John Boehner seems to have abandoned the plan that we heard so much about earlier in the year, i.e. waiting until after the primary season to push the noxious Senate comprehensive immigration reform law, and decided that the GOP base is simply not in the mood to move such a monumental bill under a president who is so disdainful of the law of the land.
Unable to bully the House GOP into signing on to a massive, amnesty-heavy immigration bill, the administration has manufactured a humanitarian crisis to change the facts on the ground, an exercise which, like Fast & Furious, seems to have run away from them, Obama is continuing with the “blame Congress” campaign he unveiled in Minneapolis last Friday.
Yesterday, Obama waited until Rush Limbaugh was safely off the air and lambasted the GOP for not giving him what he wants:
I believe Speaker Boehner when he says he wants to pass an immigration bill. I think he genuinely wants to get something done. But last week, he informed me that Republicans will continue to block a vote on immigration reform at least for the remainder of this year. Some in the House Republican Caucus are using the situation with unaccompanied children as their newest excuse to do nothing. Now, I want everybody to think about that. Their argument seems to be that because the system is broken, we shouldn’t make an effort to fix it. It makes no sense. It’s not on the level. It’s just politics, plain and simple.
Now, there are others in the Republican Caucus in the House who are arguing that they can’t act because they’re mad at me about using my executive authority too broadly. This also makes no sense. I don’t prefer taking administrative action. I’d rather see permanent fixes to the issue we face. Certainly that’s true on immigration. I’ve made that clear multiple times. I would love nothing more than bipartisan legislation to pass the House, the Senate, land on my desk so I can sign it. That’s true about immigration, that’s true about the minimum wage, it’s true about equal pay. There are a whole bunch of things where I would greatly prefer Congress actually do something. I take executive action only when we have a serious problem, a serious issue, and Congress chooses to do nothing. And in this situation, the failure of House Republicans to pass a darn bill is bad for our security, it’s bad for our economy, and it’s bad for our future.
So while I will continue to push House Republicans to drop the excuses and act –- and I hope their constituents will too -– America cannot wait forever for them to act. And that’s why, today, I’m beginning a new effort to fix as much of our immigration system as I can on my own, without Congress. As a first step, I’m directing the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Attorney General to move available and appropriate resources from our interior to the border. Protecting public safety and deporting dangerous criminals has been and will remain the top priority, but we are going to refocus our efforts where we can to make sure we do what it takes to keep our border secure.
I have also directed Secretary Johnson and Attorney General Holder to identify additional actions my administration can take on our own, within my existing legal authorities, to do what Congress refuses to do and fix as much of our immigration system as we can. If Congress will not do their job, at least we can do ours. I expect their recommendations before the end of summer and I intend to adopt those recommendations without further delay.
This is just narcissism on stilts. The fact that nothing is being done on many of these issues is either because they really aren’t issues (minimum wage, for instance, is simply a political gimmick designed to mitigated the beating the Democrats are going to take in November) or Obama’s own arrogance and duplicity have demonstrated he is not a rational partner in governance.
The Constitution, which Obama has allegedly seen at one time but has never read, is pretty clear. Article I, Section 8 gives the Congress the power to establish rules for naturalization. Obama is limited to enforcing the law… which, if he’d done that in the first place, would have prevented this problem.
What is stunning is that this diatribe comes only a day after Obama announced that he would ask Congress (which the “constitutional scholar” in the White House seems to have forgotten includes the House) for $2 billion in new funding and new legal authorities in immigration:
President Obama will send a letter to Congress on Monday requesting more than $2 billion to pay for tighter border enforcement and humanitarian assistance to respond to the swell of children from Central America illegally crossing the border without their parents, a White House official said Sunday.
Obama will ask Congress to give the Homeland Security secretary the ability to speed the deportations of Central American children, the official said.
But Obama is nothing if not consistent. We can expect that Obama will act outside the law and the customary authority of the President to create his own personal immigration program and leave it a shambles behind him. He’s done this on defense, foreign, and health policy, there is no reason to assume he’ll treat immigration with more respect.