Down to the Wire
By Matthew Vadum
Republican lawmakers in the nation’s capital are racing against the legislative clock to approve measures aimed at cleaning up the border mess that President Obama created and preventing him from issuing unilateral decrees making it much, much worse.
The Obama administration is threatening to plunge the nation into a dire constitutional crisis after Labor Day by using executive orders to grant a huge amnesty to millions of illegal aliens now in the United States. Of course, in the American system of government, Congress, not the president, is supposed to make laws. Congress has repeatedly refused to grant the amnesties that Obama seeks, but the president refuses to take no for an answer, pressing on regardless of the casualties he inflicts on the country.
There is no indication Obama is backing off.
After meeting with Obama at the White House, leftist congressman Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.) again predicted the president would go forward with a massive immigration amnesty.
“I believe the president of the United States is going to act broadly and generously,” Gutiérrez said Tuesday on MSNBC when describing the White House visit that took place Friday. “That’s my belief. He didn’t say that to me but that’s what I believe he’s going to do.”
A giddy Gutiérrez said last week that the Obama administration could unilaterally provide legal status to as many as 5 million illegals.
But an amnesty fiat by the president would violate the U.S. Constitution and the separation of powers doctrine and is clearly “an impeachable offense,” according to commentator Charles Krauthammer.
Although Krauthammer doesn’t support efforts to impeach Obama which he refers to as “political suicide,” he said that unilaterally granting work permits and legal status to millions of illegal aliens would be “clearly lawless and it would be biggest domestic overreach of a president in memory.”
Time is running out for Congress to act to protect its constitutionally guaranteed legislative prerogatives from Obama’s tyrannical encroachments. On Friday the House of Representatives is set to adjourn for five weeks for summer vacation.
Newly introduced legislation is pending in both chambers that would prevent Obama from granting amnesty to illegal aliens. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is lead sponsor of the Senate measure. The companion bill in the House was introduced by Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.).
In addition, Cruz was expected to meet last night with House Republicans, including Reps. Steve King (Iowa), Louie Gohmert (Texas), and Matt Salmon (Arizona), in an effort to undermine House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) weak-as-dishwater border crisis bill. Cruz opposes the measure because it doesn’t defund Obama’s odious Deferred Action for Child Arrivals (DACA) program which stays immigration enforcement proceedings against underage illegal aliens. Obama used DACA to give 500,000 minors legal status after Congress refused to do so by failing to pass the so-called “DREAM Act.”
“The only way to stop the border crisis is to stop Obama’s amnesty,” Cruz said Tuesday. “It is disappointing the border security legislation unveiled today does not include language to end Obama’s amnesty. Congress cannot hope to solve this problem without addressing the fundamental cause of it.”
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama), the president’s most vocal critic in Congress on immigration-related issues, also opposes the Boehner bill and has asked the Senate to nix any border legislation that does not stop the president from using federal funds to process work authorizations for illegal aliens.
Granting amnesty with the stroke of a presidential pen would “do that which the law explicitly forbids” and “would be in contravention of [Obama's] duty and his oath to see that the laws of the United States are faithfully enforced,” Sessions said on the Senate floor. He continued:
The president’s actions are astonishing, and are taking our nation into exceedingly dangerous waters … Such calculated action strains the constitutional structure of our republic. Such unlawful and unconstitutional action, if taken, cannot stand. No Congress, Republican or Democrat, can allow such action to occur or to be maintained. The people will not stand for it. They must not stand for it.
Separately, the Senate voted 63 to 33 yesterday on a procedural motion to move forward a $3.5 billion emergency measure that deals with the border situation.
The House is expected to take up Boehner’s bill today.
Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) suggested earlier this week that wildly unpopular left-wing immigration reforms such as amnesty sought by radical groups could be slathered onto Boehner’s border bill.
But the Speaker says that won’t happen.
“Senator Reid, embarrassed that he cannot strong-arm the Senate into passing the blank check President Obama demanded, is making a deceitful and cynical attempt to derail the House’s common-sense solution,” Boehner said.
“So let me be as clear as I can be with Senator Reid: the House of Representatives will not take up the Senate immigration reform bill or accept it back from the Senate in any fashion,” the Speaker said. “Nor will we accept any attempt to add any other comprehensive immigration reform bill or anything like it, including the DREAM Act, to the House’s targeted legislation, which is meant to fix the actual problems causing the border crisis.”
The Senate measure Boehner was referring to is an abominably bad reform bill approved by the Democratic-controlled Senate last year that is languishing in the Republican-controlled House. Open borders advocates have been hoping that lawmakers move on the legislation in the lame duck session of Congress that is expected to follow the November election.
The Senate-approved immigration amnesty legislation provides for a phony “border surge” that would beef up enforcement efforts — but which will never actually be carried out. The bill also perversely rewards employers for hiring illegal aliens over those legally allowed to work. Another provision would stay deportation efforts against criminal illegal aliens for two-and-a-half years to allow them to seek legal status. The legislation is loaded with stimulus programs and political pork that has nothing to do with immigration. One provision would set aside $1.5 billion to provide low-income young people with taxpayer-funded vehicles such as cars, motorcycles, or scooters.
Critics say the Senate measure would devastate America’s labor marketplace and assure more amnesties in the future. In the awful Obama economy at least 11 million illegal immigrants would immediately be given Social Security cards that would allow them to compete for government and blue collar jobs.
Back in the House, immigration reform has to be kept separate as an issue from possible remedies for the ongoing border crisis, Boehner said. “Such measures have no place in the effort to solve this crisis, and any attempt to exploit this crisis by adding such measures will run into a brick wall in the people’s House.”
Distressingly, President Obama has been dumping busloads of illegals, many of whom are reportedly sick, on localities throughout the nation.
Grassroots activists in Murrieta, California, garnered headlines when they used civil disobedience tactics by blocking federal authorities from bussing in hundreds of illegal immigrants who snuck into south Texas. Even the residents of Democratic Party strongholds like Lynn, Massachusetts, are protesting the seemingly unending influx of undocumented aliens that they are hard-pressed to feed, house, and clothe. So many local officials and governors have objected to the transfer of child illegals into their jurisdictions that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has been keeping most of the locations secret.
Some Obama critics point out that the forced quartering of strangers in American colonists’ homes was one of the causes of the Revolutionary War and the inspiration for the Third Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Rep. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wisc.) introduced a bill yesterday that would give governors the right to refuse to accept unaccompanied underage illegals in their states. “While I recognize the severity and sensitivity of this crisis, we must secure the border and make a clear statement to those seeking citizenship in the United States: Illegal activity will not be rewarded,” Sensenbrenner said.
And the bad news from the U.S.-Mexico border keeps coming.
An outbreak of chicken pox has placed a new federal housing facility for recently arrived illegals under quarantine. No internees are being allowed to enter or leave the compound located at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Artesia, New Mexico.
Fox News reports that violent gang activity along the Texas border with Mexico is rising:
A game warden hit in the head with a rock while trying to seize a raft. Police officers wounded in an hours-long standoff with a gang member wanted for murder. Criminals spewing obscenities and death threats at local cops before asking for – and receiving – medical treatment. And that was just last week.
“In recent weeks the traffic appears to have slowed slightly, yet assaults on law enforcement have increased,” said Chris Cabrera, vice president of the National Border Patrol Union, Rio Grande Valley Sector. “This is a disturbing trend that needs to be addressed.”
“It is paramount that we get this problem under control. It is evident that we need more agents in the field to address the various threats posed to law enforcement as well as to our nation.”
Don’t hold your breath, Officer Cabrera.