Editorial: Immigration reform may be needed, but do it constitutionally

This past week labor unions and pro-open borders groups took to the streets in several states, including Nevada, to criticize, shout slogans and mock the 26 state attorneys general, including Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt, who have challenged President Obama’s executive fiat blocking deportation of millions of illegal immigrants.

In February a federal judge in Texas granted the states’ request for an injunction to stop Obama from carrying out his executive order, which he dubbed DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents). It would have granted legal residency, green cards and Social Security cards to the parents of children brought into the country illegally. A previous executive order gave those children legal status under something called DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals).

Protesters at the Las Vegas rally unfurled a banner reading “Laxalt destroys families.” We don’t think Laxalt enticed any of those families to come into the country illegally and risk having family members lawfully deported.

Some sort of immigration reform is probably needed and likely inevitable, but it still should be done in the right way, through legislation, not by the president scratching through existing law with the stroke of his pen.

Protesters in Las Vegas (R-J photo)

Laxalt said at the time he joined the litigation in January, “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.”

The federal lawsuit points out that the DREAM Act that would have allowed children brought here illegally to stay legally 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 DACA.

In November, Obama announced DAPA, 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.”

“Many families come to this country seeking a better life,” a Las Vegas protester was quoted as saying. “We believe that we deserve a voice. And we’re going to make it heard.”

An AFL-CIO press release quotes an immigrant as saying, “It’s clear now, we can no longer wait for justice from the courts and instead we must turn to each other as we organize ourselves on the job and in our communities to continue this fight for our rights.”

There are many families on long waiting lists trying to enter the country legally instead of simply declaring it is their right to come here, no matter what the law says.

In his injunction, federal Judge Andrew Hanen stated, “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.”

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 amnesty may well be the right thing to do, as Obama likes to say, but this is the wrong way to do it. 

A version of this editorial appears this past week in the Battle Born Media newspapers — The Ely Times, the Mesquite Local News, the Mineral County Independent-News, the Eureka Sentinel,  Sparks Tribune and the Lincoln County Record.

34 comments on “Editorial: Immigration reform may be needed, but do it constitutionally

  1. Rincon says:

    I have to criticize Obama for using power too aggressively, but there’s a cure for that. Congress could actually tackle the problem themselves. Nah, too much like work.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Congress has tackled this problem. Several bills have been proposed and have passed, but no bill has received the approval of both houses. It is not within the Presidents authority to create laws when Congress fails to act. This is called a dictatorship and is precisely the type of government illegal aliens are seeking to escape.

  3. Barbara says:

    Didn’t realize my name was not included for the comment.

  4. Barbara says:

    And for all the libs touting our “robust economy”, 1st quarter GDP revised down to negative .07. Can anyone see recession now?

  5. Rincon says:

    Better than the other OECD countries and better than we got in 2000-2007. But whether the glass is half full or half empty, the economy is a team sport. When some don’t do their part, the whole game suffers. Obama sometimes does the wrong thing. Can’t say that about Congress because they do nothing at all. I don’t credit Congress for tackling immigration. More like a missed tackle. They still haven’t learned the meaning of compromise.

  6. Anonymous says:

    nope, there is no recession to see.

  7. Barbara says:

    So now a contraction in the economy is okay because at least we are better than other countries? We are heading into a recession because who has not done their part?

    We have had slow growth across both Republican and Democrat administrations. Obama’s economic policies have not worked. The Fed has added 4 trillion to its balance sheet with nothing to show for it. There is no Savior in Washington. The Republicans and Democrats work together to ensure their continued power. Neither are truly for limited, constitutional government. I would rather Congress do nothing at all than do the wrong thing.

    If you support his creating new laws without congressional authority, where does it stop?

  8. Rincon says:

    I do not support Obama’s aggressive executive actions, but I certainly do not support government paralysis. The atmosphere of uncertainty caused by governments’ inability to function discourages businesses from investing and consumers from spending. In addition, high levels of personal and government debt are now leaving us with a hangover after the party. I also don’t see how we can expect the economy to expand when the middle class makes little more than they did in the 1970’s (despite their production per hour of labor nearly doubling). If wages stagnate, so does the economy.

  9. Barbara says:

    “Obama’s aggressive executive actions” ? Please. Obama has violated his oath of office. He has not merely been aggressive, he has usurped powers not given to him by the Constitution. This is why he dropped his challenge to the injunction issued by Federal District Judge Hanen and affirmed by the 5th Circuit. He knew if he allowed this to go to the Supreme Court he would lose and he wants to delay this slap down as long as possible.

    Remember, Obama and the Democrats had a majority in the House the first two years of his presidency and a majority in the Senate his entire first term. Through aggressive regulatory control the federal register has exploded with increased regulations into every aspect of American life. Republicans (admittedly tepidly) tried to reign in spending and were vilified in the media resulting in the sequester cuts which they are now ready to abandon.

    Democrats want to bring in immigrants from Mexico and third world countries because 2/3 will be reliable statists looking for government to make their lives better. Big business and Chamber of Commerce Republicans also want this immigration to keep wages low, not just in manual labor and the service industry, but also in the STEM industries. What happens when a few stalwarts such as Attorney General Laxalt challenge Obama’s usurpation of powers? They are predictably vilified by the press as “playing politics” or being “anti-immigrant”.

    The “party” has been over for 7 years. When are you going to wake up and see that neither the Democrats or Republicans give a flip about this country? The lines between the parties are growing ever more dim. We can see this in our own state government and the betrayal of any conservative doctrine by the state Republican party leaders. The statists in both parties are committed to one thing only – expansion of their own power and pocket books.

  10. Rincon says:

    “…neither the Democrats or Republicans give a flip about this country? The lines between the parties are growing ever more dim.” I wholeheartedly agree. It just seems like I see Obama and the Democrats criticized constantly here, while Republicans get a pass, except for the occasional comment such as the one above.

    “The federal payroll has been expanding since President Bush took office, after declining during the Clinton administration. But it’s still a tad smaller than it was in 1992, said Craig Jennings, a federal budget expert at the progressive think tank OMB Watch”

    Hard to believe, but Clinton and Congress apparently reduced the federal payroll more than Obama and Bush (along with Congress) increased it.. Is CNN accurate here? Why no praise for Clinton and the Congresses of the ’90’s?

  11. Barbara says:

    “Why no praise for Clinton and the Congresses of the 90’s?”. The progressives learned from their mistakes (in their eyes) of allowing a Republican House to dominant spending, i.e. “the era of big government is over”. Clinton passed welfare reform after three vetoes because Congress kept passing the bill and sending it to him.

    Contrast that action with today’s Republican House under the leadership (or lack thereof) of John Boehner.

    As our great state Assembly just demonstrated by passing the largest tax increase in Nevada history, there’s not a dimes worth of difference between the two parties.

  12. Rincon says:

    I gave credit to both Clinton and Congress. Note that Clinton signed the third bill instead of vetoing it. Both Congress and the executive branch cooperated in eliminating the budget deficits. That was when compromise was alive.

  13. Steve says:

    Similarity found.
    Clinton vetoed the first 2 budgets then signed the third.

    Nevada’s legislature was blocking Sandoval’s first two proposals then agreed with his third.

    It DID take Republican control to get any sort of tax increase passed because Democrat/Liberal attitudes were (and remain) such that any who opposed them were considered extreme and simply to be ignored, or better, steamrollered.
    The Legislature, under Republican control, worked with Business and Industry to pass a tax bill palatable to those groups.
    Whether individuals agree with it or not, the fact is Republicans got a lot of their ideas and ideals included in bills, laws and (yes) even this tax increase. Much of that was over the complaints by Democrats that prevented any support from Business, industry and Republicans in the last several sessions of the Nevada Legislature.

    This shows several things, 1) it takes Republican control to get compromise. 2) Republicans will compromise. 3) Democrats do not listen to constituents or minority parties. AND 4) Democrats and Liberals never compromise, they refuse to compromise and will do so only when forced to do so.

  14. Rincon says:

    That may be true in Nevada, but not at the federal level.

  15. Steve says:

    At the federal level we had Harry Reid blocking everything conservative but now we have Mitch McConnell most recently compromising on those segments of the patriot act he was totally against just a few weeks ago.
    I say the federal level bears out what is happening in Nevada, intractable Democrats and Liberals blocking everything compared to conservatives and Republicans who do compromise and include. The evidence is right in front of all our faces.

    Under Republican control, the US Senate is passing bills again.

  16. Rincon says:

    I agree that Liberals also block legislation, but I cannot imagine that you have forgotten the 500 or so bills that the Republicans filibustered from 2008-2014. In Illinois, the Republicans are too stubborn to even compromise with the voters. They lost all three branches of government in 6 straight elections and in the 7th, got a only governorship with a veto-proof legislature. Apparently, they just won’t do what it takes to win. But I’m sure they feel very pure about sticking to their guns.

  17. Steve says:

    The “filibuster” has become little more than a threat which causes the party in control to back down. I do not consider the threat of filibuster real. Those 500 or 600 threats were nothing more than Democrats unwilling to stand on their feet and fight.
    Real filibusters have recently been used by Rand Paul….twice.

  18. Rincon says:

    Let’s see…The 2012 Congress was Democratically controlled with a Democratic President, but according to the Huffington Post, “As 2012 comes to a close, the 112th Congress is set to go down in American history as the most unproductive session since the 1940s” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/28/congress-unproductive_n_2371387.html. Did the Democrats stall themselves? Not likely. Republicans obstructed by all means including the filibuster.

    Those facts are incompatible with your assertions. Face it Steve. You call yourself independent, but in reality, you’re a Republican lapdog.

  19. Steve says:

    Harry Reid sat on more than 500 bills…never even giving Republicans any chance to threaten filibuster! There is your obstruction, Rincon!

    Face facts, Democrats are obstructionist.

  20. Rincon says:

    Didn’t I just agree to your last sentence? Here, let me shout it: YES, but so are Republicans.

  21. Steve says:

    “Did the Democrats stall themselves? Not likely. Republicans obstructed by all means including the filibuster.”

    Agree??? I think NOT!

  22. Rincon says:

    You have a right to your opinion, no matter how baseless.

  23. Steve says:

    Same goes for you.

  24. Rincon says:

    500 filibusters, and the most do-nothing Congress since the ’40’s are hardly baseless, but you have the solution. Just deny that it means anything. Your solution though, is truly baseless as all you can do is assert it with no evidence on your side at all. Pretty weak.

  25. Steve says:

    Told you already there have been two (2) filibusters in the last 20 years. A filibuster is when some Senator gets the floor and talks till horse.

    Those “500 filibusters” were nothing but threats. Democrats claimed “filibuster” and happily used that claim to obstruct legislation. And Harry Reid sat on 500 bills preventing any floor discussion lat alone a vote in the Senate.
    THAT makes for a TOTAL 1000 bills directly BLOCKED BY DEMOCRAT ACTION.

    I see you have decided stoop to derision and circular argument instead of fact based discussion.

    Concession, noted.

  26. Rincon says:

    Derision? You presented no evidence for your views. That’s not derision; it’s fact. It’s also weak.

    Harry sat on 500 bills. You present no evidence of that, but OK for now. How many bills did John Boehner sit on? Or do you plan to give him a pass and assume zero? The 500 filibusters were almost exclusively Republican. That makes the score 500 to 500. As I said, they’re both at fault.

  27. Steve says:

    The evidence you provided proves my words.
    Those bills Harry blocked came from Boehner’s house!


  28. Rincon says:

    You think only the Senate Majority Leader can block a bill? “House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) — in his own role as the lower chamber’s legislative gatekeeper — has a different yet effective method at his disposal to quash Democratic ideas: he can simply refuse to schedule their bills for a vote.

    Speakers of the House may use what is unofficially called the “Hastert rule” (though in 2013 a faction of the GOP petitioned to formalize the rule) by which the Speaker only brings a bill to the floor if he anticipates that a majority of his party will approve it. This practice, which ensures that the Speaker remains in good standing with those who brought him to power, also makes cooperation with the Democratic-controlled Senate less likely and facilitates legislative gridlock.”

    But then again, why am I arguing with someone who thinks the filibuster has nothing to do with gridlock? Congrats Steve, you’re now part of the 1%!

  29. Steve says:

    I keep telling you what you are calling “filibuster” IS NOT a filibuster!
    Rand Paul is the only Senator to actually employ filibusters. The filibuster has been used twice! ONLY TWICE in the last 20 years.

    What you are trusting is the description of Democrats for threats of filibuster…they call them real when in fact Democrats FAILED to stand up for their own faulty bills!

    You guys fall for so many lies from your own party leaders it actually hurts to watch.

  30. Steve says:

    “On occasion, Boehner has risked his popularity — and his speakership — by bucking the Hastert rule and bringing bills to a vote without the support of a majority of his party. For instance, he offended the conservative caucus by approving an expansive relief package to the victims of Hurricane Sandy and by allowing the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.”

    “On Monday, July 21, IVN contributor Joshua Alvarez examined how Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has abused his power to “fill the tree” — clog the limited number of amendment slots with his own amendments — in order to block Republican proposals. There is convincing evidence that the Senate is the greatest source of legislative dysfunction: in 2013, only 16 of the 72 bills that President Obama signed into law originated from the upper chamber, and there are currently 338 bills passed by the House that are awaiting the Senate’s attention.”

    Your own link supports me!

  31. Rincon says:

    Get with the times Steve. “The current filibuster works this way: Any senator — but usually one in the minority party — can state his intention of launching a filibuster against a bill or a motion. It then takes a vote of 60 or more senators, known as a cloture vote, before any action can be taken on the matter.

    When the minority party is strong, as the Republicans are now, with 47 of the Senate’s 100 votes, filibusters can block virtually any piece of legislation.”

    Are you catching on? All of the power of a filibuster without the inconvenience! There’s my evidence. Where’s yours?

  32. Rincon says:

    “…Joshua Alvarez examined how Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has abused his power to “fill the tree…” Please read more carefully. As I’ve already said twice, I AGREE WITH THIS!!!

    “On occasion, Boehner has risked his popularity…” On occasion? Voting for Hurricane Sandy relief? And taken from an article entitled, “John Boehner facilitated Congressional gridlock”? This proves Boehner is not obstructing anything? Get some help Steve.

  33. Steve says:

    Those are still NOT filibusters, they are perfect examples of scared Democrats refusing to do the hard work of compromise and debate! Once republicans got back some of the power the the US Senate began passing legislation again! Times??? I am talking 2015!

    Boehner showed at least a modicum of willingness while Harry blocked everything that might embarrass Obama….you need to pay attention.

  34. […] January, Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt explained why he decided to join the litigation in which Texas was the lead plaintiff. “Our immigration system […]

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