The Obama administration’s attempt to shove off a new policy that will give amnesty to illegal immigrants under the age of 30 to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is unarguably one of the most overlooked news stories of the week.
On Sunday, senior Obama adviser David Plouffe claimed not once, but twice on influential Sunday morning news shows that it was DHS’ decision, not President Barack Obama’s to institute this new, controversial policy.
“Well, first, this is a decision that the department of homeland security made,”Ploufe said on CNN’s State of the Union.
And on NBC’s Meet the Press he said, “This isn’t about politics. First of all, this was a decision by the Homeland Security Department to allow them discretion.”
Plouffe used this ‘admission’ as an alibi for the Obama administration’s claim that the election-year decision was not an attempt to play politics or shore up support for Obama among Hispanics, a reliably Democratic voting bloc that Obama won 2- 1 in 2008.
The fact that Plouffe made this claim two times across two widely watched political news shows is evidence that this admission was not a gaffe. His claims were instead a strategic move by the President and his advisers to say that the move was not politics while still allowing the Obama administration to take credit for the decision, which will undoubtedly play well with Hispanics.
A Pew Hispanic Center briefing released at the end of 2011 shows that 91 percent of Hispanics support DREAM Act legislation “that would permit young adults who were brought to the U.S. illegally when they were children to become legal residents if they go to college or serve in the military for two years.”
While the Obama administration’s new policy is not a pathway to citizenship, it will give young illegals who apply for the program amnesty and allow them to request two-year work visas, which they can renew indefinitely.
All of which leads me to believe that it was in fact the White House’s, and not DHS’ decision to change how immigration laws are enforced. As a very adept twitter follower of mine pointed out, the White House doesn’t hold breaking news press conferences from the White House Rose garden to announce changes in departmental policies.
If it was the Department of Homeland Security’s decision to grant amnesty to such a large portion of non-citizens, who are breaking the law simply by being in the country – even if they were originally brought here through no fault of their own – and not Obama’s as Plouffe claimed, Americans have a more serious issue on their hands than Obama’s recent political moves to reenergize his voting base.
When the new immigration policy was announced, I opined that Obama had taken his potentially unconstitutional expansion of executive authority to a new level by bypassing Congress to create policies that undermine current federal law.
However, if it was actually Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano’s decision to make such sweeping changes to U.S. policy, then an even more disconcerting situation is at hand. President Obama will have once again taken power away from elected officials, selected by we the people, and given it to unelected bureaucrats who only he has the power to fire.
Although the prospect of the President using the power of the executive order to set policy, as even President Obama admitted would be ‘inappropriate’ to do in 2011, the reality of partisan, unelected bureaucrats like Napolitano taking extra-constitutional action with the support of the President of the United States is cause for alarm.
For the sake of America’s future and the rule of law, I pray this decision was the better of two evils. While President Obama’s unprecedented expansion of executive authority is not ideal, it is certainly better than the alternative. The day in which unelected bureaucrats like Napolitano are truly making such high-level decisions is the day in which Americans really should be worried about the integrity of our Constitution and the health of our democracy.