can be a unifier.

        Man, talk about racist.

        1. It’s just not possible.

          Look at the followers of Trump. They are not a small group of people. They are about 45% of the republican party.

          It is simply not possible in this country.

          If Jesus Christ were to show up he’d be called a nigger-lover and re-crucified.

          1. Ummm… Jesus IS black you racist!

      3. Really? A black guy couldn’t be a unifier?

        How about this idea: When a racially charged incident occurs, the black guy comes out and takes a stand for unity. Like when a latino shoots a black kid, don’t come out and say “that could have been my kid” and strongly imply that it was a murder by a racist. A unifier who decided to jump into that fray could have said “look, I know what it is like to be targeted because of race. But this is not a case of racism. You need to chill the heck out.”

        Or when your buddy freaks out at the cop who was called to investigate a break-in (turns out your buddy was breaking in to his own house), don’t call the cop a racist. Tell your buddy to chill the heck out.

        When a racially charged incident occurs, only a black guy could be a uniter.

        Or when you want to pass a major new healthcare law that will fundamentally change the way a major portion of the economy works, don’t say “elections have consequences” and then refuse to consult with the opposition party in any way. And then after everything is decided, don’t call them up to the White House for a dog and pony show that has absolutely nothing to do with the legislation that has already been crafted.

        If you really wanted to be a uniter, you’d …. well, uh…. try to unite somebody. I really can’t recall a single incident of this president sincerely reaching out to anybody. In fact, he rarely misses an opportunity to be a divider.

        1. Right, if you asked an Obama supporter to list instances of his unifying speeches, they’d all either be completely generic or they’d be instances of the classic “we can all agree that I’m right and you’re wrong” unifying.

    2. But he fooled a bunch of cosmotarians.

  19. I have taken the position that the president’s order is legal and constitutional because he has broad prosecutorial authority to set enforcement priorities on immigration law just as he does on criminal law, especially since the violations far overwhelm the resources available to prosecute them.

    If this is indeed the case, why not dispense with the pretense of “rule of law”. The “broad prosecutorial authority” effectively makes it a case of rule of a man, particularly the man who has such broad authority.

    1. That’s the fundamental objection to “prosecutorial discretion”. It takes “law” out of the equation, and replaces it with “man”.

      Its funny. The response, naturally, to “we have so many laws we can’t enforce them all” isn’t “so we better repeal some”. Nope. Its “so we have to give somebody more arbitrary power”.

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  21. immigration executive order that would hand temporary legal status and driving licenses (that follow automatically as per statute*)

    But reform failed, and two weeks after the 2014 midterm election Mr. Obama decided he could act like a legislature: “I take executive action only when we have a serious problem, a serious issue, and Congress chooses to do nothing.” He has no such authority.

    But whether or not you like President Obama’s actions, he has operated under longstanding provisions of law that give the executive branch discretion in enforcement.

    I am pretty pro-immigration – far more so than the average commenter here, BUT . . .

    Setting law enforcement priorities to put illegal immigration at the bottom of the list simply means NO ENFORCEMENT. It doesn’t mean the president can make something ‘temporarily legal’. This is where he oversteps (IMO) his authority. There’s a yoooooge difference between saying ‘hey, don’t spend any time chasing illegals’ and ‘hey, give them a temporary residency permit’. One’s within his authority, one’s not.

    1. Separately – I don’t understand how any of this gets these people a driver’s license as DL’s are *state* functions, not federal. If a state doesn’t wish to issue a license to someone with a temporary residency permit, that’s their business. After all, if its allowed to restrict a *legal* immigrants right to self-defense then I’d think DL issuing would also be able to be restricted.

  22. We are no longer a nation OF laws, that’s a given. All we’re arguing about is how much we have to pay for more Federal unfunded mandates.

  23. The Supreme Court today will hear oral arguments in United States vs. Texas, President Obama’s DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans) immigration executive order that would hand temporary legal status and driving licenses (that follow automatically as per statute*) to about four to five million undocumented parents of American children.

    Anchor babies in action.

    1. Really turns the anchor line into a chain, doesn’t it?

  24. Libertarians as the honest brokers? Let’s see them broker something. You know, like broker to get a bill passed and be accountable? Stand for a meaningful election? I’m sure Gary Johnson can leverage his 1% into something meaningful.

  25. The government already prioritizes deportations. Felons get higher priority. But if people want to enforce equally and not classify people I suppose we could make it all random.

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  28. I have taken the position that the president’s order is legal and constitutional because he has broad prosecutorial authority to set enforcement priorities on immigration law just as he does on criminal law, especially since the violations far overwhelm the resources available to prosecute them

    Sure, the president has the authority to refrain from pursuing people who are illegally in this country, but I fail to see how that non-action can’t have the positive effect of making their presence in this country legal.

    1. *can* have the positive effect . . .

      (Reason really needs to get an edit function)

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