Is Obama's Immigration Policy Unconstitutional?

by Gerri Willis

Nobody saw it coming.

The President announced a radical shift in our immigration policy. Instead of deporting some young illegal immigrants, the Obama administration will be offering work permits.

It's not based on any law, and the President says that's Congress's fault:

“In the absence of any immigration action from Congress to fix our broken immigration system, what we've tried to do is focus our immigration enforcement resources in the right places.”

When the President says Congress was inactive, what he really means is they rejected his idea. It was called the DREAM Act. Congress considered it, but it didn't have the support to pass. That's why it's not the law, but the President's putting it into effect anyway.

And this is not the first time the President has ignored the will of Congress. It's become one of his favorite tactics. In October of 2009, Obama had the Department of Justice announce they would stop prosecuting medical marijuana users and suppliers. This is just nine months into office. I guess it didn't take him too long to give up on the bipartisanship he campaigned on.

Last September, the Department of Justice announced they had changed their interpretation of the law, and effectively legalized internet gambling. With this move, the President's actually ignoring two laws on the books: The Wire Act of 1961 and the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act.

This is about more than vices. How about education?

No Child Left Behind had strict requirements for school performance, and threatened to pull federal funding from failing schools. Accountability. That's the law, but Obama doesn't like it, so the administration has granted waivers to 19 states.

What's the point of electing a Congress if the entire executive branch is going to ignore them? To not uphold and defend the laws of the land? Here’s one of the most egregious parts of the new immigration policy.

The Senate is at work on a new version of the DREAM Act, and it's supported by Republican Senator Marco Rubio. Why couldn't the President have worked with him on finding common ground there? Is bipartisanship really that distasteful for the President?

Might it undermine the President's campaign message that Congress can't get anything done?

You'd think the President would know better because he swore in his oath of office to uphold the Constitution.

And this isn't buried in the fine print. Article I, Section I: Congress has the exclusive power to write laws. Not the President. He's responsible for enforcing them.

But you know there's a constitutional scholar who described this exact situation just last year.

According to Obama, “America is a nation of laws, which means I, as the President, am obligated to enforce the law. The notion that I can just suspend deportations, that's just not the case.”

The laws on immigration haven't changed since then. I guess the President's views just "evolved." Isn't it incredible what an election year can do to your point of view?