By Joe Guzzardi
November 12, 2014
Capitol Hill insiders privy to President Obama’s executive amnesty plot foresee what would essentially be a huge expansion of his 2012 deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA). While the exact number of those who might benefit from Obama’s latest presidential edict isn’t specifically known, the minimum number is anticipated to be 5 million and would include those with familial ties to the previously pardoned DACA recipients.
In his Sunday interview with Face the Nation, Obama reiterated that he would prefer to have Congress resolve immigration through the legislative process. Obama insisted that Congress’ inaction means that valuable government resources are wasted while Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is “deporting people that shouldn’t be deported, we’re not deporting people who are dangerous and need to be deported.”
To put it kindly, Obama’s statement is wildly misleading. Indeed, dangerous criminals are not being deported. When criminal aliens are unlucky enough to be among the few who are returned, they have no trouble reentering the United States to resume their lives of crime. The most recent example is Luis Munroy Bracamonte, a twice-deported Mexican alien with a long rap sheet who last month shot and killed two Northern California sheriffs’ deputies.
Furthermore, “run- of- the-mill” illegal immigrants, the term ICE’s former acting director John Sandweg used to describe those who Obama thinks should not be deported, have “close to zero chance” of being removed from the interior. In other words, Obama’s executive action would officially eliminate the deportation threat for nearly all aliens. Unofficially, that’s been his policy for years.
With the amnesty clock ticking down, newly empowered Republicans should create a game plan to block Obama from implementing his promise to legalize millions of unlawful immigrants. Bluster about defending the border first won’t deter an angry, defiant Obama.
Exit polling from the mid-term elections showed that 74 percent of all Americans including men, women, whites, blacks and Hispanics reject Obama’s administrative amnesty. The best way to make sure amnesty doesn’t happen is for the GOP to take a pro-active approach to block funding rather than passively waiting for Obama to take whatever destructive, independent measure he’s determined to take.
During the few weeks remaining in the 113th Congress, Republicans should pass agency-specific, short-term spending bills instead of an all-inclusive Omnibus bill that would allow Obama to proceed. A former immigration official explained how the process could evolve. Spending bills for the Department of Homeland Security would be broken down into its individual agencies like ICE, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Riders would be attached to each bill which would mandate that ICE, CBP and USCIS respect immigration laws and procedures which the administration has unilaterally instructed them to ignore.
With short-term spending bills in place, no funding would be available for Obama’s administrative amnesty. Spending funds that have not been appropriated violates the Anti-Deficiency Act, a law that gives Congress the power to open and close the public purse. When Congress reconvenes in January and with Senator Jeff Sessions as the new Budget Committee Chairman, the annual Omnibus bill could be reconsidered with the appropriate immigration language defunding amnesty included.
None of this maneuvering would be necessary if Obama respected his role as Chief Executive. When Congress doesn’t pass a bill that satisfies the president, the next step is to return to the drawing board to try again, not proceed with an unauthorized, unconstitutional order that overrides the people’s wishes.
Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow. Contact him at [email protected]