“I am not on the ballot this fall,” President Obama said yesterday. “But make no mistake: These policies are on the ballot – every single one of them.” Last night, he made it very clear that one of those policies is amnesty by executive action. It’s “not a question of if, but when,” the president said. “It will be taking place between the November elections and the end of the year.”
Why will President Obama grant amnesty after the election? Because he knows the American people oppose it, and he doesn’t want his fellow Democrats to be held accountable on election day.
Speaker Boehner has been very clear that “There is a never a ‘right’ time for the president to declare amnesty by executive action.” And while the Speaker has long supported fixing our broken immigration system, he also told ABC News that if President Obama does what he is threatening to do, such unilateral action “would poison the well. And I've told the president this directly: if you want to get immigration reform done, and you want to get it right, don't do things that will poison the well.”
Unfortunately, President Obama isn’t interested in upholding or following the law, or listening to the American people. Even though he admits that “no matter how bold I am, nothing I can do will be as comprehensive or lasting as” real legislation, he says he’s going to do whatever he wants and create his own law – but that’s not how our democratic system of government works.
President Obama has admitted that previously, on many, many occasions:
- “I know some people want me to bypass Congress and change the laws on my own. … Not just on immigration reform. But that's not how our system works. That’s not how our democracy functions. That's not how our Constitution is written.” (7/25/11)
- “I am president, I am not king. I can't do these things just by myself. We have a system of government that requires the Congress to work with the Executive Branch to make it happen.” (10/25/10)
- “The problem is that I’m the president of the United States, I’m not the emperor of the United States. My job is to execute laws that are passed.” (2/14/13)
- “[U]ntil Congress passes a new law, then I am constrained in terms of what I am able to do.” (3/6/14)
- “[I]f we start broadening that [executive actions], then essentially I would be ignoring the law in a way that I think would be very difficult to defend legally. So that's not an option.” (9/17/13)
- “I, as the President, am obligated to enforce the law. I don't have a choice about that. … 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 …. [F]or me to simply through executive order ignore those congressional mandates would not conform with my appropriate role as President.” (3/28/11)
- “[T]here are those in the immigrants’ rights community who have argued passionately that we should simply provide those who are [here] illegally with legal status, or at least ignore the laws on the books and put an end to deportation until we have better laws. ... [T]his could lead to a surge in more illegal immigration.” (7/1/10)