- - Wednesday, May 27, 2015


Texas is flooded, and it’s not just the water. The state has been inundated with illegal immigrants surging across its border, egged on by President Obama’s unprecedented grant of amnesty to millions who have no right to be here. Though powerless to stop the rain, a federal court has reinforced a legal barrier meant to stem the flow of humanity that threatens chaos in Texas and other border states. The tide of lawlessness may be turning.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans declined Tuesday to lift a stay of a lower court decision that President Obama overstepped his authority to grant that relief through his Deferred Action for Parental Accountability order. Mr. Obama issued the amnesty executive order last November, arguing that the Republican-majority Congress had failed to provide a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million illegals present in the United States, and he could and he would. Texas sued, joined by 25 other states, winning an injunction that would remain in effect while the appeals court adjudicated the case.

By a 2 to 1 vote, Judges Jerry E. Smith and Jennifer Elrod, both Republicans, determined that the president’s executive order to guarantee legal status and work permits for the millions would be an undue burden on Texas. Judge Stephen A. Higginson, appointed to the court by President Obama, dissented, arguing that the executive order should remain in effect while the president and Congress write new immigration law. The Constitution provides a legal way to enact such sweeping change through the authority of Congress, but not through presidential whim.

The United States takes considerable pride in that America is a nation of immigrants, but America has never been a nation of illegal immigrants. When the law breaks down, turmoil breaks out. Last summer a wave of 60,000 children made their way north — clinging to railroad cars, crammed into the cargo beds of trucks or driven on foot in columns by “coyotes” — dispatched by their parents to get to U.S. territory to reap the benefits of lenient Obama administration immigration policy. The result was a humanitarian outrage that transformed detention facilities into child-care centers. A similar phenomenon is underway this year as summer approaches. The numbers of the legion of the young who were murdered, raped and otherwise abused on their trek to the north may never be known.

Though the majority of illegals arrive from Hispanic-majority nations of Central and South America, many American citizens of Hispanic heritage oppose the disregard of the law that enabled them to get here. An NBC poll last year showed that by a margin of 56 percent to 40 percent Hispanic voters oppose the granting of federal benefits, including Obamacare, to the illegals until they become legal. Given a choice of immigration reform, economic opportunity, access to education and health care, immigration reform is least important to them.

Tuesday’s ruling is temporary, which may or may not stand further appeals court scrutiny. It’s a stay, not a victory. But it’s good news not simply for Texans or the citizens of the 25 states that joined the Texas appeal, but for all Americans. Mr. Obama’s attempt to circumvent precedent and steal a win from his playbook to transform the nation, is not popular with hardworking citizens who bear a heavy tax burden to dwell in a law-abiding land. They elected a president, not an emperor. The New Orleans appeals court agrees. The Supreme Court will have the last word on whether becoming an American means just showing up.

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