The Vermont Cynic

Point Counterpoint: The Debate on DACA; Counterpoint: But we are obligated to uphold the constitution

James Simpson

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I am not going to argue whether it would be just to deport illegal immigrants who came here as children. The fact is deporting every single illegal immigrant would be cost-prohibitive and impossible.

I also will not deny that many illegal immigrants contribute to the economy, and removing all of them would cause more harm than good.

Rather, my argument against DACA will focus on the fact that implementing it was a flagrant violation of the Constitution and the separation of powers it prescribes.

According to Article 1 Section 1 of the Constitution: “All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States…”

The Constitution does not grant legislative power to the executive, apart from him either signing or vetoing a bill. He does not have the power to change the laws as passed by Congress.

Who better to ask than the former president himself?

During a March 28, 2011 interview with Univision, former President Barack Obama said: “America is a nation of laws… 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.”

Then in 2012, in response to Congress rejecting the DREAM Act, the Obama administration usurped Congress’ authority by unilaterally changing the law to defer deportations and allow illegal immigrants brought here as children to obtain work permits.

That is a blatant violation of the separation of powers.

“Congress passes the law. The executive branch’s job is to enforce and implement those laws,” Obama said. “I swore an oath to uphold the laws on the books… I know some people want me to bypass Congress and change the laws on my own… That’s not how our democracy functions. That’s not how our Constitution is written.”

The the legislative branch is separate from the executive to ensure that a single person is not unilaterally creating policy.

That job belongs solely to our congressional representatives.

No matter how good or popular DACA may be, the ends do not justify the means. A president that bypasses Congress to enact his agenda, especially an agenda item that Congress rejected, sets a dangerous precedent.

I hope Congress resolves this issue soon. But even if it fails to do so, it is not up to the executive branch to change the law.

4 Comments

4 Responses to “Point Counterpoint: The Debate on DACA; Counterpoint: But we are obligated to uphold the constitution”

  1. Steve L on September 16th, 2017 2:12 pm

    It might benefit you to look up the meaning of the word ‘defer’. The Executive Order simply ‘defers action’ on deportation. It is not, as you suggest, a unilateral usurpation of the Constitution.

    President Obama, as you have so artfully edited his comments, did not ‘change’ the law. He simply changed the way, “The executive branch’s job is to enforce and implement those laws,” Obama said. No different than Trumps decision to ‘delay’ action on DACA enforcement for six months until “Congress can act.” Even Trump appears to believe the Executive has the authority to ‘delay action’ until Congress acts.

    Your better argument to make is the distinction between ‘Defer’, ‘Change’ or ‘Enforce and Implement’.

    The Constitution is not immune to interpretation. That’s why we have a Supreme Court of the United States, and our SCOTUS has consistently ruled numerous times that Obama’s actions are legit.

    Consider the ‘Youngstown Sheet and Tube’ ruling wherein Justice Robert Jackson (former Assoc. Justice SCOTUS, US A.G., US Solicitor General, and prosecuting attorney at the Nuremberg Trials of Nazi war criminals) wrote:

    “when the President acts pursuant to an express or implied authorization of Congress, his authority is at its maximum, for it includes all that he possesses in his own right plus all that Congress can delegate.”

  2. Mira on September 16th, 2017 7:20 pm

    What I find most interesting is the all out BLITZ by the Democrats, MSM, every faculty member at any university in the country are fighting to the death for illegal aliens. There is an estimated 800,000 DACA recipients in the US. That is 800,000 jobs American Citizens don’t have. The MSM and Democrats would have you believe that all 800 thousand are not taking jobs Americans want (we’ve heard that speech for many years). This is another falsehood told to the American people (like their just ‘Kids”) there not all picking strawberries they take good Jobs. Good enough jobs to buy homes,put their kids through college Why must the citizens have competition for jobs, education in their own country from foreign nationals?

    Now Democrats and illegal alien activists admit DACA recipients have good jobs,are buying homes, paying taxes, etc. The GOAL (Democrats just haven’t figured this out yet) is for the American citizens to be employed, trained, sending their kids to college,buying homes and paying taxes. It’s not the responsibility of the citizens of this country to support, educate citizens from other country’s. There is also the public safety concerns with illegal aliens including DACA recipients. The bottom line is there should be ZERO illegal aliens in our country. Deportation will save jobs and decrease the expense of illegal aliens.

  3. Mira on September 16th, 2017 7:26 pm

    * The cost of educating illegal aliens children is staggering. From K-12 it costs taxpayers $122,000 for EACH illegal alien. That is not even counting the FREE school lunches every day for 13 years.

    *2012 illegal aliens sent home $62 BILLION in remittances back to their countries of origin. This is why Mexico is getting involved in our politics.

    *30% percent of all Federal Prison inmates are illegal aliens. Does not include local jails and State Prisons. At 21,000 per
    year expense per inmate in Federal Prison—do the math.

    * Using the Obama created program- DACA, 800,000 illegal aliens has funneled 800 THOUSAND jobs away from American Citizens.

    *$17 Billion dollars a year is spent for education for the American-born children of illegal aliens, known as anchor babies.

    *$3Million Dollars a DAY is spent to incarcerate illegal aliens, I repeat 3 MILLION a DAY to process Illegals in the Criminal justice system.

    *$2.2Billion dollars a year is spent on food assistance programs such as SNAP (food stamps),WIC, & free school lunches for illegal aliens.

  4. Steve L on September 17th, 2017 10:49 am

    Our country does not arrest and prosecute children for the alleged criminal acts of their parents.

    Posting false and misleading statistics does nothing to add to the debate. Nor does name calling (anchor babies) and bigoted language.

    There is a very good reason that ‘Dems, Main Stream Media and college professors’ mostly support DACA. Because it is a humane, well reasoned and cost effective program to preserve families of people that are already here.

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Point Counterpoint: The Debate on DACA; Counterpoint: But we are obligated to uphold the constitution