The case, filed by Texas and 25 other states, challenges President Obama’s 2014 executive order that would have allowed some unauthorized immigrants to apply for temporary work permits and shielded them from deportation. That policy, now on hold due to the court challenge, would allow federal immigration authorities to focus their resources where they are needed—for instance, on violent criminals. . . . Take student marijuana possession . . . Federal prosecutors hardly ever pursue the crime, even though it clearly violates federal law. . . . Obama, ironically, has overseen the deportation of more undocumented immigrants than his predecessor. . . . Indeed, the paralysis on Capitol Hill only makes it more important for the Supreme Court to protect the president’s authority to direct immigration policy. Editorial, Boston Globe, 1/24/16
Fact Check: This week the Supreme Court began deliberating on the lawsuit of 26 states against President Obama’s unilateral edicts granting legal status and work permits to millions of illegal aliens. This is a blatant violation of the constitutional separation of powers, which provides that the legislative branch (Congress) makes laws and the executive (president) enforces them.
President Obama himself, on a number of occasions, affirmed this position in the past—before the call of political expediency moved him to throw away principles and act in the fashion of a dictator. Here’s one of those quotes:
“America is a nation of laws, which means I, as the president, am obliged to enforce the law. I don’t have a choice about that. . . . With respect to the notion that I can just suspend deportations through executive order, that just not the case. . . . [W]e’ve got three branches of government. . . . Congress passes the law. The executive branch’s job is to enforce and implement those laws. There are enough laws on the books by Congress that are very clear in terms of how we have to enforce our immigration system that for me to simply through executive order ignore those congressional mandates would not conform with my appropriate role as president.”
The pretext Obama uses for his action is that it was “prosecutorial discretion,” an accepted legal principle that government may set priorities of enforcement to make the most effective use of limited resources. For example, a police agency might give higher priority in drug law enforcement to stopping heroin traffic than marijuana possession because heroin is a more dangerous drug. But this doesn’t mean that marijuana possession has ceased to be a crime or that the law against it will never be enforced.
By analogy, that is what Obama has done with his edict. He has proclaimed that the law pertaining to millions of illegal aliens is no longer in effect. And on top of that he is offering work permits to these illegal aliens in flat violation of the law forbidding employment of illegal aliens. To extend the analogy with marijuana, it would be as if pot users were issued official documents allowing them not only to possess the drug but sell it as well.
Prosecutorial discretion prioritizes laws; it does not abolish or change them. That is the task of the legislative branch. Obama twists the meaning of prosecutorial discretion justifies it by claiming that his policy of non-enforcement against millions of illegal aliens has allowed authorities to concentrate on smaller numbers hard-core criminals who pose a significant danger to society. But in reality the Obama Administration has done a poor job even at this task, even releasing dangerous criminals after having them in custody. It is clear that prosecutorial discretion for Obama is just a smokescreen to destroy immigration law enforcement.
Another example of fraud is the claim repeated by the Globe that before his edicts that Obama deported more illegal aliens than his predecessors. This is a big lie which never seems to die. It came about by the administration padding deportation statistics with illegal aliens sent back at the border, a method of calculation not used by previous administrations. The purpose of this statistical sleight of hand, evidently, was to give the impression of toughness in order to help justify the leniency of the edicts.
The Globe claims that the “paralysis” Congress was reason for Obama to act as he did. But this so-called paralysis was simply the refusal of Congress to enact amnesty for illegal aliens. Evidently the Globe’s editorial writers believe that if Congress does not legislate as the president desires, then the president has the right to ignore both Congress and the Constitution. This seems a common viewpoint in the “mainstream media.” It is a viewpoint indifferent to rule of law and its provisions which safeguard our freedom.