What do you think of President Obama’s new immigration policy?

Last week, President Obama announced a relaxed enforcement policy toward young illegal immigrants who arrived as children with their parents. Some Republicans accused the president of trying to go around Congress. Today’s Question: What do you think of President Obama’s new immigration policy?

  • kurt

    Clearly an attempt to energize Hispanic voters before the election. Interesting is his blaming Congress for inaction when the Dems controlled it for the first two years of his Presidency. Also interesting is his decision to bypass the laws, such as they are, when he disagrees with them. I hope those cheering his “boldness” will be equally thrilled when the next Republican President boldly decides not to enorce EPA regulations.

  • Duane

    I an currently retired, but if I were a young person looking at a 20 plus unemployment rate or for that matter a person in the thirties in the employment world and out of a job or for that matter a good paying job; I would be so upset I would be calling for President Obama to be removed from office in November if not sooner. He had the opportunity to do this the right way, in the first two years of his administration with the help of congress, but he choose to go around congress for only pocitical reasons. I hope now that he is soundly beaton this coming November.

  • Clark

    I didn’t realize that our current clueless community activist president had recently been made king obama who can disregard the law and suspend enforcement activities.

    Can you imagine the screams from CBS, NBC and ABC if an action such as this was implemented by a republican president. Thanks for FOX news.

    Is he handing out $100 bills to poor people in front of the white house yet?

  • Gary F

    Just think of the outcry from the political left and their friends in the mainstream media if a Republican would abuse his power like that for political gain.

  • Bart

    It seems to be the right thing to do. Mitt Romney seems to think so as well since he refused to say whether he’d overturn the Obama’s new policy that would effectively allow some young illegal immigrants to remain in the United States without fear of deportation.

  • Allie

    Fact: A bipartisan bill for comprehensive immigration reform that had the support of then-President Bush passed the House in 2007. Conservative Republicans prevented it from being brought to the floor of the Senate, which resulted in the bill being killed.

    Based on the current composition of the House and Senate, such a bill doesn’t have the slightest chance of becoming law in the near term.

  • Mathew

    Good for Obama. We need those young people here working hard, paying taxes, supporting businesses, and providing for our national security. A great first step towards a more rational immigration policy.

    As an aside, most residential construction sites that I visit, hire Hispanics. American (job creators) business owners hire Hispanics for the below market wages they can pay these immigrants. Period.

  • Tom

    Re-election is more important than the rule of law,… if you are a liberal.

  • Gary F

    “Based on the current composition of the House and Senate, such a bill doesn’t have the slightest chance of becoming law in the near term.”

    Then it doesn’t become law. It’s called the balance of powers. It doesn’t mean that a President who thinks something should be law can just start making laws. It doesn’t mean that if its a “good idea” and “should become” law, that a President can just do it.

    It’s unbelievable that our current President was a “constitutional scholar” and has such disregard for the Constitution.

  • John

    Obama is using presidential powers for political gains. By surpassing Congress he has turned himself into a sort of dictator.

    The flood gates are open.

  • Mathew

    @ GaryF Then you surely must be against any attempt by the GOP in MN to put these so-called “constitutional amendments” on the ballot in November…

  • Duane

    I wonder how many people or the MSM knew that Sen Rubio had proposed a bill with similar provisions in the Senate BEFORE President Obama made this executive decision. An effective leader would have joined with Sen Rubio and encourage the passage of this bill, but he choose to make it a political statement to help his election.

  • Steve

    Contrast Barack Obama’s reasoned and measured approach on immigration and so many other issues that affect the Latino community with the ideologically motivated policies endorsed by Mitt Romney and it is no wonder that two-thirds of Latinos support returning the president to the White House.

  • Gary F

    “@ GaryF Then you surely must be against any attempt by the GOP in MN to put these so-called “constitutional amendments” on the ballot in November…”

    Whether its for more dedicated money for the environment, voter id, roads and transit, or gay marriage, the Minnesota state constitution has provisions for this process, and whether to your liking or not, it’s following the rules set forth in the Minnesota Constitution.

  • Gary F

    But Senator Rubio would have wanted it as PART OF LEGISLATION!

    It’s about the abuse of power, not the intent of the legislation.

  • Jim G

    Republican leadership in the House and Senate have created an obstructionist atmosphere which has stymied any immigration reform. Now, they cry foul when the President makes a smart policy change. These kids and young adults have proven themselves by keeping their noses’ clean and on the educational grindstone to get their High School Diplomas. This policy change is smart politically and though only a short term and incomplete fix, it points the way to a common sense, morally based solution to our immigration conundrum.

  • matt

    We have come so far, electing a president, who 100 years ago would not have been elected…or 150 years ago might gave been owned…based on the color of his skin – a factor outside of his control. And yet we argue still about laws that discriminate against people based on their latitude and longitude at time of birth, a factor outside of their control.

    The absurdity of the imaginary lines is bad enough it becomes comical when we make policy based on when you crossed the imaginary line compared to when you were born.

    Immigration, legal or illegal is just another multi-billion dollar problem created by govt. Republicans will tax and spend to keep it going and liberals are happy to imprison people for it. Politics is not about morals or worldview it is about sustaining govt.

  • Kurt Nelson

    As a matter of policy, this is about time. As a political move it is brilliant.

    This law is not a grant of citizenship, it is merely removing the potential for deportation because you came to the U.S. as a child, to no fault of your own.

    As a political move, the President has forced Romney’s hand, in a brilliant move, that pits Mitt’s rabid right wingnut base, who are all products of immigrants (and so are you), against the increasingly political Hispanic voters. Either way he loses.

    It will be fun to watch him wiggle around on this however.

  • inuit

    Our top employee, the president, is required to enforce the Federal laws:

    “he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed…”

    He has no right whatsoever to selectively enforce some and ignore the enforcement of others, as Obama likes to do. His behavior is a gross dereliction of duty.

    Also, the president has no right to issue Executive Orders:

    “All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States…”

    The Congress, and only the Congress, can make laws. And the president MUST enforce those laws. ALL of those laws. It is his sworn duty. He cannot abridge, change, or override those laws in any way. He does NOT have that power.

    We have a weak president system. For good reason. We understand that men with little honor and lots of ego will be elected to the top employee job. We know that it is better for “power” to be held by 535 people who want to be president than by one jackalope who IS president.

  • Steve the Cynic

    Kind of hypocritical, isn’t it, for the people of a country built on stolen land to now be so adamant about keeping other newcomers out.

  • gregX

    GaryF “It’s unbelievable that our current President was a “constitutional scholar” and has such disregard for the Constitution.” …………………………………… if you are atttempting to make the case that you have a greater understanding of the constitution than the president – please present your credentials and past history testing consitutional law before qualified peers. I don’t think you have the bona-fides to compete with the president and … I don’t think a one-sided self-serving intpretaive approach serves your claims any better than standing on the side of the road with a sign that says “willing to argue constitutional law for no darn reason”

  • Lance

    Matt, I’m coming to your house or apartment or dorm room or whatever and I’m going to live inside your imaginary lines of your door and your windows. I won’t sign a lease to become your room mate. I will just move in. It would be cruel of you to kick me out and make me live on the street. It’s hot out there in the summer and cold out there in the winter. I don’t care what your rules are about me coming into your house. Your imaginary borders mean nothing to me.

    p.s. That cold pizza you have in the fridge is too old. Please throw it away and get me something better to eat.

  • JasonB

    It seems like the practical and just response to a situation that was punishing people who were not doing anything wrong. I think Republicans realize this, but are coy about expressing disapproval for political reasons.

    As far as “going around congress”, it’s his presidential privilege, and both Republican and Democrat presidents have exercised it. If Romney is elected president I assume he would be free to overturn the order – also without the approval of congress.

  • GregX

    GaryF “Just think of the outcry from the political left and their friends in the mainstream media if a Republican would abuse his power like that for political gain.”

    go read the periodicals, magazines, blogs, web-sites from the Bush-Cheney Energy policy process. It makes this Obama Immigration policy look like the flea on that old “Elephant” of an issue.

  • Steve the Cynic

    As for the supposed usurpation of power this action represents, the precedent was set long ago by presidents of both parties. Johnson’s escalation of the Vietnam war was illegal. There was Nixon’s secret bombing campaign. Reagan selectively enforced environmental laws. There was that Iran-Contra thing under Reagan/Bush-I. Even before 9/11, Bush-II was flouting the law by disregarding anti-trust law and dropping Clinton’s lawsuit that was poised to break up Microsoft. Of course, the capper was Shrub’s condoning of torture and illegal invasion of Iraq.

    As for Congress being a check on the president’s power, they made themselves look ridiculous and lost all credibility when they impeached Clinton for lying about sexual pecadilloes and then didn’t impeach Bush for lying us into an unjust war.

  • jockamo

    Interesting how quickly sheeple run to precedent, when the precedent agrees with their baaaaa position.

    But they fail to understand that precedent is often wrong.

    The Congress is not a “check on the president’s power”. The Congress has the power….not the president.

    The president is an administrator only. The top bean-counter. Nothing more, nothing less. He is required to enforce the law……….and forbidden from making law.

    Some would do well to study the Constitution…….objectively, without “feelings” entering into (and aborting) the learning process.

  • Chris

    Like most current legislation and policy, our representatives are working on the wrong problems. If a person is unhealthy, they need to identify the root of the problem instead of treating the symptoms. The same goes for governing. Instead of protecting our liberties, property, and economy, our representatives try to put “band-aids” on problems that stem from deeper issues. Illegal immigration is not the problem. It is a symptom. The reason that our representatives do not try to fix the real problems is that they are difficult and are not black and white like these “hot button” social issues. It’s easy to make yourself look good to your constituents (especially in an election year) when you take this approach to governing.

  • Wally

    I actually agree with Steve the Cynic for once.

    This president, like so many before him, panders for votes. Am I surprised? No.

    My wife, a LEGAL immigrant, had to jump through all kinds of hoops, paperwork, fees. What does this say to all those who followed the rules?

    The Supreme Court makes laws by edict.

    The Congress passes laws of hundreds of pages without reading them.

    The President chooses which laws to enforce, and which not to.

    What a mess.

  • GregX

    jackamo – “The president is an administrator only. ” ………….. AND as an administrator is permitted , by consitution, to establish the business rules under which those laws are enforced. The looser the laws are written – the more wiggle room for executive intpretation of the exact manner in which the rules are legally enforced. One of the ways that the Bush Administration stymied energy conservation, publication EPA ecological standards ( air/water), limited OSHA and Food Safety investigations was to reduce the satff and not fill the positions. In that case excecutive action “upheld the law” much in the same way Obama is upholding immigration law today. The law is ultimately upheld and there is no consitutional infringement – under the strictest and most refined analysis. Justice Roberts would have to agree.

  • James

    I live on a small lake and am subject to a scenic easement across my back yard. I am not allowed to cut down trees or otherwise alter the landscape.

    Both of my neighbors now have “fairways to the water.” Nice green grass. No trees. etc. When I call City Hall, they tell me that they have chosen to not enforce the scenic easement, for now.

    It drives me crazy.

    However, selective enforcment of the laws is what we do. That’s what you need to do when there are too many laws on the books to enforce.

    I sometimes wonder if every law and by-law shouldn’t expire after 10 years. If it is replaced, it must matter and will be enforced. If it is not replaced, it was a dumb law anyways, and good riddance.

  • Kurt Nelson

    jackamo,

    I just re-read Art 2, and found nothing indicating the President has no power to enact laws, maybe you could direct us to that secret section.

    True, Art1, section 8, does enumerate the powers of Congress, but, as we all know, Congress has many powers not enumerated, much like the Pres.

    I agree that precedent is the wrong argument to make when these issues arise. We can all make our arguments cherry picking precedent, but the Pres does have the power to put forth laws, which do not conflict with the Constitution into effect. This is one of those laws. If Congress chooses not to confront immigration reform, then Obama is certainly within his powers to do so. The whole Executive Order thing.

    If Romney wins in the fall, he can remove this from the books and return to deporting those who came here to no fault of their own, like a good Republican.

  • matt

    @Lance,

    You might want to consider the difference between private property and citizenship. My argument is that it does not matter if you are born in Kenosha, Wis, Hamburg Germany or Sao Paulo Brazil you should be able to choose where you want to live, work or play (subject to private property). By your logic the person from Kenosha could take up residence in my apartment but not the person from Hamburg. Neither is the case I would have a claim against them both regardless of their citizenship. Conversely

    If you are trying to state that illegal immigrants are simply trespassers on govt property (roads, parks, etc) then you have taken this absurdity to a new level. And again it is still ridiculous to say that because a person was born elsewhere that makes them trespassers. I think maybe you have raided my medicine cabinet instead of my fridge :-)

  • jockamo

    One more time for the slow:

    “All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.” (“All”…you can look up the meaning) (consists of a Senate & House…no president). This is the very first sentence, after the Preamble, the most important thing.

    “If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated…” The ONLY thing a president has to do with making LAW. Sign it or veto it.

    “The Congress Shall Have the Power To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.” (Once again, look up the definition of the word “All”)

    “The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States…He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.

    The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.

    …he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed”

    That’s the powers given to the top employee. All of them. There are no more.

    And, if the president wants certain legislation, he shall:

    “… recommend to their (the Congress) Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.”

    Neither the president nor the Congress have Powers Not Enumerated, because:

    “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

    And:

    “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

    It is clear. Only the Congress can make law. The president must stay out of the law making business.

    I said to read it objectively. Some, of course, are unwilling or unable to attain the necessary cranial neutrality which qualities one to comprehend concepts not originating in ones indigenous set of “feelings”. So be it. Not all are able.

  • Craig

    It is election strategy, but it also yields to natural economic forces. Goods are cheap because manufacturers have utilized cheap labor across the globe, but construction and food is still expensive because US labor is still expensive in world terms. Immigration helps reduce the cost of everything from vegetables to highways.

  • Kurt Nelson

    So then jockamo, Art 1, Section 8, clause 7 says Congress has the authority to establish a post office and post roads. There is no mention of penalties for robbing the mail, so by your logic of strict enumeration, any penalty written to protect the mail from said robbers is a violation of the constitution. No enumeration, no law right.

    Just curious.

    Oh, and your mentioning of the Tenth, which is “but a truism” is always amusing. I enjoy how this amendment, a darling of the right, has so little meaning as a matter of jurisprudence that I suspect you are unable to cite any reference to recent Court decisions supporting it, other than citing the amendment itself, which of course is tautology. Justice Thomas’ dissents don’t count because they are merely dissents, if only he had the votes to make the Tenth meaningful again.

  • Joanna

    A few facts for context (use your Google-fu!)

    1. the Obama administration has deported more people that previous Republican administrations, so all of the hoopla about this particular announcement is fear-mongering;

    2. this ruling does not grant amnesty or legal status to anyone; it merely allows ICE to shelve the person’s file and give it less priority. Those who do not have documents of citizenship although they did not come here of their own free will because they were children when they arrived will still not be eligible for financial aid or other benefits of citizenship; they will simply not be subjected to deportation proceedings immediately;

    3. this policy will affect between 2-5% of pending deportation cases.

    The Spanish-language media does a much better job of covering these issues than the English-language media in this country, including NPR, and I find that appalling, if not surprising.

    I’m disappointed that NPR continues to use such tendentious labels such as “illegal immigrants” to describe people who were brought here without their own knowledge or volition (as children), thereby criminalizing people for something that happened to them, not something they chose. But NPR has heard this complaint many times and still chooses to participate in this rhetoric, thereby adding fuel to the fire of xenophobia.

    The overall immigration policy is broken, but cannot be fixed as long as the Republicans block meaningful legislation in the interests of making Obama look bad before thee lection. So why shouldn’t Obama also “play politics”? This gesture is symbolic, but at least it’s symbolic of an intent to apply reason in the future rather than catering to the nativist right-wing.

  • jockamo

    Annnnnnnnd…….one more time (the last time) for the slowest of the slow……….

    “The Congress Shall Have the Power To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.”

    As to the Ninth & Tenth, they are not the least bit redundant.

    The Ninth is about “Rights”.

    The Tenth is about “Powers.”

    If one is unable to understand the difference between Rights and Powers, perhaps one is a recent graduate of the American Public School System. Or, just not up to the task. Cranially.

  • matt

    @Joanna,

    I agree with your assertions except I think you heap an extra pile of scorn on the heads of the right wingers but forget that labor has influenced the left to move slowly or not move at all on immigration policy as well. In the end the left still tries to perfect a law that should not exist. Obama’s policy pronouncement is still the equivalant of saying “We won’t arrest old Black women that won’t move to the back of the bus” – that is the hubris of the left! At least the right is consistent and illogically sound in their “send em all home and build a bigger wall” message.

    Migration of people increases understanding pulls back the veil of govt lies and therefore increases peace.

  • Steve the Cynic

    Uh, oh. If Wally agrees with me, maybe I should reconsider my opinion. ;^}

  • Lance

    Matt,

    Neither the person from Kenosha nor the person from Hamburg nor the person from Sao Paulo has a right to move into your apartment. You leased it. You pay the rent, a portion of which goes to pay the property taxes, perhaps a portion for electricity and cable. The landlord uses some of the rent money to perform maintenance on the building (I hope.)

    National sovereignty is the part of my argument you willfully ignore. Other nations take their sovereignty seriously, but we’re not supposed to? Citizens gave their blood and treasure to make the United States what it is. There is a legal path to citizenship and letting others cut into line in that path is disrespectful to those following the rules to become citizens.

    I think immigration reform is truly necessary. We should widen the doorway for legal immigration and slam the door on illegal immigration. Anything less is unacceptable under the rule of law and the sovereignty of our nation. Additionally, the president cannot legally usurp the powers delegated to the congress, but others have addressed that issue here.

  • georges

    H.R. 6061; Secure Fence Act of 2006

    Vote on passage of bill, Sept. 29, 2006

    Passed, 80-19

    Spends about a gazillion taxpayer dollars to build a fence to keep those from south of the border…..south of the border.

    Voting Yes……….Barack Obama

    A fencin’ we will go……..a fencin’ we will go………Hi…Ho…..the Dems will go………a fencin’ we will go.

  • Kurt Nelson

    @ Joanna,

    Exactly, but I will add,

    Being in this country without papers is a civil offense, not criminal. This then negates the idea of “illegal” immigrants, but the wingnuts will not do the work to learn this fact. Using the boogieman illegal lets the right scare people without making them think.

    One wonders if we would be having this discussion if instead of brown people, it was a bunch of hockey playing, Labatt beer drinking Canadians invading the northern states, taking Zamboni driving jobs from “real americans”. I think not.

    jockomo,

    I am typing slowly so you might better understand.

    Congress has the authority to enact laws, as your copy and pasting clearly shows that, but where you fall down is that the President, through Executive Order can also enact laws, as long as they do not conflict with the constitution. This law, is consistent with immigration policy (however broken it might be), and is within the power of the Pres to enact.

    Oh, I’m still waiting for some citation that shows the Tenth has relevance. To be fair, Printz v. U.S. (1997) did use Tenth dicta to let local law enforcement forgo acting as federal agents, but since then, the Tenth only gets love from those who think by yelling the words loudly enough the amendment will actually have meaning.

  • jockamo

    “…the President, through Executive Order can also enact laws…”

    Not legally. If no one stops him, he can, but it will be still be illegal. You see, we have an actual Constitution in this country by which we acknowledge that all Powers belong to the People, and We the People lend some of them to certain entities by way of said Constitution.

    No wording in the Constitution can be construed to confer lawmaking powers on the top employee. In fact, he is specifically enjoined from making laws.

    I will post no more on this subject. I have proven my statement to be true several times, and those who are unable will have to muddle along somehow without further proper instruction.

    You can lead a Liberal to the Constitution…..but you can’t make him think.

  • Steve the Cynic

    No, Kurt Nelson, an executive order cannot create a law. It can establish a policy that executive branch gov’t employees have to follow on pain of losing their jobs, and it can set the direction for federal regulatory agencies, but violating an executive order is not a crime per se.

    Jocamo, I have trouble taking seriously anyone who persistently asserts that those who disagree are merely stupid.

  • matt

    @Lance,

    I do not ignore national sovereinty I simply point out is a stupid idea made from wholecloth. Just because other nations take it seriously doesn’t mean I need to. It is those imaginary lines that are used as excuses to fight wars. The hikers taken in Iran were not confined because they wallked into some Iranian’s rock field it was silly nationalism. The person renting and apartment to an illegal immigrant from Mexico doesn’t care about his status, nor does the guy who hires him to work, nor does the guy who sells him groceries, they all view him the same as they do a Matt or Lance from Minnesota.

    The problem comes when some lazy worker says “Juan stole my job” or “Juan is getting welfare”…well the real problems is the lazy guy or the welfare system but it is easier to blame Juan instead (or in the case of Ben Franklin you blame the Germans). If you can show me what you did or I did to earn citizenship, or better yet show me what some kid just born this morning in St. Paul did to earn citizenship that some kid born at the same time 1 mile south of the Rio Grande did not do we can make some headway.

    Give me the guy who risked imprisonment and death to come to this region to work and support his family and I will give you the lifetime slacker that collects a check from the state because it his birthright.

    No, it is the state who creates this falsehood of citizenship as a means of starting wars and extracting taxes to keep you safe from someone that means you no more harm than they guy from Kenosha. Wrapping it all up in the flag gets it past the simplest of people but I hope you can look and see that is like so many other govt creations a lie used to control you.

  • Steve the Scenic

    If this Congress or the ones previous to it had acted to achieve a workable, consistent immigration policy, less of a problem. I think Obama in this case is simply exercising leadership in a leadership vacuum.

  • daniel

    now i can say illegals undocumented students taking our jobs they should be deported as well and rules are rules when i saw it on tv it ruined my day and i havent even got a job now illegals are going to take jobs

  • David Poretti

    The only logical choice that we as a society have is to collectively invest in school systems, educate everyone who lives in the U.S., and then grow our economy through that investment by fostering employment opportunities here for everyone. It would be counter-productive to educate someone and then deport them, or to choose not educate someone and then deal with the inevitable societal consequences of an uneducated, unemployable group living in the U.S. Finally, it is completely unrealistic to “round ‘em up and deport them all”, or build a fortress wall that isolates the U.S. from the world.