Obama’s amnesty: Abuse of power |

Obama’s amnesty: Abuse of power

Whether America’s immigration system is in need of “dire reform” remains debatable. After all, had the federal government enforced existing laws, the nation wouldn’t be in the pickle it finds itself today. But what isn’t debatable is whose role it is to make immigration law — Congress’ — and the hypocrisy of a president who once understood that.

On Thursday night, President Obama announced his long-expected executive order that, at its crux, takes the risk of deportation off the table for up to 5 million illegal aliens who come out of the proverbial “shadows,” pass criminal background checks and pay taxes.

But not only does the move reaffirm Mr. Obama’s well-deserved reputation as a hypocrite — he had spoken against such unilateral action nearly two dozen times since early 2008 — he traduced the rule of law by mutating the concept of “prosecutory discretion” to rationalize his lawlessness.

And for those who argue that Presidents George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan did the exact same thing, their actions are not parallels. While Messrs. Bush’s and Reagan’s executive orders indeed had downsides, at least they worked within the scope of existing legislation; Obama’s executive order unconstitutionally legislated.

Lawsuits already are being filed by several states to challenge the president’s move. Some in Congress will move to cut off funding to implement the Obama order. And both moves are appropriate. For as Obama himself said, “I am president, I am not king. I can’t do these things just by myself.”

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