By Angela Kaye Mason, Contributor
Abbot Announces States to Sue Obama
On December 3, 2014, Texas Republican Gov-elect Greg Abbot made the official announcement that his state will be leading a coalition of seventeen states which are suing Obama and his administration over Obama’s recent executive order on immigration reform. The heads of each of the top immigration enforcement agencies were named as defendants in the case which was filed in Brownsville, Texas in the United States District Court on Wednesday.
The announcement by Abbot was made in a news conference in Austin, Texas. The Gov-elect stated that Congress should be responsible for fixing the broken immigration system, not a “presidential fiat.” Abbot went on to exclaim that the recent executive actions taken by the president on immigration “directly violate the fundamental promise to the American people” because these actions ignore the Constitution. “The ability of the president to dispense with laws was specifically considered and unanimously rejected at the Constitutional Convention,” he said.
In his speech, Abbot cited Article 2 Section 3 of the Constitution. In this section, the Constitution makes it clear that the president has to make sure that the law is carefully followed. In the lawsuit, Abbot hopes to do just that by asking that the President of the United States be once again required to go through Congress in order to make and/or enforce laws instead of doing so himself. This lawsuit is the first serious legal challenge to the executive actions which were taken by President Obama on November 20.
What’s In Obama’s Executive Action on Immigration
While both Democrats and Republicans agree that there are serious flaws in America’s current immigration policies, Republicans in Congress are furious that Obama has taken such drastic liberties without going through the proper channels. These Republicans explain that the US President does not have the authority to delay the deportation of millions of people without legislation. Here is what Obama’s executive order on immigration does:
1. Anyone who has resided in the United States illegally for at least five years will be given a legal reprieve from deportation, as will any illegal parents of children who were born in the US.
2. Anyone who was included in the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals is now here legally, and this action was expanded on by Obama’s new executive action. The 2012 action allowed illegal immigrants who were under 30 years old to apply for a deferral from deportation. Now, more recent arrivals and illegals over 30 can also apply. They will need to reapply every three years. Protection was also extended for the parents of these illegals.
3. The action instates a program which will create visas for anyone who invests in the US, and/or pursues a degree in math, technology, science, or engineering.
4. Federal immigrant detention procedures were modified as were resources to strengthen security at the border.
5. Migrant farm workers will be granted extended visas, this was expanded on to other “undocumented” workers as well, such as hotel workers, day laborers, and construction workers. By definition, if you break the laws of America and come across our borders illegally, it will be okay and we will grant you an extended visa as long as you show up to work at a day labor service.
6. The existing H-1B visa program was also expanded on for those illegals which are considered, “highly skilled.”
7. Obamacare will be offered to these illegal immigrants.
Republicans Refuse to Force Americans to Pay
Over five million “undocumented” (illegal) immigrants will be covered by this action. That is five million people who illegally came into this country will be rewarded not only by being granted visas, but by having our taxpayers cover their medical bills, food, shelter, etc. With hundreds of thousands of American children going hungry everyday, we will be granting assistance to people who broke the law to enter this country. We will even give them extra bonuses for taking American jobs…however…many feel that this option does beat allowing them to stay and giving them foodstamps, housing assistance, and medical coverage without jobs.
Republicans feel that the president does not have the authority to make such huge decisions on behalf of the American people without allowing the citizens to vote on it via Congress. By signing such a huge executive order on immigration, Obama effectively forced American taxpayers to have to foot the bill for these illegal immigrants.
Abbot: The Constitution is Under Assault
According to Gov-elect Abbot, the state’s lawsuit against the executive order by President Obama is to protect the very Constitution of the United States. Abbot, who is also the attorney general of the state of Texas, agrees that the financial impact of such a decision is reason alone for the legal action, but that this is not his reason for suing. “What we’re suing for is actually the greater harm, and that is harm to the Constitution by empowering the President of the United States to enact legislation on his own without going through Congress,” he explained.
Abbot argued that although President Obama claimed these immigrants would have a positive impact on the economy if they work here and spend here, illegal immigration is not the way to improve our finances. “Legal immigration has been great for America,” Abbott shared. “And if bringing more immigrants here is the appropriate thing to do then what Congress needs to do and what the president needs to do is to figure out a way to improve our immigration system.”
New Lawsuits Could Start Efforts to Halt Obama’s Executive Action
The new lawsuit, joined by seventeen states so far, could quickly become a way for Republicans to attempt to halt Obama’s executive actions on immigration. While legal experts disagree as to whether or not the president actually broke the law or overstepped the Constitution, most agree that immigration reform should be agreed upon. Thomas H. DuPree Jr, who is a partner in the law firm of Gibson, Dunn, & Crutcher stated that Obama was “attempting to write into law what Congress deliberately chose not to write into law.” DuPree went on to say, “If the president may use executive authority to simply ignore laws that he does not like, then it will be possible for future presidents to unilaterally revise everything from federal criminal law to tax law to environmental law and beyond.”
States joining the lawsuit were Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Mississippi and Maine.
Fox News – http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/12/03/texas-leads-lawsuit-by-17-states-against-obama-immigration-actions/
The New York Times – http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/04/us/executive-action-on-immigration-prompts-texas-to-sue.html?_r=0
The Washington Post – http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/11/19/your-complete-guide-to-obamas-immigration-order/
NBC News – http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/immigration-reform/texas-abbott-constitution-itself-under-assault-n263396