New data posted by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, posted by the California attorney general’s office, confirms that 373,610 applications for Obama’s illegal amnesty were renewed between January 10, 2018, and March 31, 2019. Why January 10? January 9, 2018, was the date a single California judge, William Alsup of the Northern District of California, issued an unprecedented injunction on Trump’s order merely countermanding Obama’s illegal amnesty, thereby forcing the president to violate numerous immigration laws.
Now, as a result of the notion that any judge has that kind of power, over 373,000 people who came here illegally have access to Social Security cards, refundable tax credits, and a wealth of state benefits in certain states. Plus, 49,510 additional applications are still pending. Just 2,640 applications, or .007 percent, have been denied.
There are no words in the English language to describe the unprecedented power grab that the Article II and Article III branches of government are perpetrating on the duly passed statutes signed into law. No other power grab in American history ever involved the unelected branches of government handing out Social Security cards and billions in refundable credits to those who, pursuant to law, are not allowed to be here.
Yet somehow, none of the individuals in Congress who were so “concerned” about defending Article I power against the president’s order to protect sovereignty are demanding that Trump follow the law on Obama’s amnesty. Why is there no resolution of disapproval from these Republicans (and Democrats) who supposedly want to protect the prerogatives of Article I powers? If they want to check Trump’s power, they should demand that he end this amnesty. It has never been passed into law. Even if one believes in some form of this, it is inexcusable to let an administratively concocted “law” continue.
How is Obama’s amnesty alive after Obama himself is gone?
Judge Alsup’s order was the first time that a court actually told a president not only to do something he doesn’t have to do, but to do something he must not do, and applied the order to foreign nationals nationwide outside the judge’s own jurisdiction. The judge even demanded that USCIS publish quarterly data on illegal renewals and send them to the California AG!
Judges cannot legislate. Judges cannot give standing to foreign nationals to sue for the rights and privileges of American citizens. Judges don’t have the power to issue visas and Social Security cards; that is an executive power. Judges don’t have the power to bind one president to the acts of a previous president, even when they are not unlawful, much less when they are. And most certainly, district judges don’t have a power to place a nationwide injunction on a policy, nor does any judge have the power to place an injunction universally binding on non-plaintiffs who are not a party to the case.
This case was brought by the University of California. How can a state university get legitimate standing in a court to demand that a president change immigration law? We are going back to the Articles of Confederation, when states could bring in their own immigrants and impose them on the rest of the states.
Also, Judge Alsup took into account Trump’s political statements as a means of saying he cannot follow immigration law, a point the Supreme Court said last year is completely invalid in arguing against lawful powers of the president.
Another unprecedented part of this court case was that Alsup demanded that Trump surrender to him all texts and emails related to the legal and political advice leading up to this position. The Supreme Court slapped down that order 9-0, yet Roberts and some others still refuse to take up the underlying appeal. They have allowed this to stew, with irrevocable harm to Americans, for well over a year, despite the unprecedented assault on separation of powers.
What Trump can do to right this ship
When the administration did not push back against this unprecedented assault, it opened the floodgates for the courts to put orders on dozens of other policies where Trump was merely rooting up Obama’s concocted order. The precedent has now been set that there is simply nothing a lower court judge cannot do that will force a pushback from the other branches, nor will the Supreme Court lift a finger to patrol its own branch.
Meanwhile, this single judge has permanently distorted the entire political debate over immigration. Trump could easily have used elimination of DACA as leverage to get Democrats to negotiate on other priorities. Instead, they now know they have DACA in the bag indefinitely and feel no need to play ball.
Bottom line: The law as written prohibits Trump from issuing DACA documentation. At the very least, if he doesn’t actively deport claimants, he should not take active steps to violate the law by affirming status that he cannot give.
Moreover, even this radical opinion didn’t say that Trump must continue DACA forever. He just said that, in his view, the president didn’t properly overturn it under the Administrative Procedure Act. Were Trump to issue a new order with a 90-day comment period, he could terminate it even under Alsup’s convoluted assumptions.
Finally, Trump should assert the ruling of the Eleventh Circuit in a recent Georgia case, where the panel said clearly that DACA recipients are not “in any way ‘lawfully present’ under the [Immigration and Nationality Act].” Even other courts disagree with this power grab. There is no reason to pay deference to it.
As long as a single district judge can literally shred our Constitution and law with such grave consequences, without any check or balance, elections do not matter. Liberal lower court judges do not respect Supreme Court precedent because they’ve created a one-way ratchet, where they can always be more “progressive” than what the Supreme court said, but not less so.
During the presidential campaign, Trump promised to “immediately terminate President Obama’s two illegal executive amnesties in which he defied federal law and the Constitution.” Fast-forward almost three years later, and we see that this very amnesty created a global incentive to come here with children and obtain immediate amnesty. The campaign promise is long overdue, and the consequences of keeping the amnesty culture are intensifying by the day.
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.