American Elephants


Here’s Michelle Malkin On Illegal Immigration by The Elephant's Child

This is a hard problem for Democrats. They want open borders, at least until we get through the next census count. If they can add enough illegals to get counted in the census in all the sanctuary cities and states, they can add more representatives in the House of Representatives which is organized on the basis of population. The Senate is organized on the basis that each state will have two Senators, no matter what the population, so that all states are represented equally.

Unfortunately for the Democrats, Conservatives believe that immigrants should enter the United States legally. Apply at the U.S. Consulate in their own country, or apply for asylum at the border. Democrats like to believe that letting immigrants just cross the border wherever is because “America is a nation of immigrants”— actually it’s a nation of citizens, and if you want to become a citizen, do it legally, because America is a nation of laws. The Left likes to believe that they are morally superior because they care about the unfortunate or the downtrodden, like illegal aliens.

There’s a big cost to illegal immigration. The State of Idaho spelled out the cost of illegal immigration for their state, that falls on Idaho’s taxpayers. As I keep reminding, governments have no money of their own. Whatever they spend comes out of the pockets of the taxpayers.



At Least 5,800 “Fake Families” Have Been Found at the Border. by The Elephant's Child

We have an interesting disconnect here. Illegal immigration is a major concern for the American people, according to polls. Democrats, uniformly, seem to believe in open borders, Sanctuary Cities and states, and seem to believe that AOC’s  (always on camera) description of “concentration camps” for kids is quite accurate, or even if not accurate, — useful. They believe that ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) is a terrorist organization  and should be abolished. Democrats feature pictures of children in cages, left from the Obama administration as propaganda to show how awful the Border Patrol and anyone who dares to oppose illegal immigrants just flowing over the border is. This suggests that they believe the American people outside the hallowed halls of the nation’s capitol are so stupid they will believe any propaganda the Democrats choose to present.

On Tuesday, Mark Morgan, Acting Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) told a Senate Committee that 5,800 “fake families” have been discovered trying to enter the U.S. illegally this year.

“Our laws prevent us from holding people more than 20 days and because we can’t get the information we’re probably releasing them even sooner than that in many cases, correct?” Chairman Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) asked Morgan during a Senate Homeland Security hearing on the border crisis.

“With respect to family units, since March of this year, United States Border Patrol has been releasing family units directly so in some cases they’re being released in under 48 hours into the interior of the United States,” Morgan said.

Johnson replied, “Because it really doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to try and find facilities to hold them for 20 days with this overwhelming flow so instead of border patrol turning them over to ICE for a more thorough vetting process and then ICE releasing them, border patrol is doing it directly?”

We’ve written before about kids being circulated back and forth over the border to create a “family” out of illegals who have no kids. There’s a hefty charge for renting kids. Then there are children forced into the task and threatened to keep them obedient.

Democrats are anxious to make all things about the border an emotional affair, you are supposed to pity the poor children, care for the poor adults who just want to get into the country to make more money than they can make at home. Children are separated from their “parents” because the law does not allow children to be detained with their parents. They are required to be cared for separately, and they are well cared for.

The Border Patrol began testing DNA on April 30. They really don’t have time to determine if children are with their real parents or are victims of human trafficking.

AOC’s visit to the border and weeping photograph over an empty parking lot on the other side of the chain link fence, and her claims of “concentration camps” are meant to elicit pity and emotion. Congress needs to change some bad laws to help the Border Patrol deal with a monumental problem, but Democrats find the current situation much more useful.

ADDENDUM: Elizabeth Warren apparently claimed last night that there are “cages of babies” being held at the U.S.-Mexico border – despite there being no evidence whatsoever, no photos, no confirmation from others.

“What we can’t do is not live our values,” Warren said. “I’ve been down to the border, I have seen the mothers, I have seen the cages of babies. We must be a country that every day lives our values. And that means we cannot make it a crime when somebody comes here.”

While visiting a federal immigration facility in Los Fresnos, Texas, Warren spoke about adult border crossers being held in detention without the children they arrived with but did not mention seeing cages of babies.

They keep explaining and explaining that the law requires that children cannot be put in detention with their parents. They are place in non-detention facilities, treated well, taken to parks and entertained. If Democrats want children to remain with their (?) parents, they will have to change the law which they refuse to do. All pictures of children in cages are from the Obama administration, which did put them in cages.



Suggested Reading for Clarifying the Mind by The Elephant's Child
  • From Victor Davis Hanson:”The New Nihilism:” Summing up the Democrats’ response to President Donald J. Trump, and his many, many accomplishments. Not a pretty picture.
  • From Steven Camarota of CIS: “On Immigration, Trump Needs to Focus on the Numbers” For all the talk about the border, the biggest issue is not welfare or illegal immigration per se; it is the total number of immigrants settling in the country ,legally or illegally. Democrats focus on amnesty, Businesses push for ever more guest workers, and the media happily supports both. The national interest and his political future depend on the numbers.
  • From Paul Bedard, Washington Examiner:Border apprehensions jump 84 percent, 606,000 expected this year” a surprising surge. Again, it’s the numbers.
  • From Andrew R. Arthur of CIS:Notes on a Deal I Haven’t Seen: The Pitfalls of Compromise” The fundamental issue behind all of this is the request for crucially needed infrastructure along the border. I mean fences, walls, barriers, drag roads, cameras, sensors and any number of other tools needed by the 18,600 Border Patrol agents who man the 1,954-mile southern border.

We assume that the illegal border-crossers come from Mexico and Central America, many come from the Middle East as well.



Democrats Favor Illegal Immigration Because It’s All About Power by The Elephant's Child



Immigration: Legal or Illegal? It Makes a Difference. by The Elephant's Child

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The Caravans have apparently gotten rides and around 7,000 to 10,000 of them are at the border in Tijuana. The residents of that city are up in arms with thousands of unwanted migrants on their streets. The Migrants are admitting that they are not after asylum, but just want American jobs. President Trump asked why are they waving flags of their native countries? They do not want asylum, they do not want to become Americans, they want jobs and the benefits our generous aid systems provide.

The military has been busy setting out razor wire all along the border. Tijuana has appealed to the Mexican military for help. The migrants know they are not eligible for asylum. They apparently intend to mass at the border and see what President Trump will do about it.

Homeland Security claims there are at least 500 criminals traveling with the caravans. Authorities have closed four lanes of traffic at the San Ysidro and Otay Mesa crossings in response to intelligence that groups of migrants planned to rush the border through automotive lanes. That led to closure of eight more lanes at the busy border crossings. There were already many Mexicans camped near the border waiting their turn to apply for asylum. The asylum rules are complex, but as I understand it, they have to apply in the first country they come to, which for the Hondurans, Guatemalans, and Salvadorians was Mexico – who offered jobs, but only 1,800 or so took them up on it.

Australia’s Prime Minister has promised a major cut in their migrant intake. Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the country’s major cities have buses, trains and schools that “are full.” The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Mr. Morrison will ask state leaders to create their own population plans and will address the issue at the next Council of Australian Governments meeting on December 12.

His plan is to move away from top-down discussions about population to set specific migration caps to how many can enter. In Sydney, Mr. Morrison said, that migrants accounted for about 70% of the population growth last year. Australians want an end to mass migration.

And then there is Europe. Angela Merkel has, for whatever reason, perhaps German guilt, encouraged the European Union to welcome refugees, and they have come from all the troubled countries of the Middle East and Africa. But swallowing this massive influx is something else again. Initially they were greeted with flowers and food and song. (Really) But the immigrants have had a habit of burning cars, complaining about the housing arranged for them, raping women and girls, and killing innocent Europeans.

Some of the Eastern Europeans, more familiar with being invaded by violent armies, have built walls or fences to keep the migrants out, and are castigated for it. In England, it was reported that the most popular baby’s name was Mohammed. It is hard for the Europeans who also believe in Freedom of Religion, having had a reformation and many wars over religion, to accept criticism of the Moslem religion. There is, however. a major problem in that religious Muslims believe that infidels (us) must discard our religion and submit fully to Allah, which is a different matter.

Canada is helped immeasurably by their geographic location. On three sides they have ocean – the Pacific, the Arctic, and the Atlantic – and you can’t get there easily unless you have a boat and crew. Their southern border with America, the world’s leading economy, has been a magnet for immigration rather than the reverse. At some times in their history they worried more about the volume of emigrants from Canada to the U.S. to such an extent that Canadians feared for the future of their country. Generally, the movement of people into Canada has been law abiding and orderly. Most arrivals come through the front door. Canadians have a high commitment to policing, and you could call their fifth border “bureaucratic”. Visitors have to apply in advance for a visa, and if they are coming from a place that has recently sent more than a certain number of asylum applicants (or vacation overstayers) they are not admitted. Canada has some of the world’s most restrictive visa rules. Most applicants from countries such as Somalia, Yemen, Afghanistan and Syria are turned down. And since the U.S. is not considered a threat, claiming asylum in Canada doesn’t work.

Illegal aliens often demonstrate here, bearing signs that say things like “No human is illegal” but dictionaries explain that “Illegal” simply means not according to the law. An alien is a person who owes allegiance to a country other than this. The Left favors massive immigration because new immigrants are likely to vote Democrat, and they are happy to sign up illegals to vote, as in California where anyone can get a driver’s license, and along with the driver’s license, you register to vote. and then they have sanctuary cities and states as well.

Then you have the inflow of various categories of temporary tech workers, who are apparently cheaper to hire than our own tech graduates. Farm workers, exchange students, and some foreign students sent here to learn our technology to take back home again, and just plain old tourists who overstay. It’s a very complicated mess even without migrants clamoring at the border and climbing the walls.  The Center for Immigration Studies has told us that a wall would actually pay for itself in the reduced cost of welfare and emergency health care and policing that are involved with illegal immigration. So there you are.



How Will Trump Deal With The Migrant Caravans? by The Elephant's Child

With three or more “caravans” of migrants from Central America heading up the west coast of Mexico towards our southern border, there are lots of questions about immigration. President Trump wants to eliminate birthright citizenship for those who are not born to citizens.

A few years back, more than five but I can’t remember how many, a Russian oligarch arrived in New York harbor in his gigantic yacht, anchored and shortly rushed to a New York hospital so his mistress could have an American citizen baby. Somehow that just didn’t seem right.

This election has made it clear just why the Left is so determined to favor any and all illegal aliens who arrive, and want them to become citizens. The issue of vote fraud has been very clear in California, Florida and quite a few other states, with non-citizens illegally voting. For the current crop of Democrats, being in control is all important, and they are willing to go to any lengths to make sure they are.

Migrant family apprehensions in October are up 378 percent over last year. That’s before any caravan has reached the border. The Left has insisted on portraying the caravans as peaceful migrants, but a hundred migrants have disappeared from the march. Someone rolled a truck up, told the migrants they could get a free ride, and no one has seen them since. The kids can become a “family unit” for traffickers, the women cn go to a brothel and the men may end up as drug mules or in mass graves. Massive numbers do not necessarily promote safety.

So President Trump has sent troops to the border, wants to end “birthright citizenship”, wants to build a wall to make it harder for illegals to get in. What can he do? What are his legal powers? Dan Cadman at the Center For Immigration Studies has spelled out the President’s powers: The Background, The Use of the Military, the Enforcement Powers, The Use of Force, and Border Agent Force Multipliers and other Executive Powers of the President. He can close the border.  This is a very useful view of the President’s Executive Power. Do read the whole thing. It will serve you well, as Democrats start trying to eliminate ICE, (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) the border police, and change the nation’s laws because they want to assure their own power. This is a very troubling period.



Our Broken Immigration System by The Elephant's Child

Papers. As a native born American, I have to show my driver’s license or other picture ID when I go to the doctor, cash a check, enter the courthouse, or board a bus or a plane, and maybe even go through a metal detector. When Americans arrive back in this country from abroad, they have to have passports or birth certificates before being allowed to enter. How come unidentified people arriving at the border, or being apprehended having crossed the border illegally, are taken in and provided for until they can have a hearing and an immigration attorney or whatever. We are now trying to find suitable residences for those people and their children so that the children will not be ripped away from their mothers. Why are they not just turned away at the border and told they must go back to where they came from, and they cannot come in? Because we have a long, long wait list of people who have obeyed all the rules and applied correctly to come to America. The folks who have done it right may wait for years as the positions  among the one million immigrants that we accept each year are used up by the relatives of recent immigrants. Clearly there is something wrong with this system.

Nevertheless, there are people who are assumed to be rational who are demanding that we open our country’s borders to an increasing flow of unidentified people who may have little or no education, speak no English, have no particular skills and an unknown history. And this is assumed to be a correct and compassionate idea. Does no one recall that the need for papers and history is a matter of national security and there is a risk factor involved? If you point this out, you are called a racist. Seems like there’s some ordinary logic missing here.

ADDENDUM: So now the Democrats want to run on abolishing ICE, a federal agency, trying to protect American citizens from illegal aliens, illegal gang members, and ISIS, among others. Swell idea.



Another Criminal Illegal Immigrant, 20 Times Deported, This Time He’s Going to Prison Instead. by The Elephant's Child

A 31 year-old Mexican man convicted of kidnapping and sexually abusing two Oregon women was just sentenced to 35 years in prison in a Portland, Oregon courthouse. The first attack occurred early on the morning of July 24, when Sergio Jose Martinez entered the home through a window left open to cool the house. He bound and blindfolded the 65 year old woman, sexually assaulted her, stole her purse and car. She called police from a neighbor’s home. Police located the car and put it under surveillance.

While police were watching the car, Martinez was stalking his second victim in a parking garage. He approached her with a knife, made her get into her car, after she attempted to escape he grabbed her and slammed her head repeatedly into the pavement. The woman called for help, Martinez tried to steal her car and fled when it failed to start. Police caught him minutes later.

He had been freed from jail a week before the attacks in spite of an ICE request to hold him so the agency could take him into custody. Oregon became America’s first sanctuary state when it adopted a law in 1987 preventing law enforcement from detaining people who are in the United States illegally but have not broken other laws. Sergio Jose Martinez had previously been deported 20 times.

Here’s a map of the current sanctuary cities/counties/states, which gives you an idea at least. Reminds us of the electoral map, doesn’t it? There is probably no subject that arouses so much passion, so much misinformation, and so many myths.

The Program created by the Obama administration in 2012 granted work permits, identity documents, and relief from deportation to approximately 800,000 illegal immigrants. It granted lawless work permits to adult illegal aliens who claim to have come before age 16 to get Social Security numbers, drivers licenses, EITC eligibility and more.

The Entire illegal DACA program: (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) is spoken of in language designed to elicit an emotional response.  They are “Dreamers.” “Brought here against their will,” ” little children,” “can’t be deported because they have no home in their country of origin,” and more. The cutoff age for the little children to get on the list was 31. A roundup of DACA ‘children’ turned up many members of MS13, the criminal Columbian gang. A survey of legal Mexican immigrants was opposed to any DACA amnesty.

The DACA program was designed to be a permanent attack on our nation, our laws and our freedom. Greater numbers of illegal immigrants will affect the census, which will give those states greater influence in the electoral college, will likely be Democrat voters, and give more power to the Democrats. Obama redefined deportation so that anyone refused at the border counted as being deported, even though they never actually got in. When you hear positive numbers on how many people were deported during the Obama administration, take it with a grain of salt.

We now have the “Diversity Visa Lottery.” You will notice the magic word “diversity.”  The Lottery enabled the Uzbek terror suspect’s attack in New York City. Sayfullo Sailpov is the fifth Diversity Visa Lottery recipient to be involved in terrorist acts in the United States. What about the wall? Here’s an interview with Jessica Vaughn on that very subject. It will be built. It is not only needed, but will essentially pay for itself in the reduced costs of illegal immigration.

The Center for Immigration Studies is a think tank centered on the immigration problem. They are pro-immigrant, anti-illegal immigrant, and an excellent source for information on any and all immigration controversies.

There are approximately 4.4 million people who have applied to immigrate to America the legal way. They are on a wait-list. I do not understand what the open borders people want, but it has become increasingly obvious that everything the Progressives do is about power and control. Free people, free markets, free choice, and free speech are just the beginning of the long list of what they oppose. They are annoyed by human nature, and quite sure if we just let them run things everything would be better. They believe in one-world government, I guess, as long as they are in control. Since they are the “elites,” their money and celebrity guarantee them the benefits of freedom, and they don’t care anything about ordinary people.

The people of Venezuela are slowly starving. Nicholas Maduro has been reduced to using food as a weapon to maintain his power. The protests have died down because if you don’t seem to be supportive of his rule, you don’t get any food, and the government controls the food, all of it.



A Beacon of Liberty For The World by The Elephant's Child

Illegal immigration was down sharply after Donald Trump was inaugurated, with his commitment to building a wall and cutting back on illegal immigration. As the talk of amnesty for the DACA group has grown, immigration has been increasing sharply—up by 22% in August (a 100% increase from April). It has doubled in just 4 months. There are no overall statistics, but those apprehended by ICE and the Border Patrol give a rough estimate for the total flow.

Among those apprehended, there are lots of family groups—parents and children. So we can expect that we have another bunch of “childhood arrivals” Do they get to stay too? If not, “cruel”, and “no fair.”

Most parents have no real guide to parenting beyond how they were raised, what their friends are doing or not doing, and what they read in the news.What most moms learn gradually and often painfully, is that “Well just this once” is a very bad idea. If you have rules, then they have to be rules and obeyed, otherwise they are only a sham.

The fact that some people oppose open borders, oppose DACA, and want a wall is presumed to be clear evidence that they are white supremacists and their opposition to illegals is racist, because some Central and South Americans have brown skins. Has nothing to do with the fact that the average cost of deporting someone was $10,954 in 2016. Or the crimes and drugs brought along with illegal aliens. Or the families who have lost a loved one, murdered by an illegal alien. Nice people have sanctuary cities, to keep criminal illegal aliens from being deported.

I think I may speak for millions of Americans who believe that American citizenship is something special, and should be difficult to reach, because you prize something more if you have to work hard to get it. Our Constitutional freedoms are unique in the world and require constant defense from those who prefer a welfare state that gives you stuff. We seem to have brought forth a generation that has no understanding of the rarity and importance of being able to say out loud what you believe in, and to publicly challenge your government when it has gone astray. It’s very easy for our elected officials to come to think that they are the important ones and forget that they work for us, and can be dismissed.

*This 2014 cartoon by Michael Rameriz captures the idea perfectly



South of the Border, Down Mexico Way… by The Elephant's Child

Activists portray illegal immigration solely as a human story of the desperately poor from south of the border fleeing misery to start new, productive lives in the U.S. — despite exploitation and America’s nativist immigration laws. (Victor Davis Hanson)

We see the marches and the signs —No Human is Illegal—which is nonsense. Words have meanings, and neither wishful thinking nor activist cash get to redefine them. We are a nation of laws. We have specific immigration laws, which during the Obama administration were set aside and ordered to be unenforced. Mexico has a continuing interest in failing to pay any attention to the reasons why their citizens don’t seem to want to come home, amounting to around $25 billion in remittances sent from citizens who are working in America, and often subsidized by U.S. social benefits.

The Democratic party is also invested in illegal immigration, worried that its current agendas cannot win in the Electoral College without new constituents who appreciate liberal support for open borders and generous social services.

In contrast, classically liberal, meritocratic, and ethnically diverse immigration might result in a disparate, politically unpredictable set of immigrants.

Its a complex, difficult problem. It is probably impossible to remove all illegal aliens. When you get to the “Dreamers” those who were brought to this country when they were little children who have never known any other country, empathy kicks in and we are unlikely to deport them.  Victor Davis Hanson is an important voice, for he has grown up in an agricultural area of California where legal and illegal immigrants are a significant portion of the population.

The Center for Immigration Studies (cis.org) is a think tank dealing with facts and answers on immigration problems. Here is Jessica M.Vaughan’s testimony about “Restoring Enforcement of Our Nation’s Immigration Laws” before  the subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, March 28. It’s an excellent overview of where we are and where we’ve been, where is our strength and our weakness. And what should be Congress’ priorities, what about public safety and illegal hiring.

CIS has also made it clear that there is a cost for illegal immigrants. NAS, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine have estimated the average cost to taxpayers of illegal immigrants. NAS estimates that one illegal immigrant costs state and local governments approximately $75,000 in a lifetime—taking into account taxes paid and the cost of providing benefits such as education and health care. If a portion of the population of illegal aliens were stopped, around 9 to 12 percent, the wall would pay for itself.

The number of illegal immigrants crossing from Mexico declined by 40 percent from January to February. Customs and Border Protection normally sees a 10 to 20 percent increase in those months. An Executive Order to enforce immigration laws has made a difference.

Andrew McCarthy, who is a former assistant Federal U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York simply believes that in most cases, illegal aliens who are encountered in the course of ordinary law enforcement operations should be detained and deported. Willpower and resolve that put the burden on straightforward law enforcement rather than the political fortunes of politicians will solve most problems.

It will take some willpower from Congress. President Trump is requesting bids on construction of the wall. Mexico has a wall on their southern border, complete with guard towers. You may find it amusing that the first thing former President Obama did when contemplating the move into their rented mansion in a tony section of the nation’s capitol, was to build a wall around the new house.



The Great Big Wall, Revisited. by The Elephant's Child

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A lot of Americans are concerned about immigration, particularly illegal immigration. Donald Trump has made immigration central to his campaign, with his talk of building “a great big wall” and deporting everybody. He will make Mexico pay for it, and after he has deported all the illegals, he’ll put in a great big door and let the good ones back in. This is bombast, not a solution to anything. But Trump is speaking to public anger, and garnering the needed media attention. The Left attempts to portray concern about illegal immigration as nativism, or lack of concern for the unfortunate, or just plain mean, but that’s just what they always do.

Illegal immigrants welcomed with welfare and food stamps and public housing instead of being deported, doesn’t seem quite right to taxpayers. Sanctuary cities that prevent illegal immigrants from being deported don’t seem right either. When Katy Steinle is murdered senselessly in a sanctuary city, by illegal alien Juan Francisco Lopez Sanchez, with seven felony convictions, who has been deported 5 times, which means he has entered the country illegally at least 6 times — Americans really don’t like it.

When the numbers of Americans no longer looking for work reach incredible heights, and the Chamber of Commerce is simultaneously demanding more visas for foreign workers, something doesn’t seem right. Then there were the videos of trains from Mexico with children and adults, members of Mara Salvatrucha with their tattoos, crowded on top of the railway cars, admitted and scattered all over the country to wreak havoc with school districts and local welfare services. We were told they were required to report back to Customs and Immigration for hearings, but that never happened either. Some said the Democrats just wanted more Democrat voters.

The American people have been pretty clear about what they want. They want the immigration laws enforced, and Obama’s waivers and executive orders and executive notes and never minds halted. We have laws and open borders isn’t in them. We don’t care for presidents deciding which laws will be enforced and which will not. There is this thing called the oath of office, which we believe it is not only wrong, but immoral to ignore.

Congress has developed some bad habits. They want to solve problems with big comprehensive bills that cover everything and get the problems out of the way. And that is the way they intend to solve immigration. The people want the borders closed, and our current laws fully enforced — then we’ll talk about the next step.

We are regularly told that we must have amnesty for the 11 million illegal aliens among us; that they cannot be deported because there are 11 million of them. The Heritage Foundation exposed the dirty secret in a post at their Daily Signal. We have no idea how many illegals there are in the country. We have no idea how many have overstayed their visas. We have no idea how many are not citizens. We don’t have meaningful exit controls. The 11 million number is a guess, and it’s been the same number for over a decade. Congress just wants to get rid of the problem. A big fix, and if it doesn’t work, another big fix down the road, and so on and so on.

ADDENDUM: I must emphasize that I do not believe that Americans are anti-immigrant. They are anti-illegal immigrant. We are a nation of laws and we expect the laws to be enforced. It is unconscionable that we have millions of people who have gone through the legal process of wanting to immigrate, and have to wait 10 or 20 years, while illegals just pop over the border or overstay their visas.



The President Has Again Tried to Circumvent the Constitutional System of Lawmaking. by The Elephant's Child
May 12, 2015, 5:06 pm
Filed under: Politics | Tags: , , ,

Among the publications of the Hoover Institution is an online magazine called Peregrine, which includes short pieces by Hoover fellows. This one about Obama’s use of his executive power by William Suter is particularly interesting:

President Obama is not the first President to use his executive power aggressively. President Lincoln used an Executive Order in 1861 to suspend the writ of habeas corpus. The Supreme Court held that his action was unconstitutional. President Franklin D. Roosevelt attempted to change the composition of the Supreme Court of the United States in 1937 in order to gain favorable votes for his New Deal legislation. His “Court packing” plan was rejected by Congress and the voters. President Truman seized steel mills in 1952 to avert a strike because the mills were needed to support the Korean War. The Supreme Court held that his takeovers were unconstitutional. Previously, Truman acted courageously by issuing an Executive Order in 1948 that desegregated the armed forces. In that instance, he was on solid legal ground because the Constitution states that the President is the “commander in chief of the Army and Navy.” President Obama attempted to make three recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board in 2012 when the Senate clearly was not in recess. His reason for doing this was that the Senate would not confirm his nominees. He acted as though he was the first President to be treated rudely by the Senate. Not so! His crude attempt was an insult to the Constitution. The Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, held that his appointments were void.

Congress also uses its power aggressively. An example is the Senate’s late-night manipulation of rules to pass the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) in 2010. That embarrassing episode rivaled the famous 1972 Olympic Gold Medal basketball game when three seconds were mysteriously added to the clock, enabling the Soviet Union to defeat the United States. …

President Obama, emboldened by his record of changing laws – including provisions of the Affordable Care Act – decided in November 2014 to bring about his vision of immigration reform, not through Congress, but by use of executive fiats. For years, he maintained that he had no legal authority to change immigration laws. The sweeping election wins by Republicans a few weeks earlier apparently caused the President to change his mind. The largest category of people affected by the President’s executive “Presidential memos” is an estimated population of five million illegal immigrants who have been in this country for five or more years and have children who are U.S. citizens or permanent legal citizens. If they pass a background check and pay their taxes, the President offers a 3-year temporary status of “deferred action” regarding deportation along with work permits. The President’s purported legal authority to do this is his power of prosecutorial discretion. Prosecutors have such authority in individual cases, but no one can seriously think that authority is applicable on such a grand scale. What the President is doing is refusing to execute the law. He has no more authority to do this than he would to exempt corporations from paying income taxes. He cannot change the law.

As one writer put it, “This move by President Obama is not a sign of righteous impatience; it is proof that he has failed at that most basic of tasks – working with Congress.” The President has created a constitutional crisis when there was no need to do so. That is regrettable. (emphasis added)




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