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Monday, June 18, 2012

Only Voters Can Hold Obama Accountable for Illegal Amnesty Policy

President Obama’s new amnesty policy regarding illegal aliens violates the law. But there’s probably no route to trump it either in Congress or in court, so the only recourse is for the American people to trump it by electing a new president.

Obama’s actions on granting backdoor amnesty fall into two different stages. Each is illegal for different reasons. However, occasionally situations can arise in our constitutional system where there is a “right without a remedy,” where people’s rights are being violated but there’s nothing a court can do about it. That’s what’s happening here.

Although the details are still unclear, according to reports Obama’s new policy will be not to deport illegal aliens if they (1) were brought to America before age 16, (2) have not yet reached age 30, (3) have no criminal record, (4) have graduated from high school, and (5) are either pursuing college or serving in the military. Aliens meeting all five criteria can be issued work visas and won’t be deported.

The argument Obama is using is that prosecutorial discretion gives the executive branch sole discretion to determining which cases to allocate resources to, so they can decide which aliens to deport. One problem with that argument is that there’s a difference between deciding case-by-case which ones to go after, versus making a policy of not going after anyone in a very broad category. Another is that such discretion doesn’t in any way extend to issuing work visas.

Commentators are already talking about lawsuits. There are two parts to this policy, and neither can be challenged in court.

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