President Obama’s threats to unilaterally “legalize” millions of illegal aliens is drawing strong rebukes from legal analysts, political watchdogs and some members of Congress while activists say the threats could draw more people to a new wave of protests planned to start Saturday.
The Associated Press reported Tuesday that Obama is likely to grant work permits for potentially millions of illegals, allowing them to stay in the country without the threat of deportation. This action could come anytime between now and the November election, possibly as soon as August, when Congress leaves Washington for summer break.
House Speaker John Boehner on Tuesday took the impeachment option off the table saying, “We have no plan to impeach the president,” while a proposed financing package for the border crisis was put forth at roughly half the $3.7 billion requested by Obama.
By removing impeachment, that leaves the House with a pending lawsuit against the Obama administration as its main weapon in the fight to rein in the executive actions to wave parts of laws, rewrite others and create still others anew. Neither Boehner nor anyone on his staff could be reached by WND Tuesday as calls to his office met with a recording saying the office was “experiencing a heavy call volume.”
Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, did issue a statement to WND Tuesday calling Obama’s border strategy “completely irresponsible” and practically guaranteeing a vote in the House this week to sue the president for his abuses of power.
“President Obama’s lax immigration enforcement and legalization programs have created the current disaster at our southern border. Given that the border surge shows no signs of stopping, it is completely irresponsible for President Obama to consider expanding programs that will allow potentially millions more unlawful immigrants to live and work here,” Goodlatte said in the statement.
“These proposed unilateral actions will only worsen the border crisis by encouraging more to come here illegally. Unfortunately, President Obama’s refusal to enforce our immigration laws and rewrite them by executive decree is part of a broader pattern to ignore the constitutional limits on executive power. That is why the House of Representatives will vote this week to allow the speaker to sue the president to rein in the abuses of his executive power.”
William Gheen, president of Americans for Legal Immigration PAC, said any acts by the Obama administration to declare amnesty should be shot down immediately.
“That should not be possible because Obama doesn’t have the constitutional authority to declare any such amnesty for any group of people, and any declaration is a declaration of dictatorship and a form of martial law,” he told WND.
ALIPAC is organizing a second wave of national protests against amnesty starting Saturday, Aug. 2, and continuing through Oct. 24-25.
“I’m calling it martial law because it will be a form of law that is not the rule of law, not rule by Congress or the Constitution,” he said. “If Congress does not move to immediately correct the abuse of power, which Boehner has said he will not, then that leaves the American public with some very dire choices.”
Gheen said he didn’t want to discuss what those choices might be.
“One of those choices is subjugation; the other is outside the purview of my peaceful and political efforts, but I hope that people will channel their anger into the 2014 election cycle to politically destroy and remove from office as many Obama allies as possible, every Democrat and every Republican like Lamar Alexander and John Boehner. John Boehner is protecting the president. He is protecting Barack Obama.”
Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch and author of the New York Times Bestseller “The Corruption Chronicles,” said Obama has proven he will not hesitate to act unilaterally on major issues, and immigration is no exception. The watchdog group believes he is creating an atmosphere of growing lawlessness in Washington. But Fitton sees Congress as no less guilty.
“Certainly we’ve had years of experience with funding ICE, DHS, Border Patrol and the civil law enforcement approach to border protection is not working,” he said. “We need a military approach, and yet the response by Congress is more funding for more of the same, and I think it’s quite notable that in all of the talk about Speaker Boehner’s lawsuit challenging the president’s illicit actions, if you can point me to any references to illegal immigration in terms of that lawsuit, I’d be interested in learning that.”
In essence, Fitton said, “This border crisis is as much John Boehner’s border crisis as it is Obama’s border crisis.”
He said Congress’ futility in standing up to Obama’s amnesty plans is evident in the Senate’s failure to move on Sen. Ted Cruz’s bill to prohibit any further expansion of the president’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, which shields hundreds of thousands of unaccompanied children from deportation. Cruz argues that DACA attracts children from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras to the United States under the mistaken belief that upon entry they will receive permission to stay in the country.
“You can’t even get sponsors for Cruz’s bill. It may be something that’s helpful. It may not be a cure-all, but the fact that this modest approach is not getting any backing tells you everything you need to know about how serious some of these members are about their criticism of Obama,” Fitton said. “The threat on the border is completely out of control. Our military resources are being abused to promote this amnesty, and I guess even Sen. Cruz has this bill that would defund further DACA, and he can’t even get Republicans to do that.”
He said the House of Representatives should defund any and all actions that the president is taking that are not within the established laws of the land.
“In terms of the House, they hold the purse strings, and money expended for illicit purposes ought to be stopped. That’s their core power to raise and spend money, and if he is doing it illegally they need to stop it,” Fitton said.
Yet, the opposite seems to be occurring, he said.
“From everything I’m hearing, every deal likely to pass with the support of Republicans on the Hill would fund more of his lawlessness, further empower him to declare amnesty and do nothing to address the existential threat on our border,” Fitton continued. “I have a radical immigration reform proposal that would be comprehensive, too, and that would be to enforce the law.”
Fitton said the number of illegal aliens entering through the southern border has been skyrocketing since 2012, “and the Republicans did nothing. I blame not only Democrats but also Republican leaders and interest groups who have either explicitly or implicitly supported it. So this policy that’s so terrible, where did Obama get the money to do this? From Congress.”
Fitton said his organization is open to filing its own lawsuit against the executive branch for not enforcing immigration laws.
“The challenge is to find someone with legal standing for this lawlessness, which is something we’re always exploring,” he said. “This is a national border crisis; this is a national amnesty crisis. It’s always been true with illegal immigration in this country, because most illegals don’t stay at the border – every town is a border town. It is a challenge to our sovereignty; the president’s lawlessness is a challenge to our constitutional system. The people want the Constitution enforced and politicians don’t want it enforced.”
Fitton said there are members of Congress “who want to do the right thing,” but they are restrained by their party leaders.
“And who suffers? The American people suffer,” he said. “The threat to the public health, the crime, the cost and the relocation efforts threaten everyone in the country, and Washington is on the wrong side of the rule of law in this area.”
Robert Romano, senior editor with Americans for Limited Government, also used the word “lawlessness” to describe Obama’s action.
“You have Obama implementing his own rules and just choosing to ignore laws, whether it’s on immigration or Obamacare, or the National Labor Relations Board, where the Supreme Court just had to strike down recess appointments made to the NLRB when Congress was in recess last month, so the litany of lawlessness for Obama is just uncanny,” he said. “Nothing surprising here.”
He said Obama has all but dared Congress to try to stop him, and so far he’s prevailed.
“And what you see here is just the breakdown of the rule of law, which is what we’re seeing now,” Romano said. “You could pass another law, in which case he’ll ignore that, too. Right now the House is experimenting with taking the administration to court for its refusal to enforce Obamacare as it was written.
“In the case of the refusal to enforce the immigration laws, who’s the injured party that would be going to court to sue? Depending on the details, there may be an individual or business that is harmed and would have standing to sue, but it has to be an actual harm,” he continued. “So it would seem that the options really are limited, and so elections really do matter at this point.”