Skip to comments.Immigration advocates to Obama: Go big
Posted on 07/02/2014 3:38:53 AM PDT by markomalley
House Democrats and other immigration reformers are calling on President Obama to go big when it comes to administrative changes in deportation policy.
For months, liberal reform advocates on and off Capitol Hill have urged Obama to tap his executive powers to stop deporting certain qualified groups of undocumented immigrants while waiting to see if House Republicans would take up reform legislation this year.
But in the wake of Obama's Monday Rose Garden speech vowing unilateral action, some reformers want the president to go far beyond a limited expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, to essentially legalize the millions of undocumented immigrants who would be eligible for work permits under the bill passed by the Senate last summer.
The administration has unquestionable legal authority to provide all those who would qualify for citizenship under the bipartisan Senate Bill affirmative status with work authorization while making immigration enforcement more just, Richard Trumka, head of the AFL-CIO said Tuesday in a statement. "The administration should act boldly and without further delay.
A number of House Democrats are also urging Obama to aim high. While the lawmakers are emphasizing that legislation is the preferred solution to the nation's broken immigration system, they're also encouraging the president to use every administrative tool at his disposal to address our immigration challenge, in the words of Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), the minority whip.
Many reform advocates are hoping a wide-ranging list of policy recommendations, submitted to the Homeland Security Department in April by leaders of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), will guide the administration as officials weigh their next move.
Those recommendations include not only a broad expansion of DACA to include older immigrants, but also efforts to allow illegal immigrants enrolled in DACA to enlist in the military; to bar local governments from enforcing immigration law; and to permit more undocumented relatives of U.S. military members and veterans to remain in the country while they seek green cards.
There are many options available to the president, Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.), head of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said in a statement.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest suggested Tuesday that Obama is preparing to take the Democrats' advice.
The president was pretty clear that he wants the secretary of Homeland Security and the Attorney General to cast a pretty wide net, and consider a wide range of options for doing as much as possible to address the problems, Earnest told reporters at the White House.
The immigration debate has intensified as a wave of migrants many of them unaccompanied minors has recently flooded the southern border, and House Republicans have threatened to sue Obama for what they contend is a habitual abuse of executive power.
Obama on Monday argued that Republicans have an easy solution to prevent him from using his executive pen: Pass a reform bill.
If House Republicans are really concerned about me taking too many executive actions, the best solution to that is passing bills, he said.
If Congress will not do their job, at least we can do ours, he added.
The president's new-found aggressiveness on the divisive issue was immediately cheered by immigration reformers This is the president I voted for, said Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), a frequent critic of Obama's immigration policy but not all Democrats were on board.
Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.) said Obama's speech makes it too easy for Republicans to ignore the issue this year.
We need to put more pressure on the Republican leadership to do the right thing and allow an up-or-down vote, she said.
Republicans were also quick to push back.
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) responded to Obama's speech by amplifying his argument that Republicans simply don't trust the president to implement an immigration law in good faith.
Until that changes, it is going to be difficult to make progress on this issue, Boehner said.
Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, blamed Obama for both the legislative stalemate and the crisis at the southern border.
By threatening more unilateral actions this summer while failing to address the issue of border security, President Obama will only worsen the crisis at the border and will further undermine Americans faith in the presidents ability to lead, Goodlatte said.
Still, the most ardent immigration reform advocates say the Republicans' refusal to consider an immigration bill has left Obama little choice but to take steps on his own.
The antidote for do-nothingism, Gutierrez said, is doing something.
It’s a coup.
Durbin, Schumer and others have already verbalized the justification - that, in effect, the constitutional powers of the House of Representatives should be nullified because a Republican majority is illegitimate.
Now, the President and the Senate will proceed to make law.
If the constitution is to be preserved, it will have to be preserved by extra constitutional means.
To these supporters of unilateral action by the Current Occupant now squatting in the White Hut:
Be careful how you want these objectives accomplished, or even if you want them accomplished at all. Your wishes may be granted.
This is far more dangerous than just asking the “three wishes” of the genie released by rubbing the lamp.
The Obama administration is nothing more than a bunch of Human Traffickers!
Why is legislation preferred?
Time to defund everything that is near and dear to the President. The EPA, NLRB, FEC, and other alphabet regulatory departments that could do further damage to our Republic. Defund anything to do with funding immigration, such as the billions in monies that Obama wants for the “children” now swarming over our border (the majority of whom are over the age of 14 I might add).
Soon they will be out on our streets, many of them gang members already, or soon to be. Future crimes against our citizens galore. Cut off the oxygen (the money supply) to much of Obama’s wet dreams for a fascist/socialistic utopia. And do it NOW!!!
So the world will see that the biggest superpower with the reserve currency is ran by a lunatic administration. I’m sure that is real confidence inspiring to the people who shovel money into DC. A country whose governance is a Larry David comedy skit with late night infomercial grade financial health.
can the house do that alone or do they need senate pass and executive sign?
I am thinking Obama will pardon all illegals or offer them asylum.
No...remember, the message is "go big."
How about him signing an Executive Order (classified, of course), directing Jeh Johnson to naturalize them as US citizens.
After all, it's not like Congress would impeach him or anything. And if the Courts ruled his actions illegal, he would simply ignore them.
When I want to know about constitutional authority,
Richard Trumka, head of the AFL-CIO is where I turn.
Something big is coming, we ain’t going to like it.
This might be the spark that puts the people in the streets, we’ll see
The House owns the power of the purse. They can defund a lot of regulatory agencies such as the EPA, etc. It does not have to have Senate approval or the Presidents. Neither of them have the power of the purse. It’s just a matter of the Republicans having the guts to defund.
I’m sure they worry that if they do so, when and if the Dems once again get control of the House, they will do the same thing. However, when have such considerations ever stopped the Dems from doing underhanded things. Like ending the fillibuster in the Senate. So I say go for it Pubs. Get some cajones.
ARe they still deporting anyone? Other than the Irish that is?
So yeah the house only may propose spending. But doesn't any spending bill still need to be passed/signed?
“So yeah the house only may propose spending. But doesn’t any spending bill still need to be passed/signed?”
Yes, but they would be defunding, not proposing spending. Will look into it more as I am not 100 percent sure here. When I get it figured out, I will let you know. Right now I’m pooped and about to go to sleep. Time for a little research when I wake up.
This should help re defunding by the House, and quotes directly from the Constitution’s pertinent parts:
The following was published early in 2011 by The Conservative Caucus Foundation.
“Repeal Through Defunding: Ending ObamaCare in the 112th Congress
Although the repeal of ObamaCare has passed the House of Representatives during the 112th Congress, it still faces roadblocks in the Senate and at the White House. It appears that ObamaCares opponents will be required to block implementation by refusing to provide any funding. This will raise objections from ObamaCare supporters who will insist that a Federal program, once enacted, cannot be indirectly repealed through the appropriations process. One commentator has already predicted a Constitutional and budgetary crisis.
DEFUNDING IS A PRACTICAL OPTION
A careful examination of the Constitutional and legal questions, however, shows that the defunding approach is well within the power of Congress (and of the House alone, which bears sole responsibility for initiating appropriations bills). Both the Constitution and Congressional practice support that conclusion.
NO MONEY SHALL BE DRAWN
Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution includes the statement that No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law. James Madison described this as the most complete and effectual weapon with which any constitution can arm the immediate representatives of the people.
No exceptions are provided, and the state ratification debates affirm the strict interpretation of this clause. Edmund Randolph pointed out that even the payment of lawful and recognized government debts could not take place without an appropriation, while George Nicholas declared that the House of Representatives could use its power of the purse to put a stop to the operations of government. Both these statements have been validated in practice. St. George Tucker noted in his later commentary on the Constitution that no claim against the United States (by whatever authority it may be established) can be paid but in consequence of a previous appropriation made by law and the U.S. Supreme Court has continued to take this view.
AUTHORIZATION WITHOUT APPROPRIATION IS INOPERATIVE
President Clinton acknowledged in 1995 that after vetoing the appropriations for some government agencies he had no choice but to close those agencies until he and Congress could reach agreement on a new appropriations bill. The fact that many of those agencies had a legal authorization on the books was irrelevant without an appropriation. By vetoing the appropriation, Clinton had imposed a de facto repeal of those authorizations, though an intentionally temporary one.
ARTICLE ONE SECTION 8 ESTABLISHES BOUNDARIES
The Constitution also says, in Article I, Section 8, in the clause relating to raising and supporting armies, that no Appropriation of Money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years. This was included for the explicit purpose of guaranteeing that Congressional approval for a standing army would be required at least every other year.
In that context, it is instructive to see how the First Congress, filled with many men who had served in the Constitutional Convention, the state ratification conventions, or both, dealt with the establishment of a standing army. Although their first act was merely to extend the existing law of the Confederation Congress, they followed up in 1790 with a new and expanded law. This Act for Regulating the Military Establishment of the United States included a provision that soldiers should be enlisted for the service of the United States for the period of three years. It is impossible to believe that these men could have believed that passing such a law could overcome the provisions of Article I, Section 8. Therefore, the only possible conclusion is that the First Congress recognized that their acts were subject to de facto repeal by a future Congress if that Congress refused to appropriate the pay for soldiers with time left on their legal three-year enlistment. Congress could pass laws with only the hope, not the assurance, that they would receive essential funding for as long as they were on the books.
The actions of the Fourth Congress in 1796 also show an agreement that Congress, and especially the House, has full discretion in the appropriations process. The Senate had ratified the Jay Treaty in 1795, and the Treaty could not be carried out without appropriations by Congress. It became apparent as Congress convened that the Republicans in the House of Representatives, being opposed to the treaty, posed a serious threat to the passage of any such appropriation. President Washington, however, never even attempted to claim that the mere ratification of the treaty allowed him to spend the necessary funds, bypassing the appropriations process. Instead, during March and April of 1796, Federalists in the House lobbied constantly to win Republican support, and finally succeeded in passage on the narrow margin of 51-48.
It is well worth noticing that the climactic floor speech for the Federalists, that of Fisher Ames, conceded the Constitutional point and argued that the treaty should be carried into effect on its merits. After phrasing the question as whether the treaty was bad enough to justify rejection by the House, and conceding that he would vote against appropriations for a treaty if he considered it bad enough, he then argued that the funding should be approved based on the benefits the treaty would bring to the United States.
The House and Senate Rules might be cited as justification for mandatory funding, since they seem to establish a bond between the processes of authorization and appropriation. However, Congressional practice has long made this bond nothing but an ignored formality. Despite the requirement in the rules that only authorized programs may receive appropriations, Congress has continued to appropriate even when authorizations have expired. The appropriation itself is treated as a sort of de facto authorization. This has become such an accepted practice that the Congressional Budget Office is now required to issue an annual report on Unauthorized Appropriations and Expiring Appropriations. The report issued in January 2010 stated that Congress has appropriated about $290 billion for fiscal year 2010 for programs and activities whose authorization of appropriations have expired. If Congress can accomplish a de facto authorization through the appropriations process, it must also have the power to bring about a de facto repeal through appropriations.
Defunding ObamaCare should be debated solely on it merits, without concern for Constitutional objections to the method. A long historical record demonstrates that the appropriations clause of the Constitution has consistently been understood to mean exactly what it says. If Congress refuses to make an appropriation, or puts restrictions on the expenditure of the money which it does appropriate, the matter is settled. If Congress is willing to repeal ObamaCare, defunding is a legitimate approach.
 Frum, David, Newts ObamaCare Shutdown Fantasy, FrumForum, April 9, 2010, http://www.frumforum.com/newts-obamacare-shutdown-fantasy.
 Hamilton, Alexander, Madison, James, and Jay, John, The Federalist Papers, The New American Library, 1961. pg. 359.
 Kaminski, John P. and Saladino, Gaspare J., eds., Documentary History of the Ratification of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights, State Historical Society of Wisconsin, Vol.X, pg. 1349 and Vol. IX, pg. 925-26.
 Tucker, St. George, View of the Constitution of the United States with Selected Writings, Liberty Fund, 1999, pg. 298-99. The Supreme Court, in the 1990 decision of Office of Personnel Management v. Richmond, overturned an Appeals Court ruling ordering payment, and declared that payments of money from the Federal Treasury are limited to those authorized by statute.
 Drew, Elizabeth, Showdown: The Struggle Between the Gingrich Congress and the Clinton White House, Simon & Schuster, 1996, pg. 322-341.
 The Federalist Papers, pg. 158.
 Bickford, Charlene Bangs & Viet, Helen E., Documentary History of the First Federal Congress of the United States of America, March 4, 1789-March 3, 1791, Vol. V, The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986, pg. 1274.
 Elkins, Stanley & McKitrick, Eric, The Age of Federalism: The Early American Republic, 1788-1800, Oxford Univerisity Press, 1993, pg. 441-49 and Cunningham, Noble E., The Jeffersonian Republicans: The Formation of a Party Organization, 1789-1801, pg. 77-85.
 Allen, W.B., ed., Works of Fisher Ames, Vol. II, pg. 1152 ff.
 Unauthorized Appropriations and Expiring Authorizations, January 2010, Congressional Budget Office, 2010, pg. 2.”
Yes, defunding = not providing for funds.
The portions you snip do describe that only the House may appropriate money.
The question I have is whether such is actually legislation that has to be approved by both houses and signed or not. I think so.
Now you know why there has been so much turnover through forced retirement at the highest levels of the Armed Forces.