Editorial: Obama was right the first time

His order creating “dreamers” damages the system immigrants come for

They were brought here illegally. The former president legalized them unconstitutionally.

 

Yet now the media are “live screaming” that it’s somehow mean for the current administration to seek a lawful fix for the “dreamer” mess it was handed.

First, let’s agree to examine the facts, not the emotion-crazed hysteria.

President Obama used an executive order in 2012 to unilaterally change immigration law when he exempted from deportation those who’d been brought to the U.S. as minors.

The “law” he imposed is called DACA – Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

Notice, if you will, the first word: “Deferred.” It’s temporary – in this case, two-year renewable residency and work permits. By its very name, DACA was kicking this can down the road.

It was also of constitutional question. Remember: A similar Obama program shielding the illegal alien parents of citizens or lawful permanent residents – DAPA – was struck down by an appeals court.

That ruling “keeps in place what we have maintained from the very start: One person, even a president, cannot unilaterally change the law,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said at the time. “This is a major setback to President Obama’s attempts to expand executive power, and a victory for those who believe in the separation of powers and the rule of law.”

This is not a small point. The Constitution’s Separation of Powers is a vital principle that runs to the core of American self-governance. Since we are a nation of laws, not men, no one man can rule by whim or fiat. That’s what the American Revolution was all about.

“In ordering this blanket exception,” U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Tuesday, “President Obama was nullifying part of a law that he simply disagreed with. … If a president can claim sweeping discretion to suspend key federal laws, the entire legislative process becomes little more than a pretense.”

In other words, our nation of laws becomes something like the unpredictable, capricious, despotic rule of man that many immigrants themselves are fleeing.

If you think these are right-wing talking points, think again. President Obama himself said in 2010 that “I am president. I am not king. I can’t do these things just by myself.”

In 2011, Obama said, “With respect to the notion that I can just suspend deportations through executive order, that’s just not the case, because there are laws on the books that Congress has passed …”

Yet, just a year later – when he faced a serious re-election challenge – he took it upon himself to do just that.

President Trump is doing the right thing, humanely: phasing out the illegal program over six months, while not deporting one soul in the program or in its pipeline. This gives Congress ample opportunity to create a program for the children of illegals if it wishes.

That’s how our system is supposed to work.

It’s the system that was the very beacon that brought immigrants here. To override our system of laws in order to keep them here is to destroy the very thing they sought.

 

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