Republicans roll off the Hill, while Democrats traverse Mt. Everest
By Melanie Nathan, February 17, 2015.
Republicans would be calling the Judge who barred President Obama’s Immigration Executive Orders ‘an activist Judge’ – albeit tit-for-tat – indeed he may be – but did the Judge fall into a trap? Do we really think the appeals will be worth more than just a show for a fight? Do we not really need an immigration overhaul with the EO, while helping millions, a mere bandaid and ploy toward what we can truly accomplish?
Obama’s Executive directives would make 5 million undocumented immigrants in the United States eligible for three-year deportation stays and work permits. Mostly those are people who have been in the country for more than five years and have children who are U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents. Applications for the first phase were to begin Wednesday, when as many as 300,000 immigrants brought to the country as children could begin applying for an expansion of Obama’s 2012 program aimed at the younger immigrants known as Dreamers.
Two days before the first of President Obama’s executive actions on immigration were to take effect, the new rules have been put on hold by a federal judge’s ruling in South Texas. U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen said the president overstepped his authority.
In more than 120 pages of court documents issued late Monday, Hanen halted both the new Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents as well as the expansions Obama had planned to make to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
If the executive actions providing legal status to millions of people were to take effect, Hanen wrote, “The genie would be impossible to put back into the bottle.”
Update at 1:50 p.m. ET: Homeland Security Delays Implementing Plan
“I strongly disagree with Judge Hanen’s decision, says Homeland Security Secretary Jeh C. Johnson. But he adds that because of the injunction, his agency “will not begin accepting requests for the expansion of DACA tomorrow, February 18, as originally planned. Until further notice, we will also suspend the plan to accept requests for DAPA.”
Johnson also stated that the court’s order “does not affect the existing DACA,” and that it will not change the enforcement priorities he outlined when President Obama set his plan in motion last November.
Several anti-Immigrant politicians and Congressional obstructionists – yes I mean Senators and Congress members have been actively courting social media with rhetoric, false terminology and fabricated scandals that can all but NOT influence “activists” judges, fueled by a conservative vote bloc. (oops I did it…!) -leading to today’s ruling.
Visit the Facebook pages and websites of Jeff Sessions, the rabidly anti-immigrant racist who heads the Senate Judiciary Committee – responsible for Immigration issues. This is what you will see:
- Made up scandals;
- A barrage of terminology such as “amnesty” – when referencing President Obama’s Executive Orders on Immigration, when if fact those executive orders do not provide amnesty;
- Non-contextualized and hence phoney stories that “illegal immigrants” will receive federal money
Sessions notes on his Facebook page today:
Sessions responds to the Texas court’s temporary stay of executive amnesty, and underscores the urgent need for Congress to block funding for its implementation: “The court’s ruling is yet further affirmation that the President’s action – as the President himself admitted many times – is illegal. President Obama has suspended some 500 pages of existing immigration law passed by the representatives of the American people, and replaced it with the very measures those representatives have repeatedly rejected. The President’s action violates our laws, our Constitution, and the centuries of legal heritage that yielded our Republic.
Congress, so threatened, can never acquiesce to this action by funding it. The President has acted unconstitutionally, and it is the President – not Congress – who must back down. We are a coequal branch of government, delegated with the powers necessary to defend our institution and our Constitutional role. We cannot and must not establish the precedent that we will fund illegal actions on the hope that another branch of government will intervene and strike down that illegal action at some later point. To establish such a precedent would be to empower any future President to demand Congress fund any unlawful decree, and then assert that Congress is ‘shutting down the government’ unless this illegal, off-the-books program is funded. Congress must reassert its waning power. We must reestablish the Constitutional principle that the people’s representatives control the purse.
This ruling is not an escape hatch for Democrat lawmakers who have been filibustering the House bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security and block illegal amnesty. Congress cannot fund the very action which dissolves Congress’ lawmaking powers. Rather, today’s ruling should furnish our colleagues with yet one more reason to end their filibuster. President Obama has already shut down the Department of Homeland Security by ordering tens of thousands of immigration officers and agents to violate our laws and their oaths, sabotaging immigration enforcement and border control. Republicans are trying every day to restore Homeland Security – only a Democrat filibuster stands in the way.”
I see it differently. The President is not breaking any law, but rather providing the executive order to remedy a situation where there is no existing law to fix it. And the Anti-Immigrant Republicans are furious. And so the President is indeed acting as partner – and in Session’s own words, in accordance with his powers as a participant in “a coequal branch of government….” .The President has the right to attend to a matter that needs urgent attention. The Republicans have refused to fix the broken immigration law for years and years, despite legislation being on the table, despite warnings, despite a pretense by Congressional Republicans of interest to legislate remedies.
Republicans will continue to roll off the tiny little Hill, while the Democrats continue to pursue the peak, Mt. Everest:
Personally I think the Executive Orders are bandaids that may just slip off far to quickly, anyway, and I do not see them as the fix our immigration law and system really needs. So in fact if the conservative forces succeed in keeping the EO at bay, they may be doing undocumented immigrants and the system a huge favor in the long run. The law does not provide the amnesty the Republicans pretend it does, and it is real amnesty many of us would like to see. Now America sees the Republicans for who they are and how hard the President tried. Or was it all a ploy?
Perhaps the Republicans and the silly judge in Texas have fallen into a well strategized trap; first the challenge, then Republican failure to act, then the bold action of the President, then Republican war against it – speaking volumes – so while they romp around rolling off the little hill, we continue to head toward the peak!
They fell for the ploy of thinking that they are hurting immigrants by taking this away, where in fact the President and Democrats have provided the perfect set-up and are rolling up their sleeves for 2016 and a voting bloc they have now just secured.
It is after the Republicans lose seats and the next Presidency that we may finally see true immigration reform.
So the good news is that notwithstanding the decision by the Judge and regardless of where the appeals may lead – President Obama will come out victorious. The President’s EO actions have not only cast a very bright – almost blinding- light on the Republican inability to serve up some very basic immigration reform, to meet a critical challenge, but also their out and out refusal to provide a basic fix to our immigration system.
Now it could not be more evident that the Republicans have absolutely no interest in fostering immigration reform in the United States, and no interest in providing some form of basic humanity to millions of predominantly Latino people. This will play out well for the Democrats in 2016. Whether the President wins or loses on this now – ultimately the right thing will happen – and system will get the real fix it needs. In essence the President and Democrats cannot lose, regardless of the outcome on the EO issue – because he has proved that he and the Democrats are willing to take risks and go the extra mile to push for reform and to make a difference in the lives of millions of children. We are now 100% clear that the Republicans do not give a continental F^ck about helping immigrants in any way shape or form. They will lose BIG in the next election- mark my words!
Nonetheless with all this said, sad is the day that any single child is separated from a parent because of the callousness of the likes of Sessions, his henchmen and this activist judge.