There’s a right way to go about immigration reform, and executive fiat is not it

Sorry, John, we are going to have to disagree on this one.

Today Las Vegas newspaper columnist John L. Smith chided Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt for joining with 25 other states to challenge in federal court Obama’s executive fiat blocking deportation of millions of illegal immigrants.

Smith basically called the move a sop to Laxalt’s conservative benefactors and suggested Laxalt is on the wrong side of history, because immigration reform is inevitable. It probably is, but it still should be done in the right way, through legislation, not the president scratching through existing law with the stroke of his pen.

Laxalt said at the time he joined the litigation, “Our immigration system is broken and clearly needs to be fixed. But just as clearly, the solution is not for the president to act unilaterally disregarding the U.S. Constitution and laws. The solution must be a permanent, legal result that includes, not ignores, the other branches of government and their constitutional roles. Anything less is a false hope undermining the rule of law that injures millions of people in America, including many in Nevada.”

Of this argument, Smith commented, “Perhaps it’s just a coincidence that it fits snugly into a conservative agenda.” Never mind that Obama’s actions fit snugly into the liberal agenda.

Smith’s column notes that on Tuesday union members picketed outside the Sawyer building, where the attorney general has an office, and unfurled a banner reading: “Laxalt destroys families.” I don’t think Laxalt enticed any of those families to come into the country illegally and risk having family members lawfully deported.

The suit joined by Laxalt challenges Obama’s November executive order that would allow the parents of children brought into the country illegally to remain in the country, get green cards and Social Security cards. This executive order is piled on top of the one Obama issued in 2012 saying those children could remain in this country, despite being here in violation of the rule of law.

The federal lawsuit joined by Laxalt points out that the DREAM Act that would have allowed those children to stay was introduced in March 2009. After that Obama said on at least eight occasions he could not himself impose such amnesty. “I am president, I am not king. I can’t do these things just by myself. …” he said. “I can’t just make the laws up by myself.”

In June 2012, he announced the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

In November, Obama unilaterally waived deportations for the parents, candidly admitting, “I just took an action to change the law,” even though his own Justice Department advised “the proposed deferred action program for parents of DACA recipients would not be permissible.”

Smith quoted one protester at the anti-Laxalt rally as saying, “Many families come to this country seeking a better life. We believe that we deserve a voice. And we’re going to make it heard.”

And there are many families on long waiting lists trying to enter the country legally, under the rule of law.

A Texas federal judge cited Laxalt’s rule of law argument in granting an injunction against Obama’s executive order.

In his ruling, Judge Andrew Hanen states that “ the states cannot protect themselves from the costs inflicted by the Government when 4.3 million individuals are granted legal presence with the resulting ability to compel state action. The irony of this position cannot be fully appreciated unless it is contrasted with the DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents) Directive. The DAPA Directive unilaterally allows individuals removable by law to legally remain in the United States based upon a classification that is not established by any federal law. It is this very lack of law about which the States complain. The Government claims that it can act without a supporting law, but the States cannot.”

The day after the Texas judge’s injunction was issued, Laxalt commented, “Yesterday’s carefully considered, 123-page decision represents a great initial victory for the rule of law and our constitutional system. I am encouraged by the federal court’s thorough analysis of this executive action. This injunction will halt the executive action and allow for the judiciary to carefully evaluate the legality of President Obama’s unilateral act. As I’ve always insisted, this lawsuit is ultimately about the rule of law, not immigration, and the need for all branches of our government, including the president, to faithfully follow the law.”

First, the illegal immigrants ignored the law. Now they want to ignore the Constitution. Whatever gets them what they want.

Granting all of them amnesty might be the right thing to do, as Obama likes to say, but it is the wrong way to do it.

This is one of more than a dozen photos that appeared online with Smith’s column. None appeared in the paper. (R-J photo)


33 comments on “There’s a right way to go about immigration reform, and executive fiat is not it

  1. Winston Smith says:

    I hate when the Constitution gets in the way of petty tyrants doing whatever the hell they want.

  2. It is not simply a “choice” between amnesty and citizenship or mass deportation. Many, many shades of grey including: they got here on their own power–they can go home on their own power and take their illegal babies with them, or leave the illegal babies for citizens to adopt. We, Americans, simply cannot continue to adopt millions after millions of indigents who come here and demand 24/7 cradle to grave HOUSING, FOOD, HEALTH CARE, K-12, and STEAL OUR JOBS.
    Consider that maybe 25% of citizens need help at some time or another. So our economy and services have been designed or evolved to meet this need. Then you dump in multi-millions of invaders every 10 years or so. Anyone WONDER WHY OUR ECONOMY CAN’T GAIN A FOOTING? Wonder why wages don’t go up?

    How would ANY LEGAL STATUS DISCOURAGE CONTINUED INVASION? HOW? The ONLY WAY TO DISCOURAGE INVASION is to SEND THEM HOME. Don’t hamper law enforcement, ICE, CSE in toto with ANY EO’s or restrictions but allow them to quickly locate and remove violent kids and violent adults AND THEIR EXTENDED FAMILIES.

    IF these were people of quality, they’d stay in their countries of origin and FIX WHATEVER IS WRONG THERE. Instead they bleed us dry and drier. At some point WE HAVE TO SAY NO, NOT AGAIN.

  3. Barbara says:

    I am continually suprised by the people who want to throw out our system of laws to achieve a preceived outcome. It is precisely our “rule of law” that makes the United States the land of oppoutunity and the reason people want to come here. Those who would not enforce our laws would replace our system with an oligarchy. Then what have the people achieved except to turn the United States into the very countries they just left. Thankfully Mr. Laxalt understands why the rule of law is important and is willingly to faithfully execute his oath of office. This is not a conservative or liberal agenda, and I resent the implication that Mr Laxalt is playing politics. The rule of law is a fundamental tenent of what it means to be an American. Just what kind of country do you want to live in – a republic with a set of laws that apply to all or do you want oligarchy where a select fiew pick the winners or losers? I guess John prefers the latter, and I have to ask, Who is really playing politics with this issue?

  4. John Smith says:

    It is your right to be wrong.

    Sent from my iPhone

  5. nyp says:

    “IF these were people of quality, they’d stay in their countries of origin.”

  6. Thank you, John.

  7. Patrick says:

    I’d be interested in hearing how a libertarian philosophy, that mouths fealty to the God given rights of man, can support immigration laws.

  8. Because of the things government provides at the expense of current citizens. Without those, open the borders and let the free market work.

  9. nyp says:

    But the immigrants are paying taxes for services just like the rest of us. And, often, they are paying taxes for services that they do not and cannot receive. They are paying taxes for your Social Security pension payments, even though they aren’t themselves eligible. They are paying taxes for seniors using Medicaid for nursing home care, even though they themselves aren’t eligible.

  10. Patrick says:

    I still don’t get it Tom; either the right is God given or its not.

  11. God giveth and government taketh away.

  12. Rincon says:

    So do we keep them out or let all of them as long as they don’t use any benefits? Hopefully, Conservatives can at least agree with each other on this one.

    Equally egregious to Obama’s doing something is Congress doing nothing. Millions of peoples’ lives are screwed up in major or minor ways because the legislative branch is comatose.

  13. Equally egregious to Obama’s doing something is Congress doing nothing? That is why gridlock is good. No action is better than bad action. Millions of people screwed up their own lives by breaking the law. That is not the fault of Congress or the citizens.

  14. Steve says:

    Mexico was a lousy place, so millions of people moved (illegally) to the USA. Even with none of the things legal immigrants have, these people were better off here.
    It was their decision, as a people, we certainly are not very inviting to them.
    They chose to come here knowing what was waiting for them.

    The real problem is Mexico. In spite of all the “free trade” and exporting of manufacturing from the USA to Mexico…that country still insists on not doing things that could encourage their people to stay and improve their own lives thereby improving the country of Mexico.

    This is nothing new to societies all over the world. Europe has dealt with this as long as history records.
    Most recently a good example is Poland and France. France told their business community it would have to pay French wages to Poles commuting to France for work, so those companies, in large part, moved out of France to Poland and told their French workers they could keep their jobs….at Polish wages…nice, huh? (From my years in Kodak I have several direct contacts and acquaintances in and from France)
    This type of immigration is, however, VERY new to the USA. All previous waves of immigrants could not go back easily, could not stay in touch with family easily and had to absorb the ways and language of the new land in which they found themselves really and truly stuck.

    Mexican and South American peoples do not have any such limitations….with one exception;
    Those children who were brought along at an age too young to know anything other than this country. Those people, in large part don’t even speak a word of Spanish. Let alone have any understanding of Mexican society. They know only the USA.
    The Libertarian in me says those people should be made official US citizens while their parents should not. Their parents were the lawbreakers, the kids (many now adults who are as US as any of us) had no choice. Their parents should now be made to pay for their actions and allowed to remain here so we can monitor whatever form of restitution they may be made to pay for their actions earlier in their lives. But those parents should never be allowed to become citizens.

  15. nyp says:

    Please keep debating this all the way through to November, 2016.

  16. Barbara says:

    “It is your right to be wrong.” Not under the system you are advocating. If Obama or any government official is allowed to invent laws outside the legislative process, all our rights are endangered.

    Don’t assume all Latinos are supportive of President Obama operating outside the law. Many understand that anything granted by fiat can also be taken away by fiat.

  17. Steve says:

    As long as you guys anointed one continues spewing this kind of bullshit, Nyp;

    WE have very little to worry about!

  18. nyp says:

    If you actually understood how the carried interest rule was used by hedge fund managers you would be amazed.

  19. Steve says:

    Not what I meant….she keeps going off into the weeds sounding like an idiot on this stuff and we have nothing to worry about.
    I don’t have enough money to be a part of that world. I do have enough to need the services of a CFP and CPA.
    And I hope I will have enough to be comfortable in retirement, once I get there.
    In any case, those people are the type who work just about 25 hours a day. I don’t really want to be one of them.

  20. nyp says:

    you might ask your CFP and CFA what they think about the fact that a guy who pulls in $600 million in earned income annually pays a 20% tax rate.

  21. Barbara says:

    Seizing wages…sounds like a very effective means of securing the border.

  22. Steve says:

    A 20% tax rate is still much higher than the rate truckers and nurses pay.

    You guys anointed one is way off the deep end on this one.

  23. Steve says:

    You know what?

    I bet Bill & Hillary pay a lower rate than those hedge fund managers!

  24. nyp says:

    actually, they don’t

  25. Bill says:

    A lot of comment about other things than the central issue which is simply stated, “Under our Constitution and legal system, can the POTUS refuse to enforce existing laws and by Presidential order effectively repeal those laws and impose an onerous burden on the lawful residents and the States and their political divisions? If the answer is yes, let us move directly into a monarchy or dictatorship that simply declares our separation of powers and .state’s rights under the 10th Amendment as irrelevant. Bravo AG Laxalt.

  26. Steve says:

    Depends on what year you wish to discuss. FEC disclosure claims they are paying at the normal income rate for multimillionaire’s which should be about 30%, speaking fee’s are normal income, not capital gains…
    But they are also using 1%’r tactics to keep the estate tax at bay.

    While the Obama’s are paying the same rate as those hedge fund managers pay.

    Big fish being eaten by bigger fish….you guys keep on debating that stuff! PLEASE! You are making the truckers and nurses of the country sick.

  27. nyp says:

    The President and his wife did pay an effective tax rate of approximately 20% on adjusted gross income of approximately $477,000 (including $77,000 in charitiable deductions).

    Thanks to the carried interest loophole,a Bill Ackman or a John Paulson or a Ray Dalio or a George Soros pays approximately the same rate on AGI in the hundreds of millions.

  28. So scrap the IRS and institute the Fair Tax…and capture revenue equally and fairly across the board!

  29. Steve says:

    Keep on point Nyp. You are proving the Democrsts and liberals are all about millionaires and billionaires, screw the average middle class folks. You guys got to protect your own.

  30. Rincon says:

    Although we don’t have a flat tax, it’s closer than you think. The percentage of total taxes paid by income group in 2011:

    Bottom 20%—–3.4%
    2nd 20%———7.0%
    3rd 20%———11.4%
    4th 20%———18.7%
    next 10%——–14.2%
    next 5%———10.1%
    next 4%———14.3%
    top 1%———–21.0%

    (4th graph/chart from the top on the right)

  31. Rincon says:

    “Millions of people screwed up their own lives by breaking the law.” Sorry Thomas. I didn’t make myself clear. Although the lives of illegal immigrants are screwed up, it comes with the territory. I refer to the people whose lives are affected by the immigrants, such as someone unemployed who would have had a job taken instead by an illegal immigrant. I also refer to the millions of Europeans, Asians, Africans, Australians and islanders who cannot become U.S. citizens because we already have too many illegals to allow us to let in a reasonable number of legal immigrants. According to European immigrants that I know, the waiting list for their families is absurd.

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