President Obama, desperate to change the subject from his "doing fine" reelection message, attempts to gain favor with the Latino electorate unhappy with his backdoor amnesty by revealing an immunity scheme for certain "younger" illegal aliens.
Under Obama's new scheme as many as 800,000 illegals will avoid deportation and be eligible for work permits if they arrived in the U.S. before age 16, are younger than 30, have been in the country for at least five continuous years, have no criminal history, graduated from a U.S. high school or earned a GED, or served in the military.
Obama's new immunity scheme partially achieves the goals of the so-called DREAM Act, meant to establish a path toward citizenship for certain illegals, but consistently rejected by Congress.
Obama intends to implement his new immunity scheme via executive fiat. In bypassing Congress, Obama blatantly ignores the rule of law that is the foundation of our democracy and violates his presidential oath to uphold the laws of this land. Obama's abuse of power will ensure that those who honestly believe that granting amnesty or immunity to illegal aliens encourages more illegal immigration will only become more determined in their opposition to congressional efforts to achieve similar results legitimately.
Obama's scheme is even more offensive when you recall that in March of 2011 at a Univision townhall he said that as president he can't just suspend deportations through executive order:
"Well, first of all, temporary protective status historically has been used for special circumstances where you have immigrants to this country who are fleeing persecution in their countries, or there is some emergency situation in their native land that required them to come to the United States. So it would not be appropriate to use that just for a particular group that came here primarily, for example, because they were looking for economic opportunity.
"With respect to the notion that I can just suspend deportations through executive order, that’s just not the case, because there are laws on the books that Congress has passed — and I know that everybody here at Bell is studying hard so you know that we’ve got three branches of government. Congress passes the law. The executive branch’s job is to enforce and implement those laws. And then the judiciary has to interpret the laws.
"There are enough laws on the books by Congress that are very clear in terms of how we have to enforce our immigration system that for me to simply through executive order ignore those congressional mandates would not conform with my appropriate role asPresident."
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas), also opposes Obama's immunity scheme because of its "horrible consequences for unemployed Americans.":
"President Obama’s amnesty only benefits illegal immigrants, not Americans, and is a magnet for fraud. Many illegal immigrants will falsely claim they came here as children and the federal government has no way to check whether their claims are true. And once these illegal immigrants are granted deferred action, they can then apply for a work permit, which the Administration routinely grants 90% of the time."
The biggest problem holding up immigration reform proposals that include any sort of legalization of some or all of the millions illegal aliens already in this country is that any amnesty/immunity will encourage more illegals to come expecting that eventually they too will be legalized.
That lesson was learned with the adoption of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 ("IRCA"). That "immigration reform" legalized four million illegal aliens. IRCA was a monumental failure. Twenty-odd years later there are millions more illegal aliens to legalize. If some or all of these millions of illegals are now legalized, then we should only expect that twenty years from now we will have to consider granting amnesty/immunity to millions more illegal aliens.
UPDATED: Thanks to the good work of Bryan Preston at PJ Media, we now have e video of President Obama explaining that he can not do what he did today. You can watch the video here. The video comes from the White House. During a Q&A on Sept 28, 2011, the president had this exchange:
"MR. LERNER: Me again. On the DREAM Act that you mentioned before, and this is like a statement from New York City: Mr. President, I am an undocumented law graduate from New York City. I'm just writing to say that your message that you do not have a dance partner is not a message of hope. A real dancer goes out on the dance floor and picks out his or her dance partner. You're just waiting. You have the facts, numbers, dollars and votes on the side of granting administrative relief for DREAMers. We are doing our part. It is time to do yours, Mr. President.
"THE PRESIDENT: I just have to continue to say this notion that somehow I can just change the laws unilaterally is just not true. We are doing everything we can administratively. But the fact of the matter is there are laws on the books that I have to enforce. And I think there's been a great disservice done to the cause of getting the DREAM Act passed and getting comprehensive immigration passed by perpetrating the notion that somehow, by myself, I can go and do these things. It's just not true.
"Now, what we can do is to prioritize enforcement, since there are limited enforcement resources, and say we're not going to go chasing after this young man or anybody else who's been acting responsibly and would otherwise qualify for legal status if the DREAM Act passed.
"But we live in a democracy. You have to pass bills through the legislature, and then I can sign it. And if all the attention is focused away from the legislative process, then that is going to lead to a constant dead-end. We have to recognize how the system works, and then apply pressure to those places where votes can be gotten and, ultimately, we can get this thing solved. And nobody will be a stronger advocate for making that happen than me."