Obama Amnesty: An Imperial Edict Gutting the Constitutional Rule of Law
Unlegislated Executive Action Demands Swift and Decisive Response from Congress, Says FAIR
Wherever one stands on the question of amnesty for illegal aliens, there can be no doubt that Obama does not have the constitutional authority to take unilateral action just because Congress has not enacted the legislation he wants.
- Dan Stein, President of FAIR
(November 19, 2014 — Washington, D.C.) - The following statement was issued by Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), in response to Thursday’s expected announcement that President Obama will grant amnesty to millions of illegal aliens through an executive order:
“President Obama will issue an executive order granting de facto amnesty and work authorization to millions of illegal aliens. It is a step that, by his own admission, is beyond his constitutional authority. The president’s blatant disregard for the Constitution, as well as the welfare and security of the American people must be met with an equally decisive response from Congress.
“The American people are united in their opposition to the president acting without legislative authority to grant amnesty to illegal aliens. Congress must act in a bipartisan fashion to prevent the president from carrying out this unconstitutional plan. The most immediate step Congress can take is to block any funds from being used to implement the president’s executive order.
“There is no basis in law for granting deferred action or parole to millions of illegal aliens. These are very limited mechanisms that are available to the executive branch to deal with rare and exceptional circumstances, not to forgive wholesale violations of our laws. Over the years, Congress has acted repeatedly to limit presidential use of these mechanisms in immigration law.
“This latest and most egregious action by the president represents the culmination of his relentless effort to dismantle any semblance of effective immigration enforcement. Over the past six years, Obama has systematically excluded category after category of illegal aliens from enforcement action, while finding ways to grant inadmissible aliens entry to the United States. In short, the president recognizes no limits on his authority to ignore laws, or create policies without authority from Congress.
“Wherever one stands on the question of amnesty for illegal aliens, there can be no doubt that Obama does not have the constitutional authority to take unilateral action just because Congress has not enacted the legislation he wants. The framers of our Constitution designed our system of government in this way to prevent presidents from acting like dictators.
“The president’s action destroys whatever credibility still exists in our nation’s ability to limit immigration and enforce laws. Our immigration laws exist for one reason: to protect the interests of the American people. For six years, the president has defiantly refused to carry out those laws and his executive order sends the unmistakable message that not only are there no penalties for violating our immigration laws, but those who break them will be rewarded.
“If allowed to proceed, the president’s amnesty program will take an immeasurable toll on American workers and taxpayers. Millions of illegal aliens will suddenly be allowed to compete with struggling American workers for scarce jobs. In addition, these illegal aliens will be eligible for billions of dollars in taxpayer-funded benefits.
“It is important to bear in mind that the president’s announcement is not the last word on this matter. Congress retains the authority to block this unlegislated amnesty program from getting off the ground, as well as the support of the American people.”