No matter how you feel about illegal immigration, this is a terrible thing for our President to do. We are a nation of laws, of a written Constitution. Our Constitution does not grant our President the power to "relax" -- a gentle word for "ignore" -- the laws of our country at will.
We have vested our legislative branch, Congress, with the power to make and unmake our federal laws. The President has no such power. It is his duty, his obligation to uphold Congress's laws, whether he agrees with them or not!
To allow otherwise is to grant the President nearly dictatorial powers. President Obama, more than any other President in modern history, has earned impeachment, but our cowardly Congress refuses to stand up for its own laws, its own rights.
If the President does not like our immigration laws, he has the power to petition Congress just like anyone else, and he has much greater influence on that institution than a normal citizen, but he cannot, legally, Constitutionally, usurp their powers by simply deciding he will ignore laws he does not like.
This is not the first time Obama has violated federal law and usurped Congressional powers. He did it when he made a recess appointment while the Senate was not in recess. He did it when he violated the War Powers Act during his attack on Libya. He does it every day with his extra-legal use of federal agencies to impose regulations on Americans beyond what is stipulated in law.
It is the responsibility of Congress to step in and prevent this. Will it? It's hard to seem optimistic when Congress itself is in violation of the law for failing to pass a budget for more than three years and has cravenly refused to uphold its authority in the face of all Obama's past illegal acts.
Sheer outrageous unconstitutionality aside, the President's act is offensive all on its own lack of merits. As with many of these "for the children" types of actions, the idea that he is doing this for children is a misleading one. The standards for eligibility are:
- Came into U.S. before the age of 16 years
- Are still younger than 30 years
- Have been in the country for at least 5 years
- Have no criminal history
- Have graduated from a U.S. high school/GED
- Served in the military
"Younger than 30 years" is not exactly most peoples' idea of a "child." And, remember, these are illegal immigrants. By definition, we have no official, reliable documentation of when they entered the country. This is a blanket exemption for anyone under 30 to assert that he is, in fact, a child of illegal immigrants who has been her for at least 5 years! There's no way to know! These people work under the table -- they don't have rock-solid employment records, tax returns, real social security numbers, etc.
We can't even tell if they are, in fact, still under 30!!
The bogus document and bogus history for illegal immigrant business is already thriving in this country. This is a potential amnesty for every illegal immigrant in the country who's not middle-aged or elderly!!
The "served in the military" one is interesting. An illegal immigrant cannot, legally, serve in the military. Thus, to have served, the illegal would have hide to lie on his application and provide false documentation -- crimes. Isn't that "a criminal history?"
In fact, all illegal immigrants have "a criminal history" because, hey, illegal immigrant! Entering and living illegally in this country for years requires routine violations of the law, not just at the initial entry, but ongoing criminality in providing false documentation and lying to public officials.
Keep in mind, this act is not about children of illegals born here. That's settled under current law, though I disagree with it. If they were born here, then they qualify as U.S. citizens with all rights and responsibilities that entails. I think that's a travesty, but that's how things are. No, this act is specifically about "children of illegal immigrants" who are, in stark fact, illegal immigrants themselves!