by Andrew Allen
Clash Daily Contributor
Obama’s limited amnesty came as no surprise. It was exceedingly well publicized in advance. Discussed at length in all quarters before the announcement Thursday night. More so than any other recent controversy, it was a known quantity going in. Thursday night merely made it official.
Much of what’s happened since has examined the legality of Obama’s action. By any reasonable standard — even Obama’s own considering that previously he admitted on the record that such an Executive Order exceeds the boundaries of Presidential authority — Congressional inaction is not a sufficient criterion for an Executive Order. To the contrary, it isn’t inaction if Congress fails to do what a President wishes Congress would do. Our national history is with replete with examples.
Obama himself accepted the position of Congress when it failed to pass authorization for use of force against the Syrian government in September 2013 (he went on to broker a deal with Russia regarding Syrian Weapons of Mass Destruction). Our system of checks and balances loses it’s equilibrium if the Executive Branch is permitted to perform legislative functions at the discretion of the President.
Why then would Obama take such an action that imperils the very fabric of our Constitutional Republic? He is after all a Constitutional scholar. He should know better than most that the precedent he is setting is one that future Presidents may use to acquire more power from the Legislative Branch. But, what if that precedent doesn’t matter so long as the desired ends are met?
“By any means necessary” and “the ends justify the means”. Since the Flower Power 1960s those two mantras have driven activists and community organizers from sea to shining sea.
That’s what drove Thursday’s announcement. The desired end state? To create an immigration crisis and put it in the lap of a GOP dominated Congress when it convenes in 2015.
Depending on the source, there may be anywhere from 10 million to 30 million immigrants illegally living in the United States. The Obama action only applies to about 4.5 million of them. How anyone can be certain the 4.5 million person figure is accurate is unclear considering that no firm number exists to account for all illegal immigrants and we are told they “live in the shadows” and are thus invisible to authorities. In any case, creating a smaller advantaged group – 4.5 million – within a larger disadvantaged group, is designed to drive a wedge within the overall community of illegal immigrants.
The crisis that emerges from this wedge in the short term then, is the disparity between the two groups. That a difference in status exists between the two will be called “unfair”. It will be portrayed as divisive. Discriminatory. Something that must be fixed. At once if we are to live up to our American ideals. On that hinge all attention will then pivot towards a Republican Congress.
If the Congress takes no action, they will be portrayed as stalling, ineffective, and uncaring. If Congress says “no” to upholding the Obama Executive Order, the grievance industry will kick into action and portray them as “racist”. In either of the aforementioned situations, Republicans will fear the loss of popular support from the important and growing Hispanic voter demographic. This leaves Congress in the uncomfortable position of affirming the Executive Order.
The Obama precedent then exchanges the value of our Constitution and the principles contained within, for cheap electoral gerrymandering. It’s designed to move Hispanic voters from the Republican to the Democrat Party following the bruising the Democrats received at the ballot box. The price tag for this is an unbalanced relationship between the Executive and Legislative Branch. The former will assume the roles of the latter; the latter becoming more of a rubber stamp than a deliberative body designed to counter the influence of the former. The Executive Branch will take power from the Legislative Branch. Our system, which was constructed to dilute power across separate but equal branches in purposeful conflict with one another, will instead put one branch ahead of the others in an iniquitous relationship.
“Our immigration system has been broken for a very long time and everybody knows it,” Obama said. Virtually all Americans agree with that sentiment. The current immigration system is nonsensical, and in many instances inhumane. The Obama precedent however, does more harm than good, for it’s reach will extend well beyond immigration.
Andrew Allen grew up in the American southeast and for more than two decades has worked as an information technologies professional in Washington DC, southern California, and abroad variously in Europe, Africa, and parts of Asia. A former far-left activist, Allen became a conservative in the late 1990s, once emboldened to begin questioning his own leftist points of view. When not working IT issues or traveling Andrew Allen spends his free time with family, exercising, and writing.