Falling under the category of shockingly predictable, not only did our current president rescind the Obama era executive action that exempted 800,00 illegal immigrants from deportation, but the media summarily lost their collective minds. First of all let me state this: I do not fault the people caught up in this one bit. They were brought here when they were young, had no say in the matter, and the overwhelming majority are probably really nice people. This is not their fault. The fact that it is not their fault does not make them legal to live here, but purely means they are not to blame for their situation. If we want to assign blame for the limbo that these folks live in, it belongs to politicians, playing fast and loose with the rules to gain clout and play footsie with special interest groups.
If those previously protected under DACA are a victim of anything, they are victims of government leaders who care more politics rather than doing their job. Ronald Reagan granted amnesty to 3 million illegal immigrants in 1986. It was a kind gesture and one that I am sure Reagan thought would never be duplicated in any form or fashion. But, it was also done to curry favor amongst Latino Americans. In this instance, President Reagan skirted federal law and instead of executing the laws of our nation, told 3 million people they were exempt from it. This led to lax enforcement. This led to people living in our country illegally for years. This led to politicians from Bill Clinton to George W. Bush to Barack Obama talking tough on immigration at times, but never doing anything about it. Why? Simple. Politics. If we haven’t figured it out yet, there is no huge chasm between the Republican and Democratic party. Both parties benefit from illegal immigration. Businesses in bed with the Republicans want cheap labor. Democrats, wanting to change the racial demographics of the nation, want votes. So each side may argue about who really exploits illegal immigrants, but it is really just the pot calling the kettle black. But back to people who do not do their jobs. This whole DACA business gave people false hope, because Barack Obama would not do his job. President Obama was the chief executive our nation. By definition and job title, he is mandated to ensure the execution of our laws. Not to cherry pick which one’s he liked or disliked, but to ensure that the laws of our nation are carried out. Presidents execute laws, congress passes them, the judiciary decides if they are legal. That is the basic function of our three branches. But instead of executing the law, Obama did the exact opposite. He exempted 800,000 people in our country from the law. He’s supposed to execute the law, but instead exempts people from it. His supporters say “it is the right thing to do”. I say the the right thing to do is act within the scope of your duties as President of the United States. Presidents, and I do not care what president it is, cannot unilaterally just change laws. Congress has the power to write and pass legislation (you know, the representatives of the citizenry), the president has the power to veto or sign into law, not to exempt people from the law. If presidents would do their job, instead of trying to make people feel good or like them, we would not have this problem. And if a president has a problem with an existing law, they can sure as hell fire introduce legislation to change the law, the legal way. Not just zinging out executive orders (which I think should be heavily restricted).
So now we have 800,000 people in the United States who believe that their status is cemented because “Obama said so”. This is the fault of the politicians who sold them false hope, unicorns, and rainbows. Donald Trump says and does a great many things that make me want to throw up. But in this case, for all the criticism he is receiving, he is doing exactly the right thing. The power to write and pass law does not reside with the president. Trump has put the onus on Congress to come up with a law, an actual law passed through our legislative system per the Constitution of the United States of America, and not an not some executive order that was put in place to make folks feels better. This is what happens when people throw all of their faith, support, dreams, etc., behind one president and his pen and his phone. Presidents and their executive orders are much easier to get rid of then codified law is. But people become conditioned to executive orders that meet their immediate needs and give no thought to the next person that will occupy the office next. If it is that easy grant de facto amnesty, is that easy to take it away. That is why we should not allow our president, or any president, to so easily and singlehandedly effect the lives of people in our country with a decision that can be so easily be overturned. Don’t like our current laws? Elect folks who will change the laws……..by the proper process (i.e. the will of the people). If I still remember right the American Revolution was fought for independence from those who would rule by fiat, rather than the consent of the governed? Bottom line, if people would do their job, this mess would not exist. It is time to shrink the scope of the powers of the presidency. Democracy and sovereignty. If we do not do something to keep them, we will lose them. And we will not get them back.