Patterico's Pontifications


Three Cheers for Obama’s “Unilateral” Action on Immigration

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:35 pm

Obama’s taking unilateral action to address the problem of illegal immigration. Good for him. The only question is: what took him so long?

Mr. Obama intends to direct Secretary of Homeland Security (DHS) Jeh Johnson and Attorney General Eric Holder to move “available and appropriate enforcement resources” from the interior of the country down to the southern border.

“Protecting public safety is and will remain a top priority, and we will continue to focus on removing those who have committed serious crimes from our interior, but we will redirect other resources to make sure we keep doing what it takes to keep our border secure,” the official said.

OK. Nobody is going to argue with beefing up border security. But, Obama, why did you wait to do this? You know you don’t need Congress to tell you to do something obvious like protect the border.

This is a desperate move, prompted by the flood of illegal children at the border — and Obama is trying to pretend like it has something to do with Republicans not giving illegals amnesty, or something. But in reality, he has no excuse for not having diverted resources to the border long ago.

This is “unilateral” action in the same sense that my deciding to scratch my nose when it itches is a “unilateral” action. There is no need to take a vote on it. It needs to be done, and only I can do it. Unilateral, unischmateral.

P.S. We know what this is actually all about, Obama: setting a precedent for “unilateral” action that is not within your constitutional authority — unlike redeploying enforcement resources, which clearly is. But while I applaud your finally doing something that you are authorized to do, I will advocate any lawful sanction available, up to and including impeachment, when you inevitably try to do something you have no authority to do.

This is not fantasy or conjecture, by the way. I have in mind this:

“I don’t know how much more time he thinks he needs, but I hope that Speaker Boehner will speak up today,” Durbin said. “And if he does not, the president will borrow the power that is needed to solve the problems of immigration.”

I know exactly what the word “borrow” means in this context. It means “steal.” Obama “borrowing” power is rather like his spendthrift federal government “borrowing” money by the trillions: it’s not a true debt, because it will never be repaid.

So let’s just do what it takes to prevent the theft to begin with, and damn the consequences.

But, you know, yay border security.

29 Responses to “Three Cheers for Obama’s “Unilateral” Action on Immigration”

  1. We should welcome these children as our newest americans! Would you tell a child who rode on top of the train of death (because so many children have fallen off of it trying to get here) you shouldn’t want to be an american!

    vota (f73058)

  2. Take your meds, Perry.

    JD (95650e)

  3. Viva Baracquito Queso!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  4. R.I.P. Frank M. Robinson, author of the science fiction classic “The Power”

    Icy (e6ea2c)

  5. I really wish we could welcome these kids, but we can’t.* The moment we do, we get more, and at some point you have to decide to uphold the law. The kindest thing we could do is fly them home without locking them up for a year first. This would also have the effect of dissuading the next wave.

    Now, if for every kid who came in wanting to work we could deport a criminal or welfare bum, maybe we could cut a deal.

    * I also wish for world peace and that all kittens find a loving home.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  6. Memo to Fox News or other reporters willing to ask hard questions: Every time you get a chance, ask the Administration why id doesn’t just fly the kids home, and if this is because of a law, would the President sign a new law letting them do so?

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  7. So Obama moves the enforcement to the border so that they can capture the illegals more quickly and dump them off at Greyhound stations across the country with more efficiency?

    DejectedHead (06f486)

  8. I love the evocative “train of death” Oooooohhhh! It’s a freight train, fercrissakes! How about calling it the “train for people who are so stupid that they cram themselves on the top of it and wonder why they fall off and die.”
    At least they won’t be reproducing.

    Gazzer (ee7136)

  9. I just love this vota person. Everything it says is so racist that George Lincoln Rockwell would be proud. Hat’s off to proving the inherent racism of liberals, because, you know, those stupid brown people put their children on the “trains of death” to what?

    They leave their homes with no future in their home country because of the their worthless, socialist home governments for the promise of a chance at a better life in the U.S. And when they get here, all they get is a ticket from a bus station to who knows where. Then they get to be abandoned by a feckless government as tools for Democrats to use as a point that that the U.S. is bad because everyone wants to come here?

    Can someone help me with the logic here?

    Ag80 (eb6ffa)

  10. Ag80 – because, racisms.

    JD (95650e)

  11. Ag, once you get your head around the fact that socialism is a mental disorder, it all just falls into place.

    Gazzer (ee7136)

  12. Would you tell a child who rode on top of the train of death (because so many children have fallen off of it trying to get here) you shouldn’t want to be an american!

    Is this train run by Amtrak? Because if so, Joe Biden ought to be able to arrange an earmark for it so that the kids can ride safely inside.

    JVW (feb406)

  13. I’ve come to think that the average commenter on this blog knows and understands the U.S. Constitution better than the President of the United States. He was a Constitutional Law Professor my a$$. That’s was just one more stretch of truth lie they told to make him look more electable. A trifecta of liberal lawyers agree–he’s been over-reaching–a lot.

    elissa (1f8a0a)

  14. ==Joe Biden ought to be able to arrange an earmark for it so that the kids can ride safely ==.

    Yes, but what happens when that train earmark reaches the bridge to nowhere earmark?
    These things can get pretty complicated.

    elissa (1f8a0a)

  15. Trains.

    Ag80 (eb6ffa)

  16. Elissa, you can know the Constitution like the back of your hand and still ignore. Not mutually exclusive.

    Gazzer (ee7136)

  17. I’m all in favor of immigration. Of course I would like a fair system, where anyone from around the world who wishes to contribute to our society can do so. That obviously means we can’t let someone cut in line just because they broke the law, or cynically put their own child in harm’s way (which is all too similar to the way our current debt problem puts our children in harm way for cynical reasons).

    I would only exclude for obvious reasons of non-assimilation. Not knowing English, breaking the law, using welfare. These basic rules mean that those who come here will make this country better for themselves and for the rest of us.

    I am suspicious of those politicians in both parties that seem to prefer those who do put their kids in harm’s way, do not learn the language (and thus can never really thrive here), break the law, and are dependent on welfare. They just want the most cheaply bought votes. An English speaking Mexican engineer might expect politicians to balance the budget so that future generations of Americans will enjoy a prosperous country. A desperate and hungry dishwasher who is paid under the table and has children who are hungry too can be bought with food stamps that are funded with debt. The latter requires no direct sacrifice from politicians, the former would mean a politician must stand up to lobbyists.

    In this case as with many others, the GOP has interfered with real reform options, crushing them with cynical positioning that is too close to the democrat position. They prey on garnering desperate votes of ‘lesser of two evils’ while quite aware that Rome is burning around them. We can do better, but it takes resolve to refuse to play this game.

    Dustin (7f67e8)

  18. Elissa, you can know the Constitution like the back of your hand and still ignore. Not mutually exclusive.


    I think this is probably more on the money. Obama and his administration do not break the rules because they don’t understand them. This post is a good example of how they actually strategize breaking the rules. They find an easily defended precedent with a future abuse in mind. They didn’t have all those emails destroyed because they have no idea if they are kosher. They didn’t hide Obama’s decision making on 9/11/2012 because they thought that he did a good job.

    It’s all too easy for both sides to say that Bush and Obama are morons. If only that were the problem. In Obama’s case, he is ruthlessly breaking the law in pursuit of transforming this country. He’s been extremely successful. I think mainly because there is no serious alternative. There is only a half hearted lesser of two evils. It’s very easy to convince me it’s the lesser of two evils, but in this media climate, that insincerity can not sway the low information voter because it reeks of weakness. We need strong, proud leaders. Obama actually is closer to that than his opponents have been, albeit he is ruthlessly leading us in the wrong direction.

    Dustin (7f67e8)

  19. Dustin (7f67e8) — 7/1/2014 @ 2:26 am

    They just want the most cheaply bought votes.

    Nothing could be cheaper than just allowing someone – or someone close to a voter – to stay in the country without anything else – provided that the other party does not want to allow it.

    Insecurity is what gains votes.

    Till now, the Democrats have mostly used false insecurity, e.g. Social Security is in danger, civil rights are in danger, abortion is in danger, your job is in danger from Republican policies , – here, however, with “Republicans want to deport people you know and love” they can be on solid ground!

    Except for the fact that Obama is doing it himself.

    An English speaking Mexican engineer

    …legally admitted would not be in danger. However: “Republicans want to limit family immigration that’s now allowed” might appeal to him.

    A desperate and hungry dishwasher who is paid under the table and has children who are hungry too can be bought with food stamps that are funded with debt.

    They do not need to offer them food stamps. Security is more important. Food stamps are for long established U.S. citizens. More people unemployed may be better. Reppublicans are for limiting the duration of unenployment insurance, which you depend on, may be a selling point.

    Republicans also have a selling point with “access to your doctor is in danger”

    Sammy Finkelman (b7774f)

  20. Democrats or Republicans don’t have to offer security – just more security than the other party.

    Obama doesn’t have to stop all deportations – just definitely do fewer of them. (right now, he seems to be shifting personnel from internal enforcement, which costs votes, to border control, which impacts voting much less, particularly if this can be done without penalizing people sent away with obstacles to possible future legal immigration.

    Another thing I should note: Democrats are not particularly interested in benefitting poor people and the like… they are interested in benefitting unions, which contribute money and volunteers, or small intersted groups. Real benefits are for contributors. (Fear is what is for the people at large.)

    This can best be seen by their push for “repairing infrastructure” This does not mean new bridges and tunnels and roads. This means doing expensive work on existing bridges and tunnels and roads. For the average person this only brings disruption. A perfectly good bridge, or one that it would be enough to do minor repair, is extensively redone. A road leading up to it may be left alone because it wasn’t successfully lobbied for.

    There is a never ending amount of repair work to be done. If they were building something new, it could come to an end.

    They are for pre-school, not for the students but for the unionized teachers. Actually we should be striving for productivity in education – less days and hours and years of school and more education. What we have is a tremendous inefficiency.

    They are not for patients – they are for unionized nurses. Providers not clients. Teachers, not students. Food stamp eligibility workers, not food stamps. Community groups to recruit people, not finding people.

    They are also sometimes for quasi religious interest groups, like environmentalists. Thos people give money, too.

    Sammy Finkelman (b7774f)

  21. Just another false move by Ogabe. Lie about beginning to do something and ask for more money.

    gary gulrud (46ca75)

  22. It should be clear by now that the headline is just an attention grabber, done for shock value. The real message of the post is: this is what you should have been doing all along — and don’t try to use it as precedent for something you have no authority to do.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  23. There is no argument or question that in many cases he blatantly ignores the plain meaning of the Constitution in order to do what he wants. He has no respect for any existing law if it gets in his way and he loves to create new ones. Perhaps our President is a whiz on the Constitution. I continue to hold to my theory that if he were on the TV show Jeopardy and participated in a series of “Know Your Constitution” rounds he would fail miserably.

    elissa (1f8a0a)

  24. …and don’t try to use it as precedent for something you have no authority to do.

    No one is stopping the President, Pat! How far do you think Boehner’s lawsuit will get? If the House starts de-funding programs, they’ll get lambasted in the press right before the midterm elections. The make believe media will parade a bunch of “regular” people being adversely affected by the “heartless” Republicans. After yesterday’s Hobby Lobby ruling, you can bet they’ll be a procession of Flukian women decrying that they’re unable to access reproductive services because of teh Patriarchy™!

    Hadoop (7fc17e)

  25. The House needs to pass a resolution declaring that the President has no authority to alter immigration law, and that any public official who cooperates with any such illegal actions can be prosecuted by a future administration.

    Amphipolis (d3e04f)

  26. I think maybe Barack Obama, or somebody close to him, is waiting for the opportunity to issue his own version of the Emancipation Proclamation.

    Then he would be another Lincoln, or such is the hope.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  27. “Borrowing Power”, is that like “investing resources”?

    If The Left ever told the truth about what they want to do, no one would ever give them the power to do so.

    askeptic (8ecc78)

  28. I’ve come to think that the average commenter on this blog knows and understands the U.S. Constitution better than the President of the United States.

    Not counting the drive-bys.

    For myself, IANAL, but I did read Madison’s Notes and the Federalist in college and take a couple of Con Law classes, all during the Watergate period. Oh, I also watched the Bork hearings, which made another fine class. I prefer to read the decisions and dissents rather than be told about them.

    From what I hear here from the other non-lawyers, this seems typical.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

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