President Barack Obama laid out details of his new immigration policy that will stop deporting and will issue work permits to up to 800,000 young undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children and have never committed a crime.
"This is not amnesty, this is not immunity, this is not a path to citizenship, it's not a permanent fix, this is a temporary stop gap measure," Obama said, about the new immigration policy.
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“He knew from the very beginning, this president, that amnesty was rejected time and time again by the American people," said Bob Kane, Communications Director at Federation for American Immigration Reform. "He knew amnesty was not possible legislatively and yet by executive fiat he has declared the new plan of the land.”
You know, I'm not necessarily opposed to the underlying concept of treating such young people differently under our immigration law (actually, I've got a problem with much of our immigration law as it currently exists). I work with a bunch of these kids, and would hate to see them deported. That, however, is not the issue here -- the issue is the wholesale ignoring of the laws that do exist and the usurpation of Congressional lawmaking authority to create what is, in essence, a stop-gap amnesty program. Remember-- Congress has thus far rejected proposals substantially identical to the measures imposed by executive fiat today. That flies in the face of our constitutional system.
And remember -- it has only been a bit more than a year since Barack Obama said as much.
MR. RAMOS: Mr. President, my question will be as follows: With an executive order, could you be able to stop deportations of the students? And if that’s so, that links to another of the questions that we have received through univision.com. We have received hundreds, thousand, all related to immigration and the students. Kay Tomar (ph) through univision.com told us — I’m reading — “What if at least you grant temporary protective status, TPS, to undocumented students? If the answer is yes, when? And if no, why not?”
THE PRESIDENT: Well, first of all, temporary protective status historically has been used for special circumstances where you have immigrants to this country who are fleeing persecution in their countries, or there is some emergency situation in their native land that required them to come to the United States. So it would not be appropriate to use that just for a particular group that came here primarily, for example, because they were looking for economic opportunity.
With respect to the notion that I can just suspend deportations through executive order, that’s just not the case, because there are laws on the books that Congress has passed — and I know that everybody here at Bell is studying hard so you know that we’ve got three branches of government. Congress passes the law. The executive branch’s job is to enforce and implement those laws. And then the judiciary has to interpret the laws.
There are enough laws on the books by Congress that are very clear in terms of how we have to enforce our immigration system that for me to simply through executive order ignore those congressional mandates would not conform with my appropriate role as President.
The proper response to this action by the Chief Executive would be for the House to impeach him and the Senate to vote for his removal. That is what our Constitution envisions. But that won't happen -- partly because we are so close to an election, and mainly because the Senate Democrats are as lawless as their party's leader.