Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Dream Act By Executive Order

The Obama Administration pursued a crackdown on illegal immigrants for the first two years that he was in office, deporting them in far larger numbers than the preceding administration had ever done because, presumably, this administration is less friendly to large businesses which hire them illegally. The practice is, of course, not exactly friendly to immigrants themselves, something which seems to have suddenly occurred to this administration at reelection campaign time.

So, while Congress has still not reformed our immigration policy, The NYT tells us that the administration has “issued a new deportation policy” which will “use powers of prosecutorial discretion in existing law to suspend the deportations of most immigrants who, although they have committed immigration violations (which generally are civil offenses), have not been convicted of crimes.” In other words issue them green cards, making it a policy of “amnesty” under another name.

But White House officials and Congressional Democrats said they expected the measures would lead to relief during the coming year for virtually all young illegal immigrants facing deportation who might have won legal status under a bill called the Dream Act. A proposal to benefit illegal immigrant high school graduates who came to the country before they were 16, it failed in the Senate last year.

Well, not to get all constitutionalist on you here, but if Congress rejects something and Obama proceeds to do it by executive order, why do we think that’s a good thing? Because we approve of Obama and we approve of the action. All well and good.

But if a Democratic Congress rejected a corporate tax cut and a Republican president implemented it by means of executive order, how would we feel about that? I suspect we would be screaming about “presidential overreach” and decrying an “imperial president.”

The validity of an action does not depend on who is doing it, nor is it about who likes or dislikes it.

No comments:

Post a Comment