It takes some time for a successor to clean up the mess of his predecessor. But when a new president continues a patently illegal immigration program from his predecessor, at some point he must own that unconstitutional policy. For Obama’s illegal executive amnesty, Trump is rapidly approaching that moment.
Yesterday, White House spokesman Sean Spicer used all of the typical straw-man arguments to explain why the president has decided to keep Obama’s executive amnesty in place:
I think he's been consistent about two things. One, that he has a heart. He wants to make sure that he does what's in the interest of children in particular. But secondly, I think the President's priorities since he took office have been very clear that the focus would be on folks who presented a danger to public safety. And that's what it's been, and that's where it continues to be. And I think he is someone who understands the issue and the priorities that need to get laid out by this country. And so everything that he has done has been consistent with what he said from the get-go.
What about the legality – the fact that it is illegal to issue work permits and Social Security cards contrary to the most foundational sovereignty statutes?
I think that his comments that he made last week, that he understands that in a lot of cases this involves families and small children who have been here, and he has a heart…
And how does that address the legality, again?
Besides, it is wholly inconsistent with the policies and the talking points Trump harnessed during the campaign.
When Trump was campaigning in Phoenix last August, he spoke with true moral clarity on the issue of immigration in a way that shows “heart” first and foremost to the American people and, by extension, to those who make the dangerous trek across the southern border:
We will immediately terminate President Obama’s two illegal executive amnesties in which he defied federal law and the Constitution to give amnesty to approximately five million illegal immigrants, five million.
The president actually revealed what was in his “heart” when he said in the speech that Arizona held a special place in his heart. Arizona has been beleaguered by these very myopic policies that place the emotional arguments of foreign nationals in a vacuum ahead of the broad needs and concerns of Americans. Trump lambasted the media and Hillary at the time for focusing on “one thing and only one thing, the needs of people living here illegally.” He then spoke with moral clarity of how “the central issue is not the needs of the 11 million illegal immigrants” and that “anyone who tells you that the core issue is the needs of those living here illegally has simply spent too much time in Washington…. There is only one core issue in the immigration debate, and that issue is the well-being of the American people.”
As I’ve noted before, and demonstrated from the Rockville rape case, it is this very promise of amnesty for “families with children” that is solely responsible for the recent surge in migration from Central America that has cost taxpayers untold sums of funding, burdened schools, crushed hospitals, and, yes, has resulted in violent crime against Americans. And as we saw with a slew of violent incidents perpetrated by young illegal aliens, they usually have clean records … until they offend. The “vetting” of the Obama administration was a joke, because 96 percent of applicants were granted legal status.
Yet the Trump administration is likely issuing roughly 760 illegal cards to illegal aliens every day. Even Marco Rubio said he’d only honor those cards already handed out. For this administration to renew a flagrantly illegal policy demonstrates that the campaign rhetoric of the entire Republican Party when in opposition is an utter joke. It’s one thing to show recalcitrance to ending a legal, albeit odious, policy. But to continue an illegal policy, especially when illegal aliens are the sole beneficiaries of that policy, is a mockery of the rule of law. Trump could end this tomorrow with a simple display of inaction – refusing to renew any work permits.
As a man who always likes to project power and the image of a winner, there is a further need for Trump to eliminate Obama’s executive amnesty in light of the courts nullifying his own immigration orders. For this administration to sit idly as Trump’s completely legal immigration order is struck down (while refusing to negotiate it as part of the budget bill) and at the same time continue the illegal immigration order of an ex-president is the ultimate humiliation of the The Donald. Moreover, courts are treating Obama’s order as a legitimate “law” through which to force states to issue driver’s licenses for illegals.
Trump is clearly a man who desires to check off his list of promises. Getting rid of Obama’s executive amnesty must make its way back onto that list.
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.