The Obama administration — thrice blocked by lower courts from enforcing its unilateral amnesty for illegal immigrants by executive order — has petitioned the Supreme Court to take up the case and to act expeditiously.
Nevada is one of the 26 states that sued to block Obama’s amnesty.
“The Secretary (of the Department of Homeland Security) faces resource constraints that require the exercise of enforcement discretion. More than 11 million removable aliens are estimated to live in the United States. But Congress has appropriated the funds to remove only a fraction of that population in any given year,” U.S. Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr.’s petition states. “The number of removals has varied depending on circumstances, but DHS has not been able to remove more than four percent of the estimated removable population in any year.”
So what’s the problem? Remove the 4 percent, use discretion as to which are priorities for removal and ask for more funding. This is no reason to ignore the law.
The petition uses language that is more suited to arguing before Congress for a change in existing law than a legal argument in court that Obama has the power to arbitrarily change the law. “For decades, DHS has engaged in ‘a regular practice * * * known as “deferred action,”‘ in which the Secretary ‘exercis[es] [his] discretion’ to forbear, ‘for humanitarian reasons or simply for [his] own convenience,’ from removing particular aliens from the United States for a designated period of time. Deferred action thus memorializes a decision ‘[t]o ameliorate a harsh and unjust outcome’ through forbearance,” Verrilli argues.
Harsh and unjust? Entering the country illegally violates the law as written by Congress and that decision was knowingly made by the illegal immigrants. Robbing banks can get you jailed, which is pretty harsh, too.
The petition goes on to argue for an immediate review of the lower court injunctions, saying that leaving the injunctions in place “will force millions of people — who are not removal priorities under criteria the court conceded are valid, and who are parents of U.S. citizens and permanent residents — to continue to work off the books, without the option of lawful employment to provide for their families. And it will place a cloud over the lives of hundreds of thousands of people who came to the United States as children, have lived here for years, and been accorded deferred action under the 2012 DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) policy, which respondents have never challenged. The decision warrants immediate review.”
OK, immediate review seems reasonable since Obama has given those millions the false hope that he can change law with a wave of his magic pen and grant them amnesty. End the limbo status one way or the other. While we’re at it, perhaps a few states or members of Congress should challenge Obama’s DACA policy.
In January, Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt explained why he decided to join the litigation in which Texas was the lead plaintiff. “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,” Laxalt said.
One of the arguments presented by the states is that they have to pay the tab for providing services for illegals — such as education and medical care and welfare benefits.
Nevada will be among the hardest hit, because Nevada has by far the highest percentage of illegal immigrants of any state and the level has gone up in recent years. According to a Pew Research report, in 2012 Nevada’s population included 7.6 percent illegals, its workforce was 10.2 percent illegals and its school enrollment included 17.7 percent whose parents are not in the country legally, all the highest levels in the nation.
In the most recent injunction, U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Jerry Smith explained, “Deferred action … is much more than nonenforcement: It would affirmatively confer ‘lawful presence’ and associated benefits on a class of unlawfully present aliens. Though revocable, that change in designation would trigger (eligibility for federal and state benefits) that would not otherwise be available to illegal aliens.”
Why should the states be handed the tab for Obama’s usurpation of power?
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.