Stephen Baldwin Loses to Kevin Costner in Court »« Geller’s Drunken Rant?

Obama’s Immigration Move

As I’m sure you’ve heard by now, President Obama announced late last week that the federal government would no longer deport immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children. The right wing is up in arms, of course, while Mitt Romney tries to figure out how to be against it and for it all at the same time (as he does with every other issue, of course). Balko’s reaction is spot on:

So if I’m understanding all of this correctly, today the president said that if you were brought to this country at a young age, by no choice of your own, which is to say that if the United States has been your home for as long as you can remember . . . . we will no longer put you handcuffs, put you on a bus or plane, then dump you in a country where you might have been born, but that is otherwise completely foreign to you.

Somehow, this is controversial?

In a humane, sane world, the country’s collective reaction to today’s announcement would have been, You mean until now, we were actually doing this to people? What the hell is wrong with us?

But he also points out that the real problem with Obama’s order is that it sets an age limit of 30 — if you were brought here by your parents long enough ago that you’ve reached the age of 30, you can still be deported.

Comments

  1. says

    So if you’ve been in the US for 29 years since you were 1, you won’t be deported, but if you have been in the US for 29 years since you were 2, you will.

    Well, that’s not arbitrary and unfair at all.

  2. d cwilson says

    No, what’s really wrong with the new policy is that there’s no path to citizenship. If you were brought here as a minor and lived here for the overwhelming majority of your life, you should at least have the option to apply for citizenship, regardless of your current age.

    In other words, we need to pass the Dream Act. Of course, that won’t happen, despite the fact that republicans used to endorse the idea, because Obama got his Kenyan Cooties all over it.

  3. baal says

    Worse, the ICE won’t deport you to certain counties(think Syria). Instead, you get little to no procedure and can look forward to sitting in US fedjail until international relations improve (think never).

  4. says

    “Somehow, this is controversial?”

    In the right-wing mind, moral hazard trumps all else. If you don’t deport those children and make them suffer, then more people from down south will get the idea that they too can immigrate illegally. And then think of all the suffering that will cause!

  5. NitricAcid says

    Let me get this straight- even if you were brought to the US as an infant, there’s no way for you to apply for citizenship?

  6. lancifer says

    First let me say that I am for open borders and citizenship for anyone that wants to come to the US, unless you have committed a felony crime or engaged in hostile acts against the US.

    So I’m great with letting all of the folks living here in the US not only live here indefinitely but apply for citizenship.

    But the president isn’t a king. The immigration laws are laws and the proper course of events is to overturn those laws, not have an executive branch that enforces the laws it feels like enforcing.

    Or is it OK to rail against executive excess only when the president ignores the laws you think are important?

  7. lancifer says

    Also, my mother and my wife are both immigrants to the US. I met my wife while she was here on a student visa. We were engaged when her visa expired and even though we were willing to get married immediately the INS insisted she return to Ethiopia.

    It took nearly a year to get her a visa to return to the US, another year to get a “green card” and three more years to become a US citizen. Not to mention thousands of dollars in fees and numerous bureaucratic hurdles.

    The 1950’s was apparently a less xenophobic time. My father married my mother and two days later they both boarded a plane for the US. Of course she came from a European country so the process might have also been easier because of that fact.

    I hate to be cynical, but it appears Obama is pandering to get the Hispanic vote. Even if the federal courts compel the Department of Justice to enforce the current laws this will still be viewed positively by most Hispanics.

    I would prefer an honest congressional effort to overhaul our idiotic, xenophobic and needlessly restrictive immigration laws.

  8. naturalcynic says

    shorter lancifer: procedure is more important than justice. It’s called executive discretion and it’s fine with me if efforts in one area are de-emphasized when they cause so much harm. Now, if the same thing could be applied to medical marijuana…

  9. jeevmon says

    lancifer – the government always has prosecutorial discretion. The Justice Department scandal six years ago was not about whether the Bush DOJ had the right to de-emphasize civil rights cases and emphasize voter fraud prosecution. It was the termination of US Attorneys for not violating their duties as officers of the court by filing actions that the US Attorneys did not believe to have legal or factual merit.

  10. Doug Little says

    I hate to be cynical, but it appears Obama is pandering to get the Hispanic vote.

    Pander away I say, it’s a necessary evil at the moment to have a shot at winning elections.

  11. lancifer says

    naturalcynic,

    Hey, I think all drugs should be legal, but that doesn’t mean I think it would be a good idea if the president told the DEA to go backpacking for the foreseeable future.

    We are a nation of laws and calling it “prosecutorial discretion” doesn’t somehow mean that selective enforcement of the law is legal, ethical or even a good idea.

  12. says

    lancifer “Hey, I think all drugs should be legal, but that doesn’t mean I think it would be a good idea if the president told the DEA to go backpacking for the foreseeable future.”
    If memory serves, the scheduling of drugs falls under the Executive Branch so, no, even assuming that Obama can’t do what he just did, that’s a bad example. There could be some issue with treaties, but it’s the USA, so what’s the rest of the world going to do, sigh with relief?

  13. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    Hey, I think all drugs should be legal, but that doesn’t mean I think it would be a good idea if the president told the DEA to go backpacking for the foreseeable future.

    Yes it would.

    We are a nation of laws and calling it “prosecutorial discretion” doesn’t somehow mean that selective enforcement of the law is legal, ethical or even a good idea.

    We are a nation of PEOPLE. Laws exist to SERVE PEOPLE. Laws that do not serve justice and human needs have no worth or value of their own.

  14. lancifer says

    Azkyroth,

    “Laws that do not serve justice and human needs have no worth or value of their own.”

    That’s why we elect legislators and give them the power to change the laws.

    Of course there is civil disobedience but when you have been elected by the people to the branch of government that is in charge of enforcing those laws it is a breach of trust and office to decide not to enforce the one’s you don’t like.

    The honorable thing to do would be to step down if you found the task of enforcing the law to be morally objectionable.

  15. frankb says

    –Obey The Magistrate– No matter who the magistrate is???

    –Enforce The Law– No matter what the law is???

  16. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    That’s why we elect legislators and give them the power to change the laws.

    Of course there is civil disobedience but when you have been elected by the people to the branch of government that is in charge of enforcing those laws it is a breach of trust and office to decide not to enforce the one’s you don’t like.

    The honorable thing to do would be to step down if you found the task of enforcing the law to be morally objectionable.

    The system is too broken to survive this sort of suicidal naivete.

  17. dingojack says

    sunsangnim (#15) –
    That Australian should lose their passport and try to return home.
    That’s sooo much better than the Americans.
    Bureaucratic idiocy seems to be in plentiful supply, universally.
    :( Dingo

  18. says

    Of course there is civil disobedience but when you have been elected by the people to the branch of government that is in charge of enforcing those laws it is a breach of trust and office to decide not to enforce the one’s you don’t like.

    The honorable thing to do would be to step down if you found the task of enforcing the law to be morally objectionable.

    So slave catchers were heroes?

  19. lancifer says

    First of all the INS wasn’t exactly rounding up infants and juveniles for deportation before this development.

    It was a political move designed to curry support from Hispanics. I would have preferred that congressional Democrats had introduced legislation to change the law.

  20. leftwingfox says

    #14: Yes I did. I’m just not giving Sheriff “pink-underwear-tent-city-birther” Joe any benefit of the doubt here with his claims.

  21. slc1 says

    Re Lancelot @ #24

    I would have preferred that congressional Democrats had introduced legislation to change the law.

    Mr. Lancelot is living in a dreamworld. There is about as much chance of Rethuglicans in Congress allowing passage of such a law as there is of Mr. Lancelot agreeing that global warming is a serious problem that must be addressed.

  22. tomh says

    Lancifer wrote:
    First of all the INS wasn’t exactly rounding up infants and juveniles for deportation before this development.

    Not true. There is a story in today’s New York Times about the difficulties of children in Mexico who have been deported from the United States. Over 300,000 have been deported in the last five years, double the number from ten years ago. These are basically American children in all but parentage and they face great difficulty and discrimination in Mexico.

  23. Michael Heath says

    lancifer writes:

    I would have preferred that congressional Democrats had introduced legislation to change the law.

    Congressional Democrats have been trying to pass the DREAM Act for 11 years now, it was most recently introduced and filibustered by Republicans in May-2011. The Democrats used to have some bipartisan support from a few Republicans, like original co-sponsor Sen. Orin Hatch. However the current GOP is obstructing passage.

  24. lancifer says

    tomh,

    The vast majority of those children went back with their illegal alien parents. Are you advocating separating these children from their parents?

    Look I said that I support open borders and open immigration but you can’t change the law by presidential fiat.

    Michael Heath,

    Recent polls show bipartisan support for the Dream Act.

    http://www.firstfocus.net/news/press_release/poll-reveals-strong-bipartisan-support-for-the-dream-act

    It is likely that after the pre-election ranker there will be a congressional compromise. I agree that Republicans have balked at this common sense and humane legislation in fear of upsetting the hard core xenophobic elements in their ranks.

    But just because half the legislator disagrees with you does not justify changing the law by fiat.

  25. tomh says

    Lancifer wrote:
    The vast majority of those children went back with their illegal alien parents. Are you advocating separating these children from their parents?

    How does that follow from anything I said? You claimed that “the INS wasn’t exactly rounding up infants and juveniles for deportation,” but that is exactly what is happening, with far more children being deported than at any time in the past. Of course they are with their parents. That’s why allowing young immigrants to stay will slow down the wave of deportations of children.

  26. Michael Heath says

    lancifer writes to me:

    But just because half the legislator disagrees with you does not justify changing the law by fiat.

    I’m not making an argument supportive of the president on this matter. I’m still developing a position.

    I absolutely disagree with you that the executive shouldn’t lead when Congress fails to govern. We do not live in a perfect world, where misbehavior by Congress has led to this nations’ interests being best served by the executives usurping power and acting. I find such leadership distasteful and evidence of a systemic flaw in design and therefore support changing the rules of Congress so obstructionism is far more difficult. But I absolutely support competent executives who lead in the nation’s interests. Perhaps one of the best examples was FDR preparing for war and supporting Great Britain while being obstructed by conservatives in Congress.

    In the state of Michigan I see this currently exemplified by Rep. Gov. Rick Snyder working with the federal government and Canada to build a much needed bridge. In spite of his fellow Republicans in Congress having been bought off by the current private bridge owner to obstruct this badly needed new bridge.

  27. scorinth says

    Lancifer,
    The executive branch can’t actually change these laws. They can choose not to enforce certain laws or enforce other laws especially strictly, but the actual laws remain the same, so as soon as Obama’s out, his successor can continue his policies or completely run in the opposite direction. Personally, I think this is a reason to pursue passage of the DREAM Act, but until we can get reform passed through Congress, acts of the executive branch like this are about the best we can hope for. It’s all part of the checks and balances.

  28. Michael Heath says

    One example of the executive “ruling by fiat” is citing speeding tickets 15+ over the speed limit rather than at the speed limit; where the context is the executive having insufficient resources appropriated by their respective state legislature to fully execute all laws on the books.

    That’s one extreme, the other would be the executive ignoring homicides even when he/she has ample resources at his/her disposal to execute and prosecute those laws. So the question isn’t really that’s its wrong for the executive to not fully execute the law, but whether his execution is onerous enough for criticism. On this particular matter I don’t see a convincing argument to be had, only compelling arguments for or against the executive executing these laws. We live in an imperfect world with limited resources and limitations on government to always take prudent action.

    From a tactical perspective, even beyond politics, it seems in the nation’s interest to act as the president now acts. That appears obvious to all given how even the conservatives are mostly equivocating. However from a strategic perspective I’m concerned about possible negative ripple effects, while being fully cognizant some future ramifications will provide a benefit. It’d be nice to encounter a compelling argument against the president’s action here.

  29. tomh says

    MH
    It’d be nice to encounter a compelling argument against the president’s action here.

    There isn’t any. The best the Republicans can come up with is to accuse Obama of “undermining the possibility of long-term immigration reform,” (Romney on Fox, today), though why this should be no one can explain. Other than that they hypocritically focus on the process, the executive order.

  30. lancifer says

    “It’d be nice to encounter a compelling argument against the president’s action here.”

    Again I have no problem with the results of his actions.

    How about if by executive order he were to say that the immigration service should ignore nearly all of the laws regarding immigration and just let everyone who wants to get a green card or a visa have one?

    Is that cool with you folks?

    If not why not?

    I would be fine with the results of that action as well, since as I said I am for open borders and letting everyone that wants to come to the US come and everyone that wants citizenship have access to it.(With the obvious restrictions on criminals and foreign enemies.)

    But I would be troubled by the executive branch ignoring the laws that they are sworn to uphold.

  31. lancifer says

    Michael Heath,

    One example of the executive “ruling by fiat” is citing speeding tickets 15+ over the speed limit rather than at the speed limit…

    Well, since you stated this example , I think that grants the police (the officers of the local executive) undue carte blanche to selectively enforce the law. This is a very bad thing.

    Perhaps you wish to live in a society where the executive branch is free to capriciously enforce some laws and not others. I do not.

  32. Michael Heath says

    me earlier:

    It’d be nice to encounter a compelling argument against the president’s action here.

    tomh responds:

    There isn’t any. The best the Republicans can come up with is to accuse Obama of “undermining the possibility of long-term immigration reform,” (Romney on Fox, today), though why this should be no one can explain. Other than that they hypocritically focus on the process, the executive order.

    You frame this as if it’s a purely partisan argument where I hardly care at all about that aspect. It’s also a false restriction of alternatives to imply only two arguments exist, Obama’s supposedly correct position and the Republican rebuttal.

    I’m also confident no Republican is even capable of giving a cogent rebuttal; so my solicitation for a compelling counter to Obama’s assumed it would have to come from a non-Republican and most likely, a non-conservative.

  33. lancifer says

    I will say that I am impressed that Obama had the stones to do this. I think he is a charismatic and insightful leader. The one thing he has failed to be, until this point, is bold.

    I just don’t agree with an executive branch that thinks it can ignore the laws it dislikes and enforce the ones it likes.

  34. Michael Heath says

    lancifer writes:

    I just don’t agree with an executive branch that thinks it can ignore the laws it dislikes and enforce the ones it likes.

    Which again, they all do, in every state and at the federal government. For the simple reason they don’t have the resources to defend and prosecute all laws.

    So your postion is totally irrelevant when it comes to deciding whether this is prudent policy or not within the present reality. Instead you need to make a compelling argument this particular law deserves the resources needed to force people to be in compliance or suffer the consequences. And if it requires ignoring other laws, like doing a better job of border patrol or other duties taken on by the bureaucracy chartered with carrying out the duties they’ve already been ignorning to some extent but now overtly, which laws should be ignored? Or should we increase taxes and the size of government to enforce the laws President Obama’s Administration is choosing to ignore?

  35. lancifer says

    scorinth,

    I am all for advancing the cause of sensible and humane immigration reform.

    But executive orders that nullify laws that were enacted by congress do not represent “checks and balances”. They represent an executive branch that thinks it can ignore the laws it is sworn to uphold.

    As I said, I like the results but I’m squeamish about the method.

  36. Michael Heath says

    lancifer writes:

    executive orders that nullify laws that were enacted by congress do not represent “checks and balances”. They represent an executive branch that thinks it can ignore the laws it is sworn to uphold.

    This is a good point; therefore I retract my previous post’s one point asserting your argument is totally irrelevant. I still think your argument is insufficient; that you need to make the case this is where resources should be spent and what other laws should be ignored. But I concede the point that executive orders rejecting passed laws is not optimal governance.

  37. tomh says

    Lancifer wrote:
    But executive orders that nullify laws that were enacted by congress do not represent “checks and balances”. They represent an executive branch that thinks it can ignore the laws it is sworn to uphold.

    The first executive order was issued in 1789, and virtually every president since has issued them. Truman used one to integrate the Armed forces and Eisenhower to desegregate public schools. Lincoln was quite fond of them. Are you against all such orders or just Obama’s?

  38. Michael Heath says

    tomh writes:

    The first executive order was issued in 1789, and virtually every president since has issued them. Truman used one to integrate the Armed forces and Eisenhower to desegregate public schools. Lincoln was quite fond of them. Are you against all such orders or just Obama’s?

    Your conflating executive orders which are used to carry out duties the executive is clearly empowered to execute with orders which has the executive directly avoiding his executing his constitutional duties per laws passed by Congress. I think you need to parse out those orders which are clearly unconstitutional from those that aren’t.

  39. tomh says

    MH:
    I think you need to parse out those orders which are clearly unconstitutional from those that aren’t.

    I think it would be a hard case to make that Obama’s action is unconstitutional. Article II, Section 3, Clause 4 states that the executive “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” The law in question states that illegal aliens be apprehended and deported. But, as you pointed out in #39, there are obviously not enough resources to go after all 11 million illegals equally. The only realistic way to faithfully execute the law is to prioritize, which is what Obama has done. He has not reversed the law, or made new law, he has allocated resources to implement the law as passed by Congress. Placing non-criminals, veterans, and young people in a low priority, and then only for two years, is an efficient way to implement the law, allocating resources to deport higher priority illegals.

    Since 1789 only two executive orders have been overturned in court, because the court found that the executive had made new law. That’s nowhere near the case here.

Leave a Reply