In response to a suggestion that he should end deportations of illegal aliens by simply issuing an executive order, President Obama stated: “[I]f in fact I could solve all these problems without passing laws in Congress, then I would do so. But we are also a nation of laws. That’s part of our tradition.” – The Wall Street Journal 11/25/13
Fact Check: When President made this statement, a great many people aware of his past actions on immigration were not impressed. In 2011, when asked if he would consider granting legal status to illegal aliens in the Dream Act category, he replied “I]t is just not the case that [I can ] suspend deportations through executive order [because] there are laws on the books that Congress has passed.” Most significantly, in 2010, legislation to legalize those illegal aliens failed in Congress.
But in spite of his prior statement and the decision of Congress, the law-making branch of government, Obama simply decreed that the “Dreamers” would get legal status and work permits as well. Some members of Congress indicated that they might challenge this usurpation of power, but no effective action took place.
Now the president is signaling that he might well ignore his pledge in November to abide by the rule of law and start decreeing again. On January 14th in a White House Press Release, Obama served notice to Congress that he expected action on “immigration reform,” his term for amnesty. If that is not forth coming, said Obama, “I’ve got a pen, and . . . and I can use that pen to sign executive orders and take executive actions.”
So it seems that Obama is finally letting the cat out of the bag. He has little regard for the rule of law, and evidently sees himself as a dictator who can decree whatever he pleases. Oh, of course, he and his advisors will concoct some twisted legal justification to make it seem lawful—as he with his Dreamer edict—but this should fool no one who cares about constitutional government.
The implications of what Obama is doing and saying go far beyond the issue of immigration. At stake are the checks and balances of government that safeguard our liberties and rule by the people. If Obama does start wielding his pen in the manner he indicated, Congress has the right and duty to stop him. But that won’t happen if citizens don’t demand more backbone from their representatives and senators.