American Elephants


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.



President Obama is not Commander in Chief of Foreign Policy by The Elephant's Child

Alan M. Dershowitz wrote this week that  “Politicians should stop referring to the President of the United States as the Commander in Chief. And Barack Obama frequently refers to himself in those terms. Mr. Dershowitz has tried to clarify the situation:

But the president is not the Commander-in-Chief for purposes of diplomatic negotiations. This characterization mistakenly implies that President Obama — or any president — is our Commander, and that his decisions should receive special deference. This is a misreading of our constitution, which creates a presidency that is subject to the checks and balances of co-equal branches of the government. The president is only the commander in chief of “the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the militia of the several states, when called into the actual service of the United States.” This provision was intended to assure civilian control over the military and to serve as a check on military power.

The only people he is empowered to command are soldiers, sailors and members of the militia — not ordinary citizens.

This important limitation on the president’s power is highly relevant to the current debate about Congress having the authority to check the president’s decision to make the deal that is currently being negotiated with Iran. The Constitution is clear about this. The President is not the Commander-in-Chief of our nation’s foreign policy. When he is involved in “high-stakes international diplomacy,” his involvement is not as Commander-in-Chief of our armed forces, but rather as negotiator-in-chief, whose negotiations are subject to the checks and balances of the other branches.

As President, he cannot even declare war, though he can decide how a war should be fought after Congress declares it. He cannot make a treaty without the approval of 2/3 of the Senate. He cannot appoint Ambassadors without the consent of the Senate. And he cannot terminate sanctions that were imposed by Congress, without Congress changing the law. Were he the “Commander-in-Chief” of our country — as Putin is of Russia or as Ali Khamenei is of Iran — he could simply command that all of these things be done. But our Constitution separates the powers of government — the power to command — into three co-equal branches. The armed forces are different: power is vested in one commander-in-chief.

A president is the head of the executive branch, one of three co-equal branches. As head of the executive branch, he can negotiate treaties, agreements and other bilateral deals, but Congress has a say in whether to approve what the president has negotiated. If the deal constitutes a “treaty” within the meaning of the constitution, then it requires a formal ratification by congress. Executive agreements can be undone. Any impression that the president alone can make an enforceable and enduring deal with Iran regarding its nuclear weapons program is incorrect.

Alan M. Dershowitz is a Professor of Law emeritus from Harvard Law, and a frequent commenter on matters legal and constitutional.

 




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