On Friday, President Barack Obama issued an executive order that will allow illegal immigrants who came to the United States before they were 16 years old and are younger than 30 years of age to be allowed to remain in the country without the fear of being deported.
However, those who have been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanor offenses that did not happen on the same date and not coming out of the same act, omission, or scheme of misconduct cannot be considered for deferred action under the new process.
This announcement is contradictory to the president’s remarks over a year ago, which make Obama’s actions look desperately political in the face of a rough re-election cycle and falling poll numbers. After a Daily Caller reporter questioned President Obama on this recent executive order, Obama, visibly annoyed, said, “It is the right thing to do for the American people, and here’s why. Here’s the reason. Because these young people who are going to make extraordinary contributions, and are already making extraordinary contributions to our society.”
In March of 2011, President Barack Obama addressed a town hall forum hosted by the spanish speaking network Univision. He was questioned about the immigration and deportation issue.
QUESTIONER: Mr. President, my question will be as follows: With an executive order, could you be able to stop deportations of the students? And if that’s so, that links to other questions that we have received through Univision.com. We have received hundreds—thousands all relating to immigration of students. J. Tamar told us..I’m reading, ‘What if, at least, you grant temporary protective status, TPS, to undocumented students? If your answer is “yes”… when? If your answer is “no”… why not?
OBAMA: (bolding is mine) Well first of all, temporary protective status historically has been used for special circumstances where you have immigrants to this country who are fleeing persecution in their countries or there’s some emergency situation in their native land that required them to come to the United States, so it would not be appropriate to use that just for a particular group that came here primarily, for example, economic opportunity.
With respect to the notion that I could suspend deportations through executive order, that’s just not the case, because there are laws on the books that Congress has passed and I know that everybody here at Bell is studying hard so you know we have three branches of government. Congresses passes the law. The executive branch’s job is to enforce and implement those laws and then the judiciary has to interpret the law. 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 through simply an executive order ignore those mandates would not conform with my appropriate role as president.
That does not mean, though, that we can’t make decisions that emphasize enforcement on those who have engaged in criminal activity. It also doesn’t mean that we can’t strongly advocate or propose legislation that would change the law in order to make it more fair…more just and ultimately would help young people do the right thing and whose talents we want to embrace in order to succeed as a country.
Congressman Steve King, Iowa Republican and Vice Chairman of the House Immigration Subcommittee, plans to sue the administration over the immigration order. Mr. King’s office released a statement on Friday saying:
Americans should be outraged that President Obama is planning to usurp the Constitutional authority of the United States Congress and grant amnesty by edict to 1 million illegal aliens,” said King. “There is no ambiguity in Congress about whether the DREAM Act’s amnesty program should be the law of the land. It has been rejected by Congress, and yet President Obama has decided that he will move forward with it anyway. President Obama, an ex constitutional law professor, whose favorite word is audacity, is prepared to violate the principles of Constitutional Law that he taught.