The Fifth Circuit, Amnesty for Illegals, and Another Feckless, Arrogant, Obama Lickspittle
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals denied an appeal filed by the Obama administration to lift a stay on Obama’s executive amnesty for 5 million illegal immigrants. The court ruled against Obama’s appeal by a 2 to 1 vote. The dissenting opinion came from an Obama appointee, Judge Stephen Higginson. What did the Obama administration think of the decision?
White House spokesman, Brandi Hoffine, declared, “President Obama’s immigration executive actions are fully consistent with the law. The president’s actions were designed to bring greater accountability to our broken immigration system, grow the economy, and keep our communities safe.” Obviously, executive amnesty has nothing to do with the “immigration system” unless you wish to point out that executive amnesty completely ignores the “immigration system.” By “grow the economy” she means tax dollars from newly minted citizens. How are illegal immigrants going to keep a community safe? Maybe once illegal immigrants receive Obama citizenship, they will no longer commit crimes? Maybe they will form neighborhood watches?
The legal scholar, Hoffine, points to Judge Higginson’s “powerful dissent” as proof that Obama’s amnesty is lawful. Weird! The twenty-six states that filed the injunction assert that they have standing to challenge the Executive Memorandum. The states also claim that the federal government has abdicated its constitutional responsibility to secure U.S. borders and enforce immigration laws, and by doing so have caused injuries and hardships to the states. The court ruled that the states proved their case.
The State of Texas presented ironclad proof that it has suffered injury and hardship from illegal immigration, and it would be injured even more by amnesty. The crux of Higginson’s argument is that Obama’s Executive Memorandum has not gone into effect, so the states cannot know what will happen. Higginson wrote, “Because the November 20 memorandum has yet to go into effect, and no evidentiary hearing was held, the record is undeveloped and contains considerable conjecture, and conjecture is guided by feeling.” Higginson’s argument is to let Obama have his amnesty and let’s see what happens.
The most noteworthy part of Higginson’s dissent is his argument that Congress could order the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to apprehend and remove illegal immigrants, but it hasn’t done so. Higginson wrote, “This characterization is the essential point of disagreement I have with the district court’s ruling. Congress could, but has not, removed discretion from DHS as to which undocumented immigrants to apprehend and remove first.” I’m quite certain Hoffine has not read Higginson’s opinion because I don’t think her or the rest of the Obama administration would agree that Congress has the power to direct DHS on immigration policy.
Congress has the power to stop Obama’s executive amnesty. The United States Constitution gives Congress the power to set jurisdiction for all federal courts (Article III, Section 2), so it could remove all cases involving immigration from the federal courts, which means Congress alone will decide immigration policy without interference. Congress holds the power of the purse (Article I, Section 9), so it could choose not to fund Obama’s amnesty. Unfortunately, I don’t see Congress choosing to wield its power to stop executive amnesty for illegal immigrants.
There are too many money hustlers in Congress who are beholden to corporatists and the United States Chamber of Crony Capitalism, so there is no interest in blocking amnesty for illegal immigrants. Republicans are focused on delivering cheap labor to their corporate donors and bundlers while Democrats are focused on delivering amnesty to satisfy special interest groups that have promised to deliver votes. Politicians and their cronies win! The American people lose! America loses!