Big flap over what the President is going to do/not do/say/think or whatever about “immigration”. The fact is the President has no constitutional power re: immigration. None, zip, zero, nada. The very first words in the Constitution, ARTICLE I, Section 1, are: “Only the Congress of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives is allowed to make laws.” <The Plain English Constitution> In case that’s not clear, it means the President cannot make laws.
Furthermore, the AMENDMENT X to the U.S. Constitution says: “All powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution nor specifically prohibited to the States by the Constitution are reserved for the States, or for the people.” In case that’s not clear, it means the President cannot make laws regarding illegal aliens, aka “illegal immigrants”, but the States can.
It is a simple fact that the words, “immigration”, “illegals”, “aliens”, “migrants”, never appear in the anywhere in the U.S. Constitution nor in any of its amendments. There-is-no-Constitutional-law-giving-the-President-any-powers-in-this-area. Period.
Any and all authority the President’s office has regarding immigration is created for him by legislation written and passed by . . . yes, the Congress of the United States, ” . . . only the Congress can make laws.”
Congress passed the naturalization act, the first immigration, 1798 <wikipedia.org>. And of course, ever since then our dear Congress has been more or less mindlessly tinkering with immigration law to suit their personal political preferences. There are now roughly 25 U.S. laws regarding all aspects of immigration.
So, if Congress has its collective shorts in a knot over what the President should do, or should not do, regarding 15,000,000 or so illegal immigrants in our country, they have no one to blame but themselves. It is entirely their doing.
It is Congress’s responsibility, Congress created this mess, and it is for Congress to fix. If the President was smart he would argue that it’s not his problem and let the Congress figure it out. But, he’s a politician, too.
It is likely that somewhere in this rats nest of legislation the President’s minions have found a sloppily written law (gasp, the horror) that will allow him to issue “executive orders” to do pretty much whatever he wishes (It’s the same lack of Congressional accountability that gave us Obamacare).
If Congress could get their heads out of the fundraising, feeding bucket long enough, and put their political power-games aside, they could step up and fix the whole system from top to bottom. It would make Congress look pretty good, but I doubt they can do it.
Congress will stab itself in the neck like it usually does, and the President will look like a genius for letting them do it.
So, I can’t see how either the Congress or the President feels they can look good without actually fixing the problems. I think they’re counting on MIT Prof. Gruber being right when he said they took advantage of “the stupidity of the American voters” to get Congress to pass Obamacare.
(There are definite signs this may be true. Check out the congressional incumbent reelection rate in the recent election. We hate what they’re doing . . . reelect them anyway. Gruber is a PhD, you know.)
As for the human conditions for illegal aliens, aka immigrants, I think a guy or gal who uproots the family from home, shepherds them through several semi-hostile countries, deals with traffickers, crosses the Rio Grande and evades our Border Patrol all to give the kids a better life has more courage and honest, stand-up character than any 10 of our congressmen and the President together.
We are a nation of laws and we should not ignore them lightly, but it is no longer clear to me which of these two groups, the President and Congress, or the illegals, is the more honorable.