Obama Cannot Hide Behind Immigration Precedent

This week, President Obama effectively exempted more than four million illegal immigrants from the nation’s immigration laws, granting them the right to apply for work permits and a three-year reprieve from deportation. He cannot, however, hide behind precedent for his decision to act unilaterally.

As justification for the President’s controversial executive order, his administration cites the Constitution’s Take Care Clause. The problem for Obama is that this constitutional provision, instructing the President to “take care that the Laws be faithfully executed,” gives him discretion about how to enforce the law, not discretion about whether to enforce the law.

President Obama admitted as much earlier this year in an interview with Univision, explaining that “the reason that these deportations are taking place is, Congress said, ‘You have to enforce these laws.’ … And I cannot ignore those laws any more than I could ignore, you know, any of the other laws that are on the books.”

Claims that Obama’s unilateral action on immigration merely enforces current immigration law do not pass the laugh test, given his repeated vow to issue an order that would be an improvement over what he sees as a dysfunctional immigration system. Replacing the current law with something more functional is a far cry from enforcing or trying to enforce the current law.

The White House says the President is simply engaging in the long-established practice of prosecutorial discretion—that is, he’s prioritizing resources insufficient to target all of the more than 11 million immigrants illegally in the country. But prosecutorial discretion is a power exercised in service of a law’s enforcement, not a euphemism for doing an end-run around a law you believe is dysfunctional or ill-conceived.

Whatever justification Obama had under the principle of prosecutorial discretion—and it wasn’t much in light of the millions covered by the order and the President’s intent to thwart, rather than carry out, Congress’ intent—evaporated when it became clear that the administration plans to issue work permits to those covered. Prosecutorial discretion is, by definition, a decision to refrain from prosecution; it does not include taking affirmative steps, such as the issuance of work permits, to put the government’s imprimatur on unlawful behavior.

For example, while a president can direct federal prosecutors to focus their efforts on people possessing more than a certain quantity of an illegal narcotic, he cannot unilaterally declare that possession of smaller amounts is legal, no less issue permits to that effect.

In his speech Thursday night, Obama alluded to supposedly similar executive actions taken by previous presidents. In particular, the White House and other Obama defenders point to actions taken by Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. Indeed, both issued orders protecting groups—albeit smaller ones—of illegal immigrants from deportation. However, neither was attempting to do what Obama just did—that is, thwart the letter and intent of existing immigration law.

To the contrary, after working with a Democrat-controlled House to enact the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (Simpson-Mazzoli), Reagan issued an order to implement one of its provisions which explicitly authorized the attorney general to allow illegal immigrants not qualifying for legal status under the Act to avoid deportation if needed “to assure family unity.” A few years later, the Bush administration did the same.

Obama’s appeal to precedents set by past presidents would make sense if the Reagan and Bush orders were borne of frustration with Congress’ failure to pass or revise Simpson-Mazzoli. That those order were issued, instead, to implement Simpson-Mazzoli only serves to emphasize the degree to which Obama’s action this week is both unprecedented and unconstitutional.

Curt Levey is a constitutional law attorney and president of the Committee for Justice. Follow him on Twitter at @Curt_Levey.

Source: Breitbart Feed

Illegal Immigrant Numbers Increasing in Texas County — 80 Miles From Border

FALFURRIAS, Texas — Illegal Immigrant captures are on the rise again in Brooks County, Texas, located 80 miles from the U.S. Mexico border. Friday night, Breitbart Texas witnessed the capture of six illegal immigrants and an additional twenty illegal immigrants who were being held at the Falfurrias checkpoint.

U.S. Border Patrol agents began following a Saturn View four-door passenger vehicle packed with people in the northern portion of Hidalgo County. They followed the vehicle while waiting for back-up to arrive and noticed suspicious behavior in the vehicle.

Brooks County Reserve Deputy Don White witnessed the activity of Border Patrol and pulled up to provide backup. Breitbart Texas was engaged in a ride-along with Deputy White. White observed the agents searching the bailout vehicle and searching the immigrants who were captured. Six illegal immigrants were captured while the driver who was allegedly their smuggler, escaped.

Breitbart Texas spoke with one of the immigrants who spoke perfect English. “I graduated from high school in Chicago,” the Mexican national told this writer. “I have been gone for about a year and one-half and was heading back to Chicago to get married.”

He said the woman he was going to marry is a U.S. citizen and he hoped the marriage might eventually lead him to some kind of legal status. He admitted paying $2,000 to the smuggler to get him back into Texas.

The other five illegal immigrants traveling with him were also from Mexico, he said.

The immigrants were captured on Highway 281 just south of FM 755 which is one of the hotspots for drop-offs of illegal immigrants. This location is about 70 miles north of the Texas-Mexico border. From this location the immigrants have to march through soft sand for about 15-20 miles before clearing the Falfurrias Border Patrol Checkpoint.

Breitbart Texas also observed about twenty additional illegal immigrants being held in the Falfurrias Border Patrol Checkpoint. They had been captured earlier in the evening and were being held for transportation back to a detention center where they will be processed for deportation.

Agents told Breitbart Texas the numbers of captures seems to be increasing again as the cooler weather has set in. The agents’ comments confirmed a recent statement from Brooks County rancher, Dr. Michael Vickers, who told Breitbart Texas he had seen significant increases in the numbers of illegal immigrants crossing his ranch in recent weeks.

Bob Price is a senior political writer for Breitbart Texas and a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.

Source: Breitbart Feed

Obama: Don’t Make Immigration ‘Dealbreaker,’ ‘Not How Democracy Our Works’

President Obama urged Republicans not to make his executive action on immigration a “dealbreaker” on other issues because “that’s not how our democracy works” in his weekly address on Saturday.

Transcript as Follows:

“Hi everybody. Today, I’m at Del Sol High School, in Las Vegas, to talk with students and families about immigration.

We are a nation of immigrants. It has always given America a big advantage over other nations. It keeps our country young, dynamic, and entrepreneurial. But today, our immigration system is broken, and everybody knows it.

That’s why, nearly two years ago, I came to this school and laid out principles for immigration reform. And five months later, Democrats, Republicans, and Independents in the Senate came together to pass a commonsense compromise bill. That bill would have secured our border, while giving undocumented immigrants who already live here a pathway to citizenship if they paid a fine, started paying their taxes, and went to the back of the line. Independent experts said it would grow our economy, and shrink our deficits.

Now, had the House of Representatives allowed a yes-or-no vote on that kind of bill, it would have passed with support from both parties. Today it would be the law. But for a year and a half, Republican leaders in the House have refused to allow that simple vote. Now, I still believe that the best way to solve this problem is by working together — both parties — to pass that kind of bipartisan law. But until that happens, there are actions I have the legal authority to take as President — the same kinds of actions taken by Democratic and Republican Presidents before me — that will help make our immigration system more fair and more just.

I took those actions this week. We’re providing more resources at the border to help law enforcement personnel stop illegal crossings, and send home those who do cross over. We’ll focus enforcement resources on people who are threats to our security — felons, not families; criminals, not children. And we’ll bring more undocumented immigrants out of the shadows so they can play by the rules, pay their full share of taxes, pass a criminal background check, and get right with the law.

Nothing about this action will benefit anyone who has come to this country recently, or who might try and come to America illegally in the future. It does not grant citizenship, or the right to stay here permanently, or offer the same benefits that citizens receive. And it’s certainly not amnesty, no matter how often the critics say it. Amnesty is the immigration system we have today — millions of people living here without paying their taxes, or playing by the rules. And the actions I took this week will finally start fixing that.

As you might have heard, there are Members of Congress who question my authority to make our immigration system work better. Well, I have one answer for that: Pass a bill. The day I sign it into law, the actions I’ve taken to help solve this problem will no longer be necessary.

In the meantime, we can’t allow a disagreement over a single issue to be a dealbreaker on every issue. That’s not how our democracy works. This debate deserves more than politics as usual. It’s important for our future. It’s about who we are, and the future we want to build.

We are only here because this country welcomed our forebears, and taught them that being American is about more than what we look like or where we come from. What makes us Americans is our shared commitment to an ideal — that all of us are created equal, and all of us have the chance to make of our lives what we will. That’s the country we inherited, and it’s the one we have to leave for future generations.

Thank you, God bless you, and have a great weekend.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

Source: Breitbart Feed

Watch: Livestream of Practical Federalism: How the Federal Government is Silencing the People

On Saturday, Breitbart News, American Principles Project, and Cornerstone Action will be sponsoring a forum entitled “Practical Federalism: How the Federal Government Is Silencing the People” at Southern New Hampshire University in Hooksett, NH from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. ET.

The objective of this forum is to shine a light on how the federal government overreach works, the Framers’ view that state elected officials must guard against federal intrusion, and how the federal government undermines that duty. And we aim to make this a central issue in the public square through this event. 

During this forum, we will raise the consciousness of the state’s legislators, activists, and Republican base, so that they demand that the potential 2016 presidential contenders address what they have done to resist federal encroachment and what they pledge to do.

Follow Breitbart.TV on Twitter @BreitbartVideo

Source: Breitbart Feed

SEIU CA Rallies Push Legal Status for Remaining Illegal Aliens, Applaud Obama

SEIU celebratory rallies held across California continued throughout Friday taking names of those who don’t qualify under President Obama’s new and expanded legal status for millions of illegal aliens while heralding his iron fisted legal status declaration.

SEIU California announced 12 rallies throughout California, saying, “Community members who have fought for comprehensive immigration reform will join affected families, local elected officials, and legal experts for a news conference following today’s announcement that President Obama will take administrative action to move comprehensive immigration reform forward.”

One SEIU rally involved taking signatures from any who said they would not be included under the new and expanded executive order, presumptively remaining illegally present in the U.S.. A photo and description was posted to the SEIU California Twitter account reading, “Names of friends and family who won’t benefit from ?#ImmigrationAction but the Presidents 1st action helps millions.”

The powerful union also unveiled new website iAmerica.org. “iAmerica is for American immigrant families of all walks of life, providing tools and support to get informed, inspire change and impact America’s future,” reads the front page of the site. The site devotes a section to registering voters. Another section called, Make an Impact lists one of five actions as “Take another selfie” and “amplify the call for immigration reform.”

Watch parties and press conference scheduled around the country are also posted on iAmerica. The site even boasts a section on finding legal services throughout the country, pulling from a database in a joint project of the Immigration Advocates Network and Pro Bono Net. Television network Univision, RocktheVote, National Immigration Law Center and MiFamilia Vota Education Fund are just a few of the organization that have joined with SEIU in sponsoring iAmerica according to the website.

Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana

Photo: Twitter

Source: Breitbart Feed