Block this De Facto Amnesty

My article that appeared on USA Today on June 18.

The problem with President Obama’s announcement that he is granting what amounts to de facto amnesty to upwards of a million illegal aliens is not just that it was done for naked political reasons. The problem is that in taking this political step, the president is making an end-run around Congress, which has sole constitutional authority to make immigration policy, while at the same time harming the interests of millions of Americans.

In March 2011, the president stated definitively that he lacked the authority to do precisely what he announced on Friday. “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,” Obama said. “For me to simply through executive order ignore those congressional mandates would not conform with my appropriate role as president.”

Thus, his actions represent a challenge to the constitutional Separation of Powers doctrine and a dangerous precedent that is bound to be repeated by this and future presidents.

Obama has decided to implement a law Congress never approved, while effectively nullifying numerous laws Congress has enacted because he objects to them. Not only will an estimated 1.4 million illegal aliens be permitted to remain here, nearly all of them will be granted work authorization despite the fact they are explicitly barred from working here under a 1986 law. Thus, America’s estimated 23 million un- and underemployed workers will find themselves competing with those who benefited from Friday’s amnesty.
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While many Americans may understand the difficult circumstances of this group of illegal aliens, they also understand that it was their parents, not the American people or American law, who put them there. Moreover, once we establish a precedent that bringing children here illegally will be rewarded, we are certain to see millions more follow suit.

Congress must act decisively to block this unauthorized amnesty. It is lawmakers’ obligation to protect the interests of the American people and to ensure that the president respects Congress’ constitutional authority to make our laws.

About Author


Dan is the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)'s President after joining the organization in 1982. He has testified more than 50 times before Congress, and been cited in the media as "America's best-known immigration reformer." Dan has appeared on virtually every significant TV and radio news/talk program in America and, in addition to being a contributing editor to, has contributed commentaries to a vast number of print media outlets.


  1. avatar
    Paula Shipman on

    I lived in California for 11 years, then in1995 we moved back to Indiana. I thought “Great” We’re out of Illegal aliens here. Wrong, the area was over run. Every farm in the area had them working, all of the fast food places, factories, construction. They’ve taken jobs from American born citizens and we’re letting them. High school kids have to compete with them for fast food jobs, summer farm work, even highway repairs. I have nothing against people trying to do better but there are legal ways. For Obama to make these young people legal when our own kids can’t get jobs is unbelievable. This must be stopped.

  2. avatar

    This country is going to hell in a handbasket!! While I am sympathetic to the plight of illegals who, “through no fault of their own”, came to this country, since they were too young to understand, we still have laws. We now have a President who has ignored those laws to suit his own agenda, to pander to a particular demographic, to sway votes in his favor , ensuring a second term. Let us ALL work together to block this from happening. Get proactive. Get involved. Before, the illegals under 30, were already working ‘under the table’, because Employers get to pay them half of what they would need to pay a college educated U.S. Citizen. And now, the illegals get to obtain this work permit (renewable every 2yrs) , be legitimate and in our ‘system’;–will they NOW pay taxes?? I wonder. Employers get to win yet again, because now they can continue pay the lowest wage possible. The President remarked, in response to this decision of granting work permits “CEOs agree”, well, now we understand why. And exactly how does this help the economy? How does this even begin to address the thousands of unemployed, college educated U.S Citizens in California? and other states who have the misfortune of sharing borders with a country that cannot take care of its own. It sets a very poor precendent, and surely more will follow, this is an accurate assessment. He is a disgrace to this Great Nation–shame on him! He was voted into office to represent the American People–how dare he ‘invest’ in the children of another country, over our own!

  3. avatar

    With his wide range of administrative amnesties for illegal aliens Obama has replaced the immigration laws passed by Congress and signed by previous presidents with is own “laws”, which completely lack legal legitimacy. He has imposed these new edicts by decree. He finds it convenient to describe all of these illegal usurpations of power as prosecutorial discretion. This abuse of power is no more prosecutorial discretion than it is pixie dust. It is a repudiation of democracy by a man who is moving our country toward dictatorship. I say this with regret as someone who rang door bells, made cold calls and contributed money to elect Barack Obama. He should be impeached.

  4. avatar

    There is not really much to say. Clearly this usurptive act by Obama is in hopes of sidetracking his political train from the plunging over the looming November cliff. The next President will need to roll up his sleeves to undue the progessivist damage foisted upon the nation. This commonly antagonizing Executive Order is a great start!

  5. avatar

    America, the time frame for debating the illegal alien crisis ended with the first illegals who crossed our borders and established their lifestyle in this nation. It is now time to act to reverse this travesty.

    Apathy has downloaded the United States into the immigration crisis and until this attitude is rectified, there is no hope for abolishing the corruption and greed on Capitol Hill. The lobbyists control the ebb and flow of our legislative process and sadly, Razaunida and other radical hispanic groups are among the most notorious for purchasing the votes to accomplish their goal of creating a Mexican America.
    Due to the apathy of generations of lazy citizens, we are now paying the price for selling our right to stand and be heard. Our financial and legal systems represent only those who break our laws. The right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is exploited by our president and his administration in their overt decision to interpret our laws to protect the illegal aliens instead of the American people.
    There is no confusion on Capitol Hill or in the White House…….buy the hispanic votes at all costs, particularly those of the illegal aliens, and ignore the staggering cost required of America’s citizens!

    Congress continues to stand idly by as Janet Napolitano and her henchmen assault our federal immigration laws by daring anyone to question her right to rewrite and interpret these laws to benefit the illegal aliens. The path they travel dangerously coincides with the path of treason for their stated goals protect people from another country at the cost of the people of the United States.

    President Obama has arbitrarily crossed the lines of political honor by stating that his decision will circumvent any negative Congressional decisions regarding his Dream Act.
    News flash! The elected office of President of the United States does not simultaneously grant the powers of a deity. When you, sir, cross into our space, then you have destroyed the faith of your office to honor and protect America and Her people.
    You are but a cog in the wheels of this great nation and Time has proven that ultimately, a useless cog will be removed and replaced.
    Think about it when you next determine that your solitary decision is golden and cannot be disputed.
    Please give our regards to Mexico and it’s people.

  6. avatar
    Ron Yeary - IFIRE on

    Please forward this to every one on your list.
    Emailed to Rep. Dan Burton and Sen Coats.

    On Friday, June 15th, 2012, President Barack Obama, stated in a televised address, he would not honor his Oath of Office, and would circumvent the Congress and ignore the US Constitution to provide immunity to certain illegal aliens.

    By any definition this is Treason. Therefore, as a constituent of your district, I request that Congress immediately take up impeachment proceedings against the President.

  7. avatar
    Bill Carrothers on

    There is a wonderful old Spanish saying that applies to this situation:

    “Aunque mona se vista de sed, se quede mona” Although you festoon a Mexican national with all the trappings of the gringo lifestyle, he is still a Mexican National. So are his parents. Instead of trying to turn Mexicans into Americans, let’s insist that the Government of Mexico provide the teachers, curricula, textbooks, and rent the facilities for the schooling of the children of their citizens who are temporarily residing in our country, so that they can return and make their “barrios lindos, lejos, y queridos into wonderful, prosperous, peaceful places. We also need to insist that foreign governments pay for the medical care that their citizens receive, and the custody of their citizens in our prisons and jails. Believe it or not, we CAN reclaim California for real Americans! Think what your community can become, when there is any social capital to be found in it.

  8. avatar
    Jim McGuiness on

    And some sort of justice came in the form of the Civil Liberties Act, with apologies and reparations to the individuals who suffered the internment camps still alive. How you think rounding up innocent Americans in the USA and putting them in camps is somehow analogous to this is beyond me. Gringo, your logic betrays your motives, and it is very disturbing. Perhaps, FAIR is not the forum for you.

  9. Pingback: Obama Amnesty News Updates » One Old Vet

  10. avatar

    A Harvard degree isn’t what it used to be. The protagonists of this political gesture would do well to remember the executive order that interned Japanese Americans during WW 11. An executive order by Obama’s successor to round up ALL illegal immigrants in a similar manner would have a legal basis. The same thing that makes you laugh can make you cry.