By Joe Guzzardi
December 18, 2014
From the looks of things, President Obama is just warming up on his immigration amnesty plans. Obama has expanded his November 21 executive action that will remove 5 million aliens from deportation with what are being called “executive memoranda.”
Included in ten separate Department of Homeland Security memos are provisions to expand “extreme hardship” categories, to discontinue Secure Communities that has deported 283,000 criminal aliens, and to liberalize visa categories for non-immigrants even though more than 650,000 guest workers are admitted to the U.S. each year. Another high Obama priority is to give expedited citizenship to foreign-born professionals working in the U.S.
Eventually the broad DHS outline could, if implemented, cover most if not all of the remaining 7 million aliens. In the end, all 12 million unlawful immigrants living in the U.S. would get legal status, work permits, social security cards and qualify for earned income tax credits. They would also compete with unemployed Americans for increasingly scarce jobs and the approximately 4 million high school graduates who reach the working age of 18 every year.
To promote his amnesty, Obama has embarked on a nationwide road show. Speaking in Nashville to an audience of mostly illegal immigrants, Obama encouraged them to register, identified them as “low priority” and promised that they “would not be deported.”
In reality, the Obama administration has deported only a small handful of aliens. During the 12 months ended October 2014, less than one percent of the 12 million unlawful immigrants have been deported, and from the 125,000 Central Americans who surged the border this summer, DHS sent home a mere 2,000. Obama’s unilateral and brazen immigration actions violate the Constitution and purposely ignore public opinion.
But signs of resistance to Obama are increasingly common, especially at the state government level. Nearly half of all states, 24 to be exact, have filed lawsuits against the Obama administration alleging that it has “trampled” the Constitution. The states are: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, South Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
Outgoing Texas Attorney General Gregg Abbott, now Governor-elect, said that Texas is uniquely qualified to bring the suit because, since it shares the U.S. border with Mexico, he anticipates more illegal immigration which will in turn translate into higher education, medical care and public safety costs. Abbott added that the Obama decree “circumvents the will of the American people,” a conclusion nationwide polling confirms. The states’ case is pending in a Brownsville federal court.
An encouraging sign for Abbott comes from Pennsylvania where federal court Judge Arthur J. Schwab’s declared that Obama’s immigration decree is indeed unconstitutional and usurps congressional authority. Schwab’s analysis, which contends that Obama set up new standards for granting amnesty and rewrote existing immigration laws, may throw a monkey wrench into the president’s grand plan.
In his opinion, Judge Schwab wrote that Obama’s independent legislative action violates the separation of powers provided for in the Constitution as well as the Take Care Clause. The Take Care Clause comes from the Constitution’s Article II, Section 3 and requires that the president “faithfully” executes the laws.
US Citizenship and Immigration services is gearing up for Obama’s program. New documents will be issued to immigrants in late spring. But the states’ law suits, Judge Schwab’s legal opinion, and a 2015 newly sworn in GOP Congress could delay and, with any luck, entirely derail Obama’s executive action.
Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow. Contact him at [email protected]