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Breathtaking Arrogance


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out-order-editorsNational Review:

Barack Obama’s disdain for the slow, grinding mechanisms of government has become unmistakable of late. So it is little surprise that, frustrated by congressional inaction on his proposal for “comprehensive immigration reform,” the president last month declared that he would “fix as much of our immigration system as I can on my own.” The result, intimated by White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer last week, is a “very significant” executive action to be unveiled by the end of the summer. If reports of the contents of the order are credible, not only will the action fail to “fix” America’s immigration system, it will further undo the constitutionally prescribed separation of powers that this administration has already done so much to weaken.


The White House is reportedly weighing two options for executive action similar in kind to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that was implemented — also by executive fiat, via memorandum — in 2012. One option would grant temporary legal status to illegal-immigrant parents of U.S. citizens, authorizing them to remain in the country and to work here. The second option would do the same for illegal-immigrant parents of DACA recipients. These actions could affect anywhere from 3 to 6 million people.


Although the specifics are unknown, any unilateral action of this magnitude and type would be unprecedented. Permission to work would secure for millions of illegal immigrants the benefits of lawful status despite the absence of a green card or a pathway to citizenship. Already illegal immigrants, taken in toto, represent a net drag on the American economy of $55 billion a year, according to the Heritage Foundation, since they and their families make use of direct benefits (such as Social Security and Medicare), means-tested welfare benefits, public education, and other government-funded resources. The tacit moral sanction granted by a new DACA-type program would ensure that program participants are eventually guaranteed these services.Scissors-32x32.png

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