Government

The President's Amnesty Has Been Stopped (For Now)

Ok, so it's only temporary. But it's a chance for our country to revisit not only the repercussions of a careless immigration policy, but the implications of a president who takes the law into his own hands.

Demonstrator Alex Ferguson holds a sign reading 'No Vacancy, Try The White House' during a protest near the entrance to the US Border Patrol facility in Murrieta, California on July 7, 2014. The protestors are opposing the arrival of buses carrying women and children undocument migrants for proecessing at the Murrieta Border Patrol Station. Deportations of illegal migrants crossing the US border are being stepped up, a top Obama adminstration official said on Sunday, defending the White House's handling of a flood of undocumented children. AFP PHOTO / Robyn Beck ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images

Doubtless you’ve all heard someone utter the phrase (or something like it), “well, SHE’s certainly one to talk…”

Meaning, the person speaking is acting in shameless hypocrisy. I remember uttering that phrase in my head once after a high school classmate thought it was appropriate to comment on my weight; meanwhile she herself wasn’t exactly “fitness personified.”

The triviality of high school aside—fast forward a few years. I found the very same phrase running through my head as I listened to objections to an injunction relative to the president’s executive actions on amnesty that “prevents the administration from implementing them until the court rules on their constitutionality.”

The White House’s reaction to Judge Hanen’s action?

"The district court's decision wrongly prevents these lawful, commonsense policies from taking effect,” said Press Secretary Josh Earnest [emphasis mine].

US Presidential Barack Obama speaks on immigration reform in the Rose Garden of the White House on June 30, 2014 in Washington, DC. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images US Presidential Barack Obama speaks on immigration reform in the Rose Garden of the White House on June 30, 2014 in Washington, DC. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN

Indeed, President Barack Obama is certainly one to talk . . . about the rule of law, that is.

After all, he is the one who (despite the 22 times he indicated that he didn’t have the authority to do so) took the law into his own hands when he unilaterally announced expansion of amnesty for nearly five million illegal aliens back on Nov. 20, 2014. (I say expansion, lest we forget what the president did in 2012.)

TheBlaze’s Chris Salcedo routinely (and rightfully) refers to the president’s November announcement as an executive “inaction.” Indeed, what the president did was simply formalize the fact that he and his administration would not follow current immigration law.

Harvard professor Laurence Tribe commented on the injunction, noting that “federal supremacy with respect to immigration matters makes the states a kind of interloper in disputes between the president and Congress,” and that, “they don’t have any right of their own.”

Mr. Tribe, the president certainly doesn’t have a right either . . . not on his own, anyway.

And, unlike the president’s unilateral actions towards amnesty, the Texas justice’s injunction has nothing to do with drafting or changing immigration law—but rather allows a suit to go forward that challenges the president’s order that effectively break the law.

This administration certainly has a history with challenging states seeking to enforce current federal laws.

Remember SB1070? That was the bill passed in the state of Arizona that had the president quickly conjuring up images of frightened parents and their children—just out for a cup of ice cream—suddenly being asked for their papers to verify their legality. His Justice Department also sued the state of Arizona over it.

This injunction allows the states who wish to do so (26 at this point) to move forward with a suit that would consider, as the justice put it:

1) whether the States have standing to bring this case; (2) whether the DHS has the necessary discretion to institute the DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents) program; and (3) whether the DAPA program is constitutional, comports with existing laws, and was legally adopted.

What’s ironic is the administration’s insistence that amnesty (in all the forms the president has granted it) is all about enforcing the law in the first place. After all, they reason, the president only acted “because Congress failed to pass immigration reform.”

Demonstrators with the groups National Day Laborer Organizing Network, Workers United of Washington and the #Not1More Campaign, protest an increase in deportations and US President Barack Obama's immigration policies outside the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute's Gala Dinner at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC, October 2, 2014. Obama is scheduled to speak at the dinner. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images Demonstrators with the groups National Day Laborer Organizing Network, Workers United of Washington and the #Not1More Campaign, protest an increase in deportations and US President Barack Obama's immigration policies outside the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute's Gala Dinner at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC, October 2, 2014. Obama is scheduled to speak at the dinner. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB

So—Congress’ decision not to act suddenly grants the executive branch the authority to play lawmaker? Last time I checked, no bill came across the president’s desk to sign with respect to granting legal status to millions of illegal aliens.

That is, indeed, the crux of the issue. As Pennsylvania Judge Arthur J. Schwab notes, “President Obama’s unilateral legislative action violates the separation of powers provided for in the United States Constitution as well as the Take Care Clause, and therefore is unconstitutional.”

As we await the outcome of this temporary halt to the president’s plan, we listen to the administration and other proponents of amnesty declare time and again that objections are moot because “amnesty is good for the economy.”

When exactly is someone going to stop and think about the detrimental effects that a wanton attitude towards our nation’s border—and in turn, our nation’s security—has on us all?

Consider, for example, the cancerous spread of radical Islamic terror we face today. An unsecured border, coupled with a policy that declares to the world that we don’t enforce our immigration laws is certainly inviting—is it not?

Demonstrator Alex Ferguson holds a sign reading 'No Vacancy, Try The White House' during a protest near the entrance to the US Border Patrol facility in Murrieta, California on July 7, 2014. The protestors are opposing the arrival of buses carrying women and children undocument migrants for proecessing at the Murrieta Border Patrol Station. Deportations of illegal migrants crossing the US border are being stepped up, a top Obama adminstration official said on Sunday, defending the White House's handling of a flood of undocumented children. AFP PHOTO / Robyn Beck ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images Demonstrator Alex Ferguson holds a sign reading 'No Vacancy, Try The White House' during a protest near the entrance to the US Border Patrol facility in Murrieta, California on July 7, 2014. The protestors are opposing the arrival of buses carrying women and children undocument migrants for proecessing at the Murrieta Border Patrol Station. Deportations of illegal migrants crossing the US border are being stepped up, a top Obama adminstration official said on Sunday, defending the White House's handling of a flood of undocumented children. AFP PHOTO / Robyn Beck

Is it a major problem right now? Not necessarily—at not least on paper, anyway. But then again, consider all who aren’t caught.

I’ve been to the border. It is incredibly unsecured. And it’s also largely infested by violent cartels willing to do just about anything for the right amount of money.

As part of that visit, I had the honor of interviewing the late Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever in 2012—and I asked him about that very thing. His response?

“We have had people find prayer rugs, Korans, and other evidence of this left behind on their properties,” Dever said. “In fact, not too long ago we apprehended a group of 11 individuals from Lebanon.”

Could would-be terrorists (“lone wolf” or otherwise) get help from cartels? He continued:

If you look at all the carnage going on in Mexico right now, they’re [the cartels] not afraid of anything. Secondly these people are profiteers. They are pirates. They are interested in one thing - money. If you pay the price, they’ll move anything you want them to move.

It’s just one of many, many things that should deeply concern us about the president’s lawless approach towards immigration. But I’ve digressed.

So—in a world where our president is more concerned with Buzzfeed interviews than by Islamic State's chokehold on the world, why does the president care so much about this particular issue?

Let me propose a theory: votes.

After all, would you bite the proverbial hand that feeds you? Probably not.

And, while technically not one of those affected by the president’s amnesty memorandum would have the “legal” right to vote, there’s a possible loophole.

As RedState.com reports, amnesty makes it “easier for illegal immigrants to improperly register and vote in elections” and that “the driver’s licenses and Social Security numbers they will be granted create a major voting loophole.”

It’s an epic loophole. In fact, I can testify to the ease of this myself. As I registered to vote in my new precinct , the official gathered my information (including asking, but not verifying that I was citizen), and then turned to my husband (a green card holder with a social security number, a driver’s license, etc.), thinking he too was there to complete the process. If he was an unscrupulous man, he could have easily lied about his citizenship in that moment, and registered to vote. After all, it doesn’t really get checked. (And my state certainly has a history of unscrupulous voting patterns.)

All told, is the injunction going to put a stop to all the possible ways our nation’s security and rule of law could be affected? No, at least not yet.

It is temporary—yes—and it’ll be swiftly challenged.

But its presence gives us a chance to revisit not only the implications of a wanton immigration policy, but also the incredible ramifications of the president’s a flippant attitude toward our rule of law.

Mary Ramirez is a full-time writer, creator of www.afuturefree.com (a political commentary blog), and contributor to The Chris Salcedo Show (TheBlaze Radio Network, Saturday, from noon to 3pm ET). She can be reached at: afuturefree@aol.com; or on Twitter: @AFutureFree.

TheBlaze contributor channel supports an open discourse on a range of views. The opinions expressed in this channel are solely those of each individual author.

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