Over the past two decades, even with control of the House, Senate, and White House, the Democrats never succeeded in passing legislative amnesty for illegal immigrants. But late on Friday, a Bush-appointed federal district judge, John D. Bates, ruled that Obama’s executive amnesty, not actual immigration law, is the law and that Trump must fully restore and renew the program. Amid a slew of illegal, unconstitutional, and mind-numbingly extreme opinions in recent weeks, this one takes the cake. As such, Trump should treat the opinion as what it is – a radical opinion.
Judge Bates of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia said that Trump’s decision to merely terminate Obama’s illegal amnesty was built on a “hodgepodge of illogical” assertions and that the explanation submitted to the royal court “simply will not do.” He had previously granted the administration 90 days to explain the rationale for following the Constitution and national sovereignty, but he didn’t like the new explanation. Unbelievably, he ruled that Trump is the first president who must demonstrate a “rational explanation” for getting rid of discretionary (or illegal!) executive policies of previous administrations.
Two other judges have issued similar rulings for those who already got the executive amnesty status, but Judge Bates demanded that even new applicants be granted status. As such, he ruled that barring any reversal on appeals, the administration will have to renew all the amnesties plus take new enrollees by August 23. What will be the criteria for the amnesty? The criteria laid out by his predecessor, Barack Hussein Obama.
Let’s take a trip back to 2010, when Obama was being pressed by his left-wing base to enact executive amnesty. In the months leading up to Obama’s historic violation of national sovereignty, he emphatically asserted that he lacked the power to suspend deportations, much less confer affirmative benefits on aliens. Here’s just a smattering of Obama’s comments.
—“I am president, I am not king. I can’t do these things just by myself.” (10/25/10)
—“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.” (3/28/11)
—“Changing our laws means doing the hard work of changing minds and changing votes, one by one.” (4/29/11)
—“And I think there’s been a great disservice done to the cause of getting the DREAM Act passed and getting comprehensive immigration passed by perpetrating the notion that somehow, by myself, I can go and do these things. It’s just not true. … We live in a democracy. You have to pass bills through the legislature, and then I can sign it.” (9/28/11)
Then, in June 2012, Obama granted amnesty that not only suspended deportations but gave Social Security cards and work permits to hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens, and in some cases, this led to green cards and citizenship – the stealing of the American birthright. Obama was right to mention the power of a king, because conferring positive privileges without a legislative body is indeed a power reserved to a king, particularly on issues of national sovereignty. As Hamilton explained in Federalist #69, differentiating the power of a president from that of a king, “Whereas “[T]he one [a president] can confer no privileges whatever, the other [a king] can make denizens of aliens.”
Never in a million years would I have believed we’d live to see a moment when a president would unilaterally grant amnesty to illegal aliens and a GOP Congress would fail to stop it. But such was the case until the election of President Trump. Fast-forward six years, and now we have a judge saying that not only was Obama’s act lawful, but it is a mandate and cannot be reversed! Trump can’t merely go back to how it was when Obama himself said such an act would be tantamount to declaring himself king. Put another way, Judge Bates is saying Trump must declare himself king and issue work permits to hundreds of thousands of individuals who, pursuant to law, must be deported. A judge has no such power to force a president to be king, and a president has an obligation, as Obama once said, to follow the laws. Given that a president is not a king and cannot issue positive privileges without Congress, a weak district judge most certainly lacks such power.
A couple of other observations are in order:
To suggest that the Trump administration waste time and go through the irrevocably liberal D.C. Circuit, which already created a right for illegal aliens to demand abortions, is absurd. The attorney general should instead declare that between a choice of acting like a king and violating immigration law or complying with a lawless judge, he will choose the law, as Obama himself once promised.
Alexander Hamilton wrote in Federalist #33 regarding tyranny by the stronger federal legislature that when it steps outside its enumerated powers to crush the states, those acts are “merely acts of usurpation and will deserve to be treated as such.” How much more so the stronger branches of the federal government must treat usurpations by the unelected judiciary!
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.