US Immigration Executive Action
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Posted 11/21/14
Was President Obama's Executive Action in his power or did he violate the US Constitution. and what are your feelings about illegal immigrants in us and what should we do with them?


Us Constitution

Article. I.

Section. 1.

All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

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Posted 11/21/14
If Obama's ability to take executive action on the issue of illegal immigration is a violation of the US constitution, he'd hardly be the first. I'd care more about the rhetoric if the same people complaining about Obama's executive actions were complaining about Bush's during his term. Or even the number Reagan had made. Rather, this seems to have been a "lets complain about the other party while we're not in office" issue on both sides for the past few decades.

Political theatre and little else. As for 'what should we do to them', generally, the empathetic and human thing of 'treat them like people' is what I side with. I know how much paperwork there is to immigrate to an area and right now the US doesn't care about your 'poor tired huddled masses yearning to breathe free' as much as it cares about 'your rich, immigration lawyer supplied aristocracy yearning to be richer'.
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Posted 11/21/14
What specifically did the President do that is supposedly beyond his constitutionally allocated powers (be they explicitly stated or implied)?
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Posted 11/21/14
I honestly don't know.
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Posted 11/21/14

SilvaZoldyck wrote:

If Obama's ability to take executive action on the issue of illegal immigration is a violation of the US constitution, he'd hardly be the first. I'd care more about the rhetoric if the same people complaining about Obama's executive actions were complaining about Bush's during his term. Or even the number Reagan had made. Rather, this seems to have been a "lets complain about the other party while we're not in office" issue on both sides for the past few decades.

Political theatre and little else. As for 'what should we do to them', generally, the empathetic and human thing of 'treat them like people' is what I side with. I know how much paperwork there is to immigrate to an area and right now the US doesn't care about your 'poor tired huddled masses yearning to breathe free' as much as it cares about 'your rich, immigration lawyer supplied aristocracy yearning to be richer'.



Emotions aside, do you think he did or did not break the law? I am no lawyer, and we don't really study executive action limitations in school so who knows.
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Posted 11/21/14
"Emotions aside, do you think he did or did not break the law? I am no lawyer, and we don't really study executive action limitations in school so who knows. "

'Emotions aside' it is political theatre. It's basically arguing 'does the president have the authority to set policy directions for government agencies he has authority over'? If the legislature passed a bill that gives the executive office authority over an executive agency, then yes, the president 'has authority to issue an executive order'.

So unless the arguments are 'Obama signed an order to make changes to a government agency he does NOT have authority over', there's really no 'debate'.

But again, you could probably find 'debate' for orders issued by any president since the foundation of the country itself. It's a tradition, if you're the party not in power, to cry foul and abuse at every perceived slight.

And by and large you can ignore it all because it's political theatre. Until substantial criticism comes by that shows a direct violation with an act of congress, best to ignore partisan bickering.

Although at this point I might be jaded enough to perhaps not even care. Oliver North is still free to appear on television, and in the aftermath of Gary Webb I think we can all rest easy knowing that the only way you'll ever be blamed for anything you did in office is if you go the extra mile of personally recording evidence of blatantly illegal activities that is released to the public during your presidency, and even then, just resign.

Clinton was impeached for 'lying under oath' (a felony and thus impeachable crime) about an affair by Gingrich who happened to be involved in his own affair at the time. If politics has taught us anything, it's that hypocrisy is the norm.
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Posted 11/21/14

Fade805 wrote:

Was President Obama's Executive Action in his power or did he violate the US Constitution. and what are your feelings about illegal immigrants in us and what should we do with them?


Us Constitution

Article. I.

Section. 1.

All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.



Technically speaking the answer here is no. But it is based on the same technicality that all presidents use for their Executive Orders.

A President may not make a law. They have to approve the laws made by Congress, but that is because while Congress makes the laws and the Supreme Court decides if they are Constitutional or not, it is the President and the Executive Branch that has to enforce those laws. That is why the President gets to Veto new laws, because ultimately the President is the one who has to enforce them. He gets first vote in saying "No, I am not going to do that". And Congress would then need enough votes to override the Presidential Veto.

But since enforcement is within the jurisdiction of the President, interpretation of such enforcement also is. At least when expressly clear language is not included. And if you know anything about US laws passed by the US Congress, expressly clear wording is never involved. So the President has a lot of leeway in deciding enforcement action. Which is what an Executive Order is. An Executive Order is a piece of paper that says "This is the law and I believe it means This in This situation". It is within the President's Constitutional rights to determine that. At least until the Supreme Court rules otherwise.

So yes, President Obama's Executive Order is technically legal. Because what he is saying is that it is within the enforcement powers of the Executive Branch to decide how to utilize limited resources. There is only so much money in any budget, so enforcement is always prioritized. What this Executive Order effectively means is that President Obama is simply saying that enforcement will primarily be aimed against violent illegal immigrants. Since just dealing with them will pretty much use up any budget (unless Congress wants to allocate more money to the various departments that handle this) it effectively means non violent immigrants will not be targeted.

This is not to say he is giving them Amnesty. Regardless of rumors and blogs and talking heads, that is not what this Executive Order does. That would be illegal because there is no enforcement mechanism to grant amnesty or citizenship to illegal immigrants. An Executive Order cannot give someone to someone that the law does not already provide for. All the Executive Order does is effectively move non-violent illegal immigrants to the bottom of an 11 million person line of potential deportees.

The Executive Order effectively grants Deferred Action status on non violent illegal immigrants. About 5 million of them. This allows them to apply for actual Deferred Action status with the Department of Homeland Security and obtain work permits to work legally in the US. This is what has some people up in arms. However, the part of getting work permits is not part of the Executive Order. That lies within the current immigration law which allows illegal immigrants on Deferred Action status to apply to the Office of the Secretary of Homeland Security for said work permit. IE this is what might be called a law of unintended consequences. Or what I am sure the Executive branch would likely argue. That the Executive Order merely grants a status that current law gives work permits too. That is the fault of the law, not the Executive Order.

Good or Bad? Well, on the bright side 5 million illegal immigrants now paying taxes (although many already do with Tax ID's because if they hope to become citizens then they would need to pay any back taxes anyway) would be nice. And contrary to oft spoken of Republican talk, most illegal immigrants work in jobs that most Americans never would apply for. Not even losing Welfare benefits generally gets US Citizens into a cotton field to pick cotton. It is hard, grueling, manual labor that hurts a lot for almost no pay. Proof of this is seen each year where millions of farmers have a hard time finding workers other than illegals to pick US farms. Sadly most crops need to be hand picked unlike Corn or Wheat which uses huge combines.

On the Bad side, at least from the standpoint of an illegal immigrant, this status relies on an Executive Order. Also contrary to what many believe, illegal immigrants are not stupid. Anyone who survives a 1000 mile trek through drug and murder infested wildness to cross Texas has more than the average amount of intelligence. As such they are all fully aware that any Executive Order is only as good as a) a Supreme Court ruling and b) a new President. Should they apply for Deferred Action status and be granted a work permit, in 2 years if a Republican president comes into office he can just create a new Executive Order cancelling this one, and now Homeland Security has all the information they need to find and deport them.

So in all likelihood the chances this will be anything other than political fodder for the next 2 years is slim to none. The only thing that this will matter for is that next year Hilary will be stumping Blue States telling people how the Democrats and President Obama was the only group willing to at least do something on immigration and try to help instead of simply hinder and hurt. Whereas Sarah Palin will be running around talking about how 5 million Christian illegal immigrants are destroying the fabric of traditional America (ie they are not White) and how without a Republican in office the US will become some shambles of a nation. Even without any proof and continually taking things out of context.

So in other words, legality does not matter in this. It is really just a political setup to the Presidential Election of 2016 to see whether acknowledging a problem and trying to solve it will trump the insanity of continuing to try to do the same thing we have been trying for the last 20 years which is get rid of a problem that will not just go away.

Personally I say give them all Green Cards and be done with it. If you somehow make it alive to the US and are willing to take a US Citizenship Oath then let them in. You know, like how we used to do it for the Europeans. People who can cross a 1000 miles of wilderness or ocean are going to be people who either they or their children will do good for the country. The only lazy welfare queens I see are the occasional US citizens who feel the country owes them something. Most immigrants, whether legal or not, are here to work and to be something. Because that is what America is. A nation where who you are, what you are, who your parents were, none of that matters. Not even how much money you have. It all comes down to what you want to do. I would take an illegal immigrant who was willing to work hard over a US citizen who just wanted a paycheck.

Perhaps that is the main issue and problem. Americans just do not want competition. But I say, give them competition, that is what America is all about as a capitalistic nation. The only things that should matter is whether you are willing to swear an oath to the US and work hard. Past that, it should be survival of the fittest. And in that sense, I know a guy who traveled 1000 miles on foot in 100 degree heat is probably far more survivable than a US football watching coach potato.
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Posted 11/21/14
Plus the US legal system has become a kinda weird 'cover your ass' scenario. The 'debt ceiling' is the perfect example of that. Congress first authorizes mandatory spending, things the president needs to divert funding to, but also have had a habit of keeping the amount of revenue collected (since this is the federal budget, they'd be federal level taxes) less than the amount of money that they authorize spending.

Thus the 'budget deficit'. So the president has to spend more money than the country collects. Ok, so that means he has to borrow from other sources to pay for the deficit. That contributes to 'debt'. However, there's also a separate 'debt limit' as a separate bill that authorizes the total amount of money the president is allowed to borrow.

You could see where this is going. There's a reason they called it the 'fiscal cliff'.

Why the fuck would ANYONE have a policy like that? Well, because congress has a 'cover your ass' policy, where they get to blame the president for their policies in the first place, thus, appearing to be 'fiscally responsible' without actually needing to be fiscally responsible.

I like CP Grey's cute three minute video, complete with ticking time bomb.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KIbkoop4AYE

The US would run so much better if people could put away the absurd political theatre.
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Posted 11/22/14
^ Such is why I am a disenfranchised voter.

The entire legislative branch has become a joke. For almost a decade now they have accomplished absolutely nothing. So much nothingness has been accomplished, in fact, that they have accomplished more nothing than the Do-Nothing Congress of Herbert Hoover! How sad is that? If they're not endlessly filibustering each other (and the rules for that NEED to change, back to the way it was before, where you had to actually stand and talk) they're petulantly refusing to even consider anything proposed by the other side--merely because it was proposed by the other side.

At the risk of getting myself on a watchlist, sometimes I wonder if that scene in Tom Clancy's Without Remorse, where an airliner smashes into the capitol while both houses are in session, wouldn't be a good thing for the country overall....
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Posted 11/22/14
^ A minor point of order, but the 80th Congress was under Truman. Regardless, the 112th and 113th have indeed been an embarrassment to the institution. I'm not terribly impressed with the 111th, either.
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Posted 11/23/14
And, I really hope he continues to do so, because the GOP will refuse to cooperate with him as they have made that intention well known.

I hope the GOP loses the presidential race for decades to come.
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Posted 11/23/14
As far as I'm aware it's a temporary measure. However there is a lot of room for misinterpretation. Halting all deportations for parents of citizens could lead to a flood of expectant mothers not knowing there is a cut-off date for the rule. There won't be any improvements made to border security until a long term bill is passed and more money is dedicated to the task. Same with the path to citizenship, which is absurdly long. That will take cooperation from both the executive and legislative branches. The conservatives need to craft fair bills and the president must not veto them.
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Posted 12/1/14 , edited 12/3/14
The President was encouraged to take unilateral action on immigration matters only earlier this year by the people now ballyhooing for his either being sued or impeached over a manufactured "constitutional crisis" formed by his having done just that while remaining within the boundaries of his powers as the chief executive. Simply put, there is no ground to stand upon for the claim that the President has violated the constitution since the executive branch is endowed with exclusive authority and discretion to decide whether to prosecute a case, so it is the President's decision whether or not to pursue undocumented aliens. The meaning of the phrase "faithful execution of the laws" is, to a greater extent than the Speaker would care to admit, the President's to define.

If I'm reading US v. Nixon (1974) correctly the President has acted within his bounds and people like John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, and Ted Cruz are wasting everyone's time and money bickering about having authority they never possessed "overstepped". If I am not, I would have it explained where I have erred.

https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/418/683/case.html

Update Edit (12/3/14):

Alright, now this is just getting ridiculous. Not only is it ludicrous that people are actually considering shutting down the federal government for the second time this decade over this manufactured "constitutional crisis" that is clearly not one, it's equally ludicrous that the "compromise" being offered by Speaker Boehner to placate those who would try involves tying continued DHS funding to this matter. Does Speaker Boehner really think it's justified to tie the continued stability of US national security to petty partisan squabbles? People could die, damn it.

As for the resolution stating that the President has no authority to issue executive actions on the matter of immigration, it's laughable even if it is symbolic. What, they're going to issue a joint resolution to amend the federal constitution so that the President can't issue executive orders on immigration matters? That's the only thing that makes any sort of sense, and it's still idiotic since that proposed amendment would never pass. Seeking ratification thereof would just waste everyone's time and money even if the Senate let the resolution through. But let's assume that's not the case, that the US is actually that dumb. If that resolution did ultimately somehow miraculously meet the standards for an amendment, and the constitution were amended so that the President can't issue executive orders on immigration, it wouldn't be long before the amendment was rescinded by a US which realized (in a rushed panic) that they had just permanently crippled their entire immigration system by refusing to allow the chief executive and his staff to act on immigration at all. Nice job!

But maybe they don't have it in mind to put out a joint resolution to amend the constitution. I don't really see how they could revoke the President's authority to issue executive orders without one, but hey. If they were to issue any other sort of joint resolution (even assuming it could make it through the Senate) that would simply lead to the President chuckling to himself as he had his staff write up a disapproval of the resolution. It's not as if he's going to say to himself "You know what? Maybe I shouldn't be able to issue executive orders which completely comport with the constitution's limitations on subjects that are sore for the GOP. Doggone it, why not? I'll approve this thing."

So in sum, the GOP is currently considering the following options for how to respond to the President's recent executive order:

(a) Shut down the US federal government for the second time this decade
(b) Endanger national security by offering only a short-term extension for DHS funding
(c) Pass the stupidest joint resolution in the history of US governance

It seems no matter what they do I'll be banging my head against my desk in frustration.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/12/02/us-usa-congress-shutdown-boehner-idUSKCN0JG1MH20141202
zwd 
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Posted 12/4/14
If Obama has done something wrong then so have many other presidents.

A sample of pretty weighty Executive orders

Emancipation Proclamation
New Deal
Desegregation of Armed Forces
Japanese-American Internment (WW2)
Indian Reservations

Right so, what you see currently is the Republican party desperately trying to discredit the sitting president any way they possibly can. It is ludicrous and they are the ones holding our nation hostage--not the president.
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Posted 12/5/14 , edited 12/5/14

zwd wrote:

If Obama has done something wrong then so have many other presidents.

A sample of pretty weighty Executive orders

Emancipation Proclamation
New Deal
Desegregation of Armed Forces
Japanese-American Internment (WW2)
Indian Reservations

Right so, what you see currently is the Republican party desperately trying to discredit the sitting president any way they possibly can. It is ludicrous and they are the ones holding our nation hostage--not the president.


It's not even something new or unique that the President is doing. The scale is different, but that's it. Reagan unilaterally exempted a large number of undocumented aliens from deportation in 1987. This has happened before, just not to this extent. Sure, there's room for a discussion about whether a President should be able to do such a thing, and there are salient points to be made on both sides of that debate. But the matter of whether the President can do what he has done is one which has already been settled: he can. A Supreme Court decision in 1974 states that the President holds the power of prosecutorial discretion. The President has not unilaterally written new legislation by backing off of deportation, and that's not something that's never been done before. In fact, everything the President has done with this executive order could be reversed unilaterally by the next President on day one, so it's not as if this is even a particularly challenging thing to overturn.
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