By Joe Guzzardi
November 23, 2015
President Obama hopes that his legacy will include negotiating the Iran deal, lifting the Cuban embargo or finalizing his TPP trade program that will erase international boundaries and allow for the unfettered exchange of people, goods, and services.
But for many Americans, Obama will be remembered as the president who ignored the Constitution, circumvented Congress, and shunned two lower court decisions to temporarily block his deferred action amnesty for about five million illegal immigrants, officially known as Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA). A Texas U.S. District Court federal judge ruled that the president did not have the legal authority to grant benefits including work permits as well as state and federal benefits to those aliens, a decision a New Orleans appeals court upheld.
The courts were responding to a Texas-led coalition of 26 states opposed to Obama’s executive action. The rulings don’t affect the Obama administration’s increasingly lax deportation policies. According to internal government reports the Associated Press obtained, about 231,000 people were deported during the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, the smallest number since 2006, and a 42 percent drop from the record high of more than 409,000 in 2012.
Predictably, the Obama administration which has trouble with “no,” took the next and only remaining step. The Justice Department submitted a Supreme Court petition requesting that the DAPA case to be heard. The window of opportunity is shutting fast. The justices must decide if they will hear the case for the January 8 conference, the last full Supreme Court term during Obama’s presidency. Should the judges decide to hear it, and many legal analysts predict that the court’s existing case load is already burdensome and that the judges aren’t eager to take DAPA up, Assuming the court proceeds, then a June ruling is likely.
One thing history proves is that amnesty begets more amnesty. In 1986, after President Reagan signed the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) that gave amnesty to about three million illegal immigrants, the U.S. had effectively no aliens. Most every illegal immigrant living within the U.S. took advantage of Reagan’s once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to become a legal permanent resident and eventually qualify for citizenship. Three decades later, analysts estimate that the U.S. is home to at least 12 million illegal immigrants, all post-1986.
More evidence of amnesty’s lure. Encouraged by the Spanish language media’s widely publicized coverage of Obama’s amnesty efforts, record high numbers of illegal immigrants including children and non-Mexicans have been reported crossing the border. The Washington Times learned that each of the nine Border Patrol sectors experienced spikes in OTM (other than Mexican) crossings, an especially frightening development in light of heightened terrorism threats. The earlier IRCA amnesty has a terrorism link. Egyptian national Mahmud Abouhalima, a leader of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, was legalized as a seasonal agricultural worker under the 1986 amnesty.
The Justice Department’s Supreme Court filing is the latest in a long list of immigration actions Obama has taken that will hurt American workers in a weak job market. DAPA and its predecessor program deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA) recipients will receive employment authorization documents valid for life even though more than 92 million Americans are out of the labor force. Obama’s actions also unnecessarily increase Americans' security risks.
Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow. Contact him at [email protected]