The DACA program being terminated by AG Sessions was a Federal program started by President Obama. The program was promoted as an administrative strategy to provide eligible youth relief from deportation. Since the entire issue has been clouded with political rhetoric it’s important to look at its legal and constitutional status.
The DACA program was started when on November 20, 2014 President Obama issued an Executive Order. It’s important to note that the US Constitution does not allow any president to set immigration policy. Since the DACA EO was directed to delay deportation of illegal immigrants it clearly falls under the authority of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, and those Federal rules can only be passed by Congress. The Constitution clearly states in Article I Section 8 clause 3 that only the Congress shall have power “To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization.” It further states that all legislative powers shall reside in Congress, which shall be composed of a House of Representatives and a Senate.
The power to establish any rules regarding immigration do not reside in the office of President and never have. So, at this point the question is moot: President Obama did not have any authority to issue a DACA order through any “executive action.”
President Obama himself stated twenty-two times that he has no authority over issues of immigration. This then means he can’t unilaterally change any immigration laws. But President Obama’s entire presidency was an exercise in executive overreach, and several of the changes he made to immigration law were overturned by the Supreme Court.
It’s important to understand that whether or not one agrees with what President Obama does about immigration is irrelevant: he has no authority under the Constitution to write or rewrite, or amend, the rules of immigration passed by Congress such as the 1996 Illegal Reform and Immigration Responsibility Act. What President Obama frequently did during his presidency was go around Congress and write his own laws by changing the application of existing law through new regulations and rules. He has no more authority to change laws through bureaucratic rule changes than he does to pass a law.
But this was something he established immediately in his first term. The $800 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), designed to work around existing Federal laws, was clearly established to enable President Obama and his private army of appointed bureaucrats to rewrite existing laws. The Act states, on page two, “The Presidents and the heads of Federal departments and agencies shall manage and expend the funds made available in this Act so as to achieve the purposes specified in subsection (a)…”
While this one sentence seems innocent enough, consider that the department heads were then appointed by President Obama as “czars.” These czars were discussed by Judicial Watch in a special report published September 15, 2011. The report states “the number of czars that have been appointed by the President, or by others in his Administration, appears to total 45…there are as many as 18 other unfilled or planned czar positions.”
These czars were clearly appointed by Obama to spend money on policies chosen by President Obama. In addition, in 2011, 56% of the Federal budget was dedicated — pre-spent — on mandatory programs. This includes the entitlement programs that earn the Democratic Party the votes of program-dependent voters throughout the US. So, between the czars, ARRA act money and mandatory spending, President Obama’s party had seized the will and consent of the voters and used the czars to both choose public policies and pay for them. At the same time, he refused to negotiate with Republicans on a budget. The Republican House after 2010 was forced to just go along with existing mandatory spending programs and through this strategy, President Obama seized control of the Congress as well, even though his party didn’t have majority control. This is perhaps unprecedented in US history — just as the illegal immigration strategy is unprecedented.
The DACA act is just one of many hundreds of major programs. The strategy President Obama used to create DACA, while unconstitutional, is minor compared to the trillions of dollars spent on the mandatory programs already established to keep his party in control of policy and the national budget.
It’s no coincidence that the nation’s credit rating was downgraded after Congress passed the Budget Control Act of 2011, which didn’t control the budget in 2012 or in the future. In fact, the budget of the US continues to spiral out of control. Its major component now is mandatory spending, spending that goes on automatically, without the voters having any influence as to how their will and consent, as expressed in national elections, is realized through appropriations.
The Democratic Party’s control of the US Government in Washington is now effectively a fact. Since no one, under existing practices, will bring mandatory spending under control, the DACA policy can be seen as just one more usurpation of the power of Congress to control the rules of naturalization. The far bigger issue is the impact the growing debt, interest payments taxpayers are forced to pay, and loss of control they have over Congress has in dismantling the role voters have in the functions of the Federal government.
There’s no doubt that Barack Obama, the unknown candidate from Chicago, was put into office to promote the Democratic Party’s control of US government at all levels, since all units of government, from the smallest town to the largest state, now heavily depend upon mandatory spending. This does not bode well for the ability of voters to control the direction of government or for the US to remain a government that is, in Lincoln’s words, “of the people, by the people and for the people.”