There’s no secret that those on the center-right are decrying the President’s unilateral action on immigration by not enforcing immigration laws and granting work permits to 5 million people here illegally.
Now we’re seeing those on the left who are worried that that President Obama’s actions that circumvent the constitutionally prescribed process are wrong. A New York Times reporter describes the immigration debate as between POTUS and himself. An then there's the recent skit on iconic comedy show Saturday Night Live poking fun at how a bill becomes law –hinting to President Obama that it’s not via executive order.
Now, the editorial board of The Washington Post –no bastion of conservative thought at all- calls out the President’s overreach and debunks the White House claims that his intended action is consistent with that of previous (Republican) President George H.W. Bush. Not only, is the President's plan inconsistent with previous executive actions, but its scope is unprecedented.
The editors write:
Central to the administration’s argument is its contention that the 4 million covered by the president’s order — some 36 percent of the estimated undocumented population of 11 million — is in line with the percentage covered by a comparable action by President George H.W. Bush in 1990. At that time, there were about 3.5 million illegal immigrants in the country; Mr. Obama, administration officials and their allies have said that about 1.5 million of them — the spouses and children of previously amnestied immigrants — benefited from Mr. Bush’s move.
However, as The Post’s Glenn Kessler has scrupulously reported , there is every reason to believe that the estimate is wildly exaggerated and based mainly on what appears to have been a misunderstanding at the time.
Even the apparent original source of the 1.5 million figure — Gene McNary, who led the Immigration and Naturalization Service at the time — told Mr. Kessler he believes the number is false and was based on a misunderstanding from testimony he gave to Congress. And no underlying data or methodology to justify the 1.5 million figure has been uncovered.
This is not a game of gotcha; facts matter — even in Washington — and so do the numbers. Under close scrutiny it is plain that the White House’s numbers are indefensible. It is similarly plain that the scale of Mr. Obama’s move goes far beyond anything his predecessors attempted.
Trust that what you’re reading is not opinion from National Review or the Weekly Standard, this is the Washington Post.
While they put the blame on inaction by House Republicans, their derision of the President is nevertheless damning:
Republicans’ failure to address immigration also does not justify Mr. Obama’s massive unilateral act. Unlike Mr. Bush in 1990, whose much more modest order was in step with legislation recently and subsequently enacted by Congress, Mr. Obama’s move flies in the face of congressional intent — no matter how indefensible that intent looks.
Regardless of what one thinks about immigration reform or what the best plan is, bipartisan agreement is forming against President Obama’s unilateral action.
What’s being done to combat him? States aren’t sitting idly by. A coalition of 17 states led by Texas announced that they are suing the Obama Administration over the president's executive actions. They filed suit in U.S. District Court on the grounds that his immigration plan runs afoul of the Constitution. The lawsuit asks the Court to require him to go through Congress before enforcing laws.
Conservatives in the House may also try to slow down the President’s efforts through the budget process.
Tactics and strategy aside, President Obama is acting beyond what is constitutionally approved or acceptable. Ours is not a monarchy but a democracy built with checks and balances against those in any branch that might try to usurp the others. It’s time for the President to be checked.