November 21, 2014
Obama's immigration plan isn't worth the paper it's printed on
Though he didn't discuss the details during his speech, President Obama has issued a series of memos that reveal exactly why unilateral, lawless actions from him aren't worth the paper they're printed on. His planned changes to his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program illustrate exactly why the criteria illegal aliens must meet to obtain his amnesty are utterly meaningless and can change at any time. In making these changes, Obama highlights the deeply problematic nature of his lawless policymaking.
After Obama decreed his controversial DACA amnesty into existence in 2012, advocates pointed to the supposedly strenuous criteria applicants must meet to obtain the status. Some advocates and journalists even went further, incorrectly claiming that it is only for "children" who are "brought here through no fault of their own" and who are high school graduates with good grades. None of that is true, but it has been part of the effort to advance the narrative that DACA is narrowly defined and meant to benefit only a small number of illegal aliens.
Under the original terms of DACA, any illegal alien under age 31 as of June 15, 2012 who claims to have entered before age 16 (either on their own volition or in their mother's arms) can receive a two-year amnesty (with a work permit, a Social Security account and other benefits). The have to show they were enrolled in some sort of educational program at the time of applying for DACA, but they could drop out the day after sending in a DACA application and still qualify. The administration explained in their renewal guidelines this summer that being an unemployed dropout would not stop illegal aliens from renewing their DACA status.
Most of the other requirements in DACA also mean very little. For example, the requirement that applicants prove they have "continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time" isn't really what it sounds like since "continuous residency" in immigration law generally allows aliens to be absent from the U.S. for up to six months. Similarly, the criminal background provisions in DACA give a pass to applicants who have committed multiple misdemeanors like petty theft, possession of drug paraphernalia, public intoxication, vandalism, etc.
But Obama's latest announcement has changed many of these guidelines and throws all of them into doubt. Under the new scheme, Obama has eliminated the age cap so that DACA will benefit illegal aliens "regardless of how old they were in June 2012 or are today." The age cap of 31 "will no longer apply". Never again should the media or advocates refer to this lawless program as one for children.
Additionally, though the original DACA resulted in a renewable two-year amnesty and work permits that lasted just as long, Obama's new scheme extends the period to three years.If not stopped by Congress, Obama and future presidents can simply extend it to four years, or five years or 15 years. This is the nature of lawless, unilateral decrees like DACA.
Furthermore, DACA originally required applicants to prove they were inside the United States since June 15, 2007, but Obama changed it to Jan. 1, 2010, thereby broadening the scope of eligible illegal aliens. Illegal aliens who entered perhaps in response to the original DACA will now be eligible. Over 500,000 have already qualified, but that number will grow.
Without any sense of irony, the same memo announcing these lawless changes also announces Obama's plan to expand deferred action to illegal aliens who have a child in the United States and who meet other requirements like being "physically present in the United States on the date of this memorandum" and having resided continuously in the U.S. since January 2010. But why should anyone take these terms seriously? Since the requirements under the original DACA can be expanded with nothing more than Obama's pen, illegal aliens have every reason to believe that Obama will eventually change these new requirements as well.
People around the world are receiving the message that illegal entry into the United States is a legitimate means to obtaining a work permit and likely a permanent stay in the United States. And since people respond to messaging, there's every reason to believe that illegal immigration will increase in response to Obama's latest announcements. And if the numbers don't grow fast enough, President Obama will simply change the terms of his lawless scheme again in any way he chooses.
By Jon Feere, legal policy analyst at the Center for Immigration Studies.
Senate Filibuster Rule is Removed
Today’s events in the United States Senate strongly support action against this lawless and “above it all elected-senators.”
Today’s change in the filibuster rule (i.e., the Nuclear Option) by the senate-controlled democrat party bodes very poorly for the country and constitutional governance. Let me explain:
The rule change today fundamentally states that the democrats have effectively said that minority opinion in our system of government is gone under certain considerations. Specifically, the Republicans have blocked a number of leftist judge appointments and the new rule means that judgeships will now pass by a senatorial simple majority rather than the Constitutionally-mandated 60 votes.
In 1789, the Founding Fathers enacted two distinct rule-making methods; by having a senate 60-member vote to pass and ensuring that minority groups in the senate would have their voices heard. With the House it is a simple majority. The former senate option for judgeships is now gone. And remember that the current administration wants to pack all courts with left-leaning ideologues.
Frankly, I was shocked at the announcement today. Why—not so much about judges (although judges should not be chosen how they are—too much input from “lawyers”), but by virtue of any other similarly held vote in the democratic-held senate on any measure that can be brought into law by a “simple majority.”
Read into that last statement: Immigration reform, Gun legislation / confiscation, Obamacare (the action today is also said to be to take the attention off Obama-care), Agenda 21, Education (Common Core et al), EPA, Race issues, youth crime and a host of other issues. Add your own, the list is nearly limitless.
We can fully expect that the president will sign senate-initiated legislation (as he has done with certain illegal spending bills) and leave the Republican-controlled US House totally out of the picture. This is neither good of America nor worthy of a Nation built on “rules of law.”
Chuck Sankey November 21, 2013