Washington Times’ reporters Seth McLaughlin and Ralph Z. Hallow noted the "muted reaction on the ground” concerning the “immigrant decision” announced last week by President Obama. [‘Immigrant Decision Gets Muted Reaction’, June 18] This is an indictment of our citizenry and stems from a profound lack of understanding about our country’s founding documents and the role of each branch of government.
Our Declaration of Independence acknowledges that, "Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed." Accordingly, we formed a government with three co-equal branches of government, as explained on the White House website:
To ensure that no person or group would amass too much power, the founders established a government in which the powers to create, implement, and adjudicate laws were separated. Each branch of government is balanced by powers in the other two coequal branches: The President can veto the laws of the Congress; the Congress confirms or rejects the President's appointments and can remove the President from office in exceptional circumstances; and the justices of the Supreme Court, who can overturn unconstitutional laws, are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate.
The action taken by President Obama was wrong! It was not wrong as in bad, it was wrong as in illegal; the action is wholly unconstitutional. Dictators dictate and that is precisely what this was... a dictate from on high that must be obeyed or you will suffer consequences. Dictionary.com defines a dictatorship as “a country, government, or the form of government in which absolute power is exercised by a dictator.” The American system forbids the President from making Law after Congress fails to pass a law he favored.
What the President and his advisors did was identify a law they did not like. They pushed Congress to change the law, and they failed. So, the President took a constitutionally established law that Congress declined to change and directed his administration to ignore the law and, further, to implement a different law in its place. This is similar to what he did with the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) law except much worse. With the DOMA decision, he directed his Justice Department to no longer defend the law. The Justice Department is obligated to defend laws passed by Congress even if the law in question is not supported by the President. With DOMA he usurped the role of the Judicial Branch by declaring that the law is unconstitutional. With the immigration issue he is adopting the role of the Legislative Branch by setting aside the existing law and replacing it with previously unrecognized legal status benefiting specifically designated groups of people with rights of residency. Further compounding the bias and injustice is that the new mandate only applies to certain segments of a population characterized by a set of illegal behaviors.
We can debate all day about whether this was “the right thing” to do or not. This is not about President Obama’s motivations, how many other elected officials support the policy, or even how widespread the support is among the American people. Certainly our immigration laws need to be addressed and possibly some portions of the DREAM Act may ultimately be passed. But, it was not passed… it was rejected… and in our system that leaves the bill dead until it is again presented before the Congress.
If the President can do this… tell me what he cannot do. Can he direct the IRS to ignore portions of the tax code? Maybe he would wish to offer a tax exemption to new union members. Imagine what the reaction would have been if President Bush dictated that we would no longer collect taxes on corporations or decided to completely suspend capital gains taxes. If President Obama can unilaterally create a provisional status granting certain civil rights to persons that reside in the country illegally, why could he not broaden their enumerated rights and grant this same group the right to vote?
Please do not look at this as an immigration issue. This is a Constitutional issue… in fact, a Constitutional crisis. We know that the lack of response from Mitt Romney is rooted in the fear of offending a voting bloc, and the major media outlets are ignoring the issue. We, the people, do not have the same restraints. As imperialistic as President George W. Bush was, this action by President Obama goes far beyond anything implemented in any previous administration. On this issue, this Constitutional issue, we must make ourselves heard.