To the editor:
The Nov. 20 Review-Journal editorial characterized President Barack Obama’s actions on immigration as “brazenly unconstitutional,” even though the president hadn’t yet made his announcement (“Education, drug war are immigration issues”). Now that we have heard exactly what he plans to do, it would be nice to have an explanation of precisely what is “brazenly unconstitutional” about those actions.
The executive branch of government is charged with implementing the laws passed by Congress. How those laws are implemented, and what priorities are given to specific parts of the law, are subject to interpretation by the executive branch. That’s the way our government works. The president cannot ignore the law, but he can set priorities within the existing law.
The president is going to step up border protection along our southern border. Is that brazenly unconstitutional? He is going to prioritize which undocumented immigrants are deported, selecting criminals first. Is that brazenly unconstitutional? He is going to hold off on deporting parents of children who are U.S. citizens, preventing underage citizens from being separated from their parents. Is that brazenly unconstitutional?
He is going to grant a temporary reprieve for undocumented immigrants who have been in the United States for more than five years and have no criminal record, providing that they identify themselves and pay taxes. They are still subject to deportation if they commit a crime. They are not granted citizenship. They cannot vote. Is that brazenly unconstitutional?
Under President Obama, there have been nearly 2 million deportations in only six years, a figure reached by his predecessor in eight years. So the president has certainly been enforcing our immigration laws. His actions amount to policy changes as to how the current law will be enforced.
Of course, Congress could change any and all of the actions by simply passing legislation. A bipartisan bill passed the Senate in 2013, but House Speaker John Boehner refused to even allow it to come to a vote in the House. That bill dies at the end of the year and must be re-introduced in the next Congress. So next action must come from Congress. Don’t hold your breath.
Securing the border
To the editor:
I voted twice for President Barack Obama, and even advocated for him at his first caucus here. However, this president is proving now to be a traitor to our country and all the legal citizens living here. Anyone who enters the country illegally is a criminal. Many of them falsify documents, which is a felony.
When most of our youth cannot find even a seasonal job, is it right to add 5 million undocumented immigrants to fill those few jobs, since most of our jobs go to China anyway?
To the editor:
Once again, our president has shown the distaste and the dishonor he holds for our country. Immigration is the backbone of our country — legal immigration, not people sneaking across the border and taking up residence. President Barack Obama has shown that disobeying and ignoring the laws of the country — the country that you as the immigrant aspire to become part of — is rewarded and applauded.
There are many people waiting and obeying the rules to enter this country. Now they see that if they disobey the laws, they have a greater chance of getting what they want. We have a federal debt approaching $20 trillion, still-high unemployment and struggling economy, yet the president adds another 5 million people to the rolls.
Our schools are bursting with undocumented immigrant students who do not speak English and must take the time of the teacher to at least pick up basic understanding. The taxpayer cannot afford to foot the bill that will be incurred for the schools, unemployment and welfare increases.
All these undocumented immigrants want the American dream, but do not wish to work for it. They will not understand nor obey the law. How do we know that? They didn’t obey the law upon entering this country. President Obama and Sen. Harry Reid have done a great disservice to this country. And they wonder why Democrats lost the midterm elections.
THOMAS C. MALICH SR.