Keep your enemies close and your friends closer, a wise Chinese philosopher once said. President Obama should have kept faith with that when he announced he would not issue executive orders on forgiving illegal entry into the country by millions of people living and working here.
Seems that the coming mid-term elections look like an Obama-inspired wipeout that could grow into a huge catastrophe, disaster; wipeout of his Democrats at all levels. Particularly it is in the United States Senate where Republicans are well on the way to win the six seats they need to take control of the Senate. That is the key to Obama’s backing off his June promise to legalize millions of illegal residents.
If Obama spits in the face of the majority of Americans by by-passing Congress on immigration, many believe the GOP could sweep up to ten Senate seats burying Obama despite his still having two years to go in his term; thus, the announcement that his proposed action will wait until after the November election.
That Saturday announcement was not welcomed by immigration activists around the country especially by Democrat immigration enthusiasts that counted on President Obama’s promise in June that he would in essence legalize up to five million illegal residents by the end of summer (September) with an executive order in a direct affront of the Constitution which clearly states in Article 1, Section 8:
“The Congress shall have the power to…establish a uniform rule of naturalization (immigration by myriad court decisions)…”
It does not say the President can legalize millions of illegal residents under any circumstances. Even the power of “Prosecutorial discretion” of the Department of Justice has never been defined as a mass method of dealing with law breakers of any sort, much less millions of them.
Granting pardons, for example, is an exclusive Presidential prerogative that cannot be touched by Congress. It has never been used on a mass basis and is usually used after individual convictions and time served.
It should be noted that Attorney General Eric Holder recommended a full pardon for Marc Rich – fugitive from justice who had traded with the enemy, betrayed the United States, and ripped off the Treasury in the process. It is up to General Holder to provide legal back-up for any moves by President Obama to legalize millions of anxious illegal residents who have been buoyed by Obama’s statements in June and since. If Holder’s unprecedented recommendation of a traitor and hugely criminal Marc Rich is a precedent, we can expect for him to provide “Constitutional Scholar” Obama with a wacky immigration order interpretation that will surely draw fire from many quarters.
In the meanwhile, solid Obama supporters are having emotional and political fits that are politically embarrassing to the President. Certainly, he didn’t expect such reactions by people who voted for him with a 70% vote in 2012.
Example: Chicago Puerto Rican Congressman Luis Gutierrez said “It’s clear that playing it safe is what is going on at the White House… (He is) walking away from our values and principles.”
California Democrat Congressman Tony Cardenas said on CNN, “Bottom line is, of course, there is some politics going on…I don’t like what the President’s advisors may be telling him. We are all frustrated. The Latino community is frustrated with the President but pissed off at Republicans.” Retiring Congressman Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) is chairman of the House Progressive Caucus and he says, “President Obama placed political calculations over the hopes and needs of immigrant communities…He reneged on his own commitment in June to do what is right, and instead chose what is expedient, betraying the trust of some of the most vulnerable among us.”
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-NJ) said, “I’m deeply disappointed that the President has not acted where House Republicans have failed.”
Accepting these statements for what they are, the reason President Obama “betrayed” his own commitment is best described by Florida Republican U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, “(Obama) doesn’t want to be held accountable by the electorate in the mid-term elections for an action he knows is unpopular.”
To encapsulate, President Obama has been promising the immigrant community, most of which is Hispanic, that if Congress didn’t pass Comprehensive Immigration reform he would take it upon himself to order legalization for as many as 5 million illegal residents. He specifically promised in June that he would issue these orders by the end of summer.
While he was making such promises, the border was inundated by up to 60,000 children from Central America who arrived without permission and clogged the entire border system. Surveys indicate that the majority of Americans are furious over children flooding the border and the chaos that it has caused and the incompetent manner of the Obama Administration in handling the children.
The political atmosphere has changed because of these children and with up to ten Senate seats in jeopardy the President simply chickened out.
Shut up Republicans. Guys named Gutierrez, Cardenas, Grijalva and others so named are burying Obama far better than Republicans can.
Contreras formerly wrote for the New America News Service of the New York Times.