By Major General Jerry Curry, USA (Ret.)
The long range consequences of the Obama administration’s decision to stop deporting young illegal immigrants may be very different from what the White House hopes. Clearly this was a political presidential election ploy directed toward energizing Obama’s Hispanic base and getting out the Hispanic vote in November.
On the surface it appears that Obama, after enduring a couple of tough political campaign weeks panicked, over-reached, and deliberately misinterpreted the law for his own political gain. For years his administration has maintained that immigration policy could not be set without the Congressional approval and support that he has now decided to cast aside.
For three and a half years, Obama has failed to introduce legislation that would have provided a long term solution to the illegal immigration problem rampant on our southern border. He has made no effort to try to get Congress to agree to an immigration policy that would grant legal status to these illegal immigrants. Now, at the last minute, he makes up for his laziness and failure to act by illegally invoking executive privilege. Or perhaps it just slips too easily into Obama’s cesspool where he stores his playing the politics of racial blame and hatred cards.
This is not something he does only when faced with a crisis. There is no crisis here. Everyone assumed the subject would lie dormant through the election, and then be trotted out for theatrical effect early next term. But not satisfied with a decent and reasonable resolution of the problem, Obama has deliberately drug it out into the open and thrown it into the pen with the rabid dogs for mauling. This is the way he often handles problems, by invoking last minute executive privilege rather than allowing them to follow the tortuous path of a rule of law resolution.
Over the past three years he has repeatedly demonstrated that he and his Attorney General, Eric Holder, have little respect or regard for the rule of law or its processes. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith sums it up this way, “President Obama and his administration once again have put partisan politics and illegal immigrants ahead of the rule of law and the American people.”
But there is much more at stake for the Democrat Party this election year than just navigating its way through Obama’s quicksand of intransigence and obduracy. If Democrat Party leaders and members keep allowing Obama to freely trample over Congress and its rights and prerogatives, as he has been doing these past three years, a pattern of Congressional subservience to the Executive Office of the President will be etched into the fabric of the Constitution. Separation of powers will become a thing of the past, the long ago past.
And one day a Republican will again take control of the White House and, should the new president choose to follow the pattern set by Obama and the Democrats this year, will trample all over the Congress and continue to destroy its status as a co-equal arm of government. Anytime a President doesn’t want to work his way through legitimate congressional resistance he need only chart a plan and path that end-runs around the resisting legislative body, and issue an executive order assigning him whatever power he thinks he needs to subvert Congress.
If nothing changes, we will keep drifting toward a time when there will no longer be three co-equal branches of government. The President will exercise sovereign powers and the Congress will rubber stamp whatever he tells them to. We will have become a third world nation, which seems to be what Obama has in mind.
Now is the time for the members of Congress, of both parties, to recognize what is happening, and to stand together and stop this Presidential over-reaching, or it will soon become too late to stop it. These are dangerous times we are living in and if ever there were a time for courage and leadership to be on display, it is now.
The fundamental principle underlying Obama’s decree to make citizens out of illegal aliens is that, “Breaking the law should be rewarded.” No one should be rewarded for flouting our laws no matter their age, their circumstances of birth, what ethnic group they represent, or what political party welcomes them to its rolls. It is past time for the members of both political parties to stand up for America and America’s laws. Winning elections will never be as important as maintaining our freedom and liberty.
Maintaining freedom and liberty implies the presence of leadership and courage in large amounts. Today both parties have failed our country in this regard. The leaders of both parties give eloquent speeches on how much we should spend, where, and on what programs. But neither party gives many eloquent speeches on how much and where we should cut.
Congressman Lamar Smith of Texas asks, “How can the Administration justify allowing illegal immigrants to work in the U.S. when millions of Americans are unemployed?” To that could be added, “How can the Administration justify breaking the law?” If one law is broken and the criminal rewarded, why can’t another and another be broken and shouldn’t the breaker of those laws also expect to be rewarded?
What Obama’s actions do is to offer illegal immigrants the opportunity to sell their honor and their souls for a green card. America doesn’t need citizens whose honesty and integrity can be bought. It is time for illegal immigrants and members of both parties to stand up and tell the President, to his face, that neither they nor their votes are for sale.
If President Obama wants to do what is right, let him follow the rule of law. Two years ago in spite of great congressional resistance he was able to get his Obama care bill passed. So let him once more marshal his congressional supporters together and again lead them down that long, difficult and legal legislative road toward passage of an immigration bill.
It is time for members of both parties to stand up and hang together or, as was said during the Revolutionary War, be prepared to hang separately. The proper functioning of America’s Constitution and Rule of Law are at stake.