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The Border Battle Begins

The Republicans showed some fight on the issue of illegal immigration Wednesday, with a majority of the House of Representatives voting to withhold funding for the Department of Homeland Security to enact President Barack Obama’s executive orders granting amnesty to an estimated 5 million illegal immigrants, and we were glad to see it. Their efforts might yet prove futile, given the longer terms and weaker wills in the Senate and the full fury of the open borders lobby and the way Obama usually gets away with these things, but we’re heartened by the feistiness.
House Speaker John Boehner, long derided by the more robustly conservative members of his party as too accommodating to the president, even delivered a full-throated denunciation of Obama’s extra-constitutional attempts to re-write immigration that the most rabid right-wing radio talker would be hard-pressed to top. The speech cited the 22 separate occasions when Obama clearly stated that he did not have the legal authority to issue the executive orders being contested, noting that Obama has “ignored the people, ignored the constitution, and even his own past statements.” Although 26 Republicans helped the Democrats defeat an amendment that would have blocked an executive order deferring deportations of illegal immigrants who arrived here as children, and another seven bolted on an amendment to delay “immigration priorities,” the watered-down version got unified party support. There won’t be such unity in the Senate, where several Republicans have a long history of sharing the party’s big business wing’s preference for cheaper labor, but the House vote represents an overwhelming consensus among the grassroots that could jam the congressional phone lines and mailboxes and thus force a majority to go along.
Everyone expects the bill will be further watered down in the Senate, though, and even the weakest brew is likely to result in a veto that even the most improbably unified Republican party does not have the votes to override. The Republicans could still prevail by withholding funding for the Department of Homeland Security, but that would severely test any politician’s feistiness. Already The New York Times is describing the House vote as “approving legislation that would revoke legal protections for millions of unauthorized immigrants, including children, and put them at risk of deportation,” and the National Journal was making much of those “moderates” and “centrists” among the Republicans who voted against the amendments and worrying that the majority Republican position “could imperil their re-elections in 2016.” The Times cannot explain how an executive order to negate existing law is a “legal protection” for “unauthorized immigrants,” nor can The National Journal explain why the terms “moderate” and “centrist” enjoy such a positive connotation as they intend, and they don’t want to mention those dissenting Republicans would only imperil their re-election chances because they Represent majority-Latino districts that are never supposed to vote for Republicans in the first place, but it’s an indication of how a shut-down of the Department of Homeland Security would play out in the press.
The Republicans will happily cough up some generous amount to fund all of the department’s vital anti-terrorism functions, just not the parts that would invite millions more illegal immigrants and perhaps a few terrorists to happily traipse across the southern border, and this should prove a politically advantageous position. The Third World’s unfettered access to the United States of America is not widely popular, even in those Latino-majority districts that have unaccountably elected Republican representatives, and revanchist groups such as La Raza and the owners of companies reliant on cheap unskilled labor do not constitute a majority of the voting public. That tale about racist Republicans picking on poor brown children will be oft-told, however, and the president does have a way of getting away with these things.
This will all take weeks or maybe months to sort out, and we’ll keep attuned to the latest developments. In the meantime, we’re hoping for more Republican feistiness.

— Bud Norman

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One response

  1. The House of Representatives delivered an unmistakable un coup sûr to the Executive branch of the government yesterday, voting 237-190 on an amendment to undo the unilateral actions announced last November by president Obama. For those who were too distracted by DWTS or The Walking Dead to notice, the president unilaterally provided temporary deportation relief and offered work permits to some 4-million illegal immigrants. In plain words, the president changed existing law that had been enacted through the constitutional efforts of the Legislative branch of our government (the peoples representatives). This was done with no more than a stroke of his pen.

    While it is not likely that the Senate will approve the amendment, it is an important first step in what will likely be a prolonged and contentious effort to restore the rule of law in America.

    Yesterday’s Daily Observation in this blog noted that the president has granted himself powers that are outside of the scope of those granted to the Chief Executive in the Constitution. Indeed, the president is not faithfully executing upon his oath to “[p]reserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” as evidenced by his failure to enforce the laws he doesn’t like, while enacting or otherwise amending laws as he sees fit. Whether this is an impeachable offense remains to be seen as political pragmatism is generally the master of the peoples representatives (as opposed to the people).

    With regard to the instant matter, Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution states:

    “The Congress shall have Power to […] establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization…”
    Frankly, I do not think it cannot be any plainer that as it is worded in the text of the Constitution. When coupled with the president’s previous (and numerous) statements that he does not possess the “power” to change or make law without the involvement of Congress, it renders protestations in support of the president’s actions (as they involve revising existing immigration law) disingenuous at best.

    Advocates for illegal immigrants warned Republicans that their efforts risked alienating Latino voters who will be crucial to the 2016 presidential election. While this may be true to some degree, Republican’s have clearly put their country before politics (unlike their esteemed colleagues across the aisle). One presumes that such an endeavor may have the added benefit of restoring the people’s trust and faith in our elected officials to work on our behalf.

    When one scratches the glistening veneer of Democratic talking points, it is not too difficult to discern self-serving efforts to obtain a permanent block of Democratic voters to ensure a super-majority for countless generations to come. Today is the first step toward the defeat of the president’s objective of one-party dominance. God bless America.

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