The President is Treading on Very Dangerous Ground

Obama speaks on immigration

Imagine a tree growing close to a windy shoreline. The wind usually blows inland from the water. Over time the tree bends from the constant wind pressure. So it is with immigration enforcement. Government agencies that wrongly refuse admission rightly face instant legal challenges; these are compounded by a range of periodic class actions lawsuits brought by groups with an agenda – groups like the ACLU – whose goal is to wear down the bureaucracy. The tree bends and over time immigration enforcement weakens.

What if, in the face of such constant pressure the Executive Branch simply refuses to enforce the law and keep aliens without right from entering the country – by the millions? At FAIR we feared this day might come. We feared, in particular, that in the hands of an unscrupulous politician, this vulnerability might even be encouraged and exploited for partisan gain. Please know that over the decades FAIR has tried to get court after court to consider this problem – the issue of “legal standing” makes it impossible for the public to challenge the illegal admission of illegal aliens. In cases involving the U.S. Census and the use of parole power and Cuban entrants, FAIR has sued. In these actions, FAIR demonstrated through affidavits and research that sustained and uncontrolled immigration would undermine the quality of life for Americans in the affected counties. We felt we had demonstrated the requisite “injury” in these matters. Still courts would not allow our plaintiffs – including members of Congress – through the courthouse door.

Whether the president or his delegates admit the aliens through limitless parole or they grant an invented status to those who’ve already entered illegally, we have one of two results. Either we have an imperial, Caesarian president who ignores the commands of Congress and the people, or we have a nation no longer able to manage its frontiers.

The president’s backers claim that “deferred action,” though not in the law, lets the president take over immigration and give illegal aliens unlimited work authorization and other documents. Naturally, they also claim that “deferred action” – a formal creation of Clinton appointee Doris Meissner (only secretly used at the old Immigration and Naturalization Service on a rare and unpublicized basis) – means the president can use his personal will to allow entire classes of aliens to remain indefinitely (or until Congress passes an amnesty). No one can credibly claim Congress ever intended this – in fact, every time Congress has acted since 1996 it has tried to reign in the president’s immigration parole power. Why would Congress let any president allow in unlimited numbers of illegal aliens?

What about the claim that “prosecutorial discretion” applies? Firstly, the term doesn’t appear anywhere in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Meissner (the “mastermind” behind much of today’s immigration breakdown) claims that so long as the administration does it on a “case by case basis,” it’s okay. Others also claim it is based solely on the need to “rationalize enforcement priorities and resources,” as if that’s the true motivation. How many times has this administration made the pitch to Congress and the American people that they need more resources to step up interior enforcement? Never. I suppose you can call the program anything you like, but the fact is the president plans to do this, not on a case-by-case basis, but on a class-based basis, as he did with the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Class-based relief of this sort is illegal and, obviously, not contemplated by Congress.

The second problem is that they also claim “no one believes the U.S. is going to round up and deport X million illegal aliens.” Their only alternative is to let everyone stay. We hear this all the time. If that’s true, then it must mean the U.S. can no longer control its frontiers.

The future is not kind to nations unable to regulate frontiers. Criminals and those hostile to our interests are already admitted without regard to the law. Sadly, the implications of this breakdown are not apparent to most on the left and unacknowledged by the Wall Street crowd. It has just begun to dawn on a few stalwart administration supporters that the president’s unilateralism is precedent-setting in dangerous ways. See this recent and unexpected editorial in The Washington Post.

We all should stand on principle, and not allow partisan gamesmanship to set an unwise precedent. Just because a court will not step in to stop an illegal action is not a reason to violate the oath of office. To take away from the American people the right to decide who may enter and who may stay – to invite an impeachment threat for electoral and fundraising advantage without regard to the substance of the policy that might engender that threat – this is a bridge too far for the nation. Our future is ominous, the people are becoming uneasy. A large segment of the American public will fiercely resist any unilateral action by President Obama and there is the chance that unrest will result – unless this president understands his role and the limits of his office. Be forewarned.

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.


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  1. avatar

    Why are these god damn illegals getting anything at all..the only thing they should be getting is a one way trip back across the border..since our do nothing president wont fix the problem how about we arm every single American and give them the authority to shoot and deport as many as possible..i swear this country needs a revolution before there is no country. and obama and his administration should all be shot in the face for treason

  2. avatar
    Mass Immigration Is Unsustainable on

    Diaz-Balart asked the president about what possibility is there to stop the deportations through executive order, to which Obama replied that the road is “through Congress.”

    The president rejected the possibility that his government suspended deportations than those under 30 who were brought illegally to the United States during his childhood undocumented and said it would be “very difficult to defend” legal arguments.

    “If we begin to expand that, then essentially I would be ignoring the law in a way that would be very difficult to defend with legal arguments. So that’s not an option,” he said.

    Don’t think for a second that such statements box Obama in. He made similar comments that he could not legally order DACA right before he did it!

    • avatar
      John WInthrop on

      May be you are the one to be distracted……speak for yourself….by now as an a=engineer you should have learnt how to multitask…………………….

  3. avatar

    President Abraham Lincoln is immortalized in history as the GREAT EMANCIPATOR for his emancipation proclamation that freed the slaves. President Barack Obama believes he will be known in history as the GREAT LEGALIZER for an administrative amnesty proclamation he plans to hand down that gives legal status to unauthorized aliens later this summer.

    • avatar
      John Winthrop on

      That is your belief……but did Lincoln’s goal was actually to free the slaves or as a political move to save the Union?

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      According to the US Census office, one illegal enters the United States every 40 seconds. Obama will never go down in history to “free the slaves”, he will go down as ballooning the unemployment rate in America by stealing your job (as easily exploitable on wages and working conditions), driving down wages and benefits and bankrupting the local welfare office.

      Here is a lesson in history. The Roman Empire allowed the Barbarians to cross the Danube which was at that time the Northern border and settle within the boundary, and in less than two generations burned Rome to the ground. It takes years to build something and only minutes to burn it, Fast forward to USA.

      Let Obama expire into the “dust bin” of history. As a meglomeniac, he wants nothing more than to go down as a Kennedy or something and have statues built of himself or carved into Mt. Rushmore. Don’t give it to him, he is not woth it.

      • avatar
        John WInthrop on

        May that lesson in history is for you that just learned that about the Romans.,……that is old news….also Obama has nothing to do with “the slaves”…they have already been here long before his presidency……
        He was given a country in bad shape ….you need to educate yourself and learn out history and become illiterate o our political, social and economical situation……in addition to learn some math and fine tune your critical thinking and vision,,,,,,,….if you are able to stretch your brains….

        No president and the least Obama has stole my job….I think you have to get off the chemical substances….

  4. avatar

    Arnlof Sweiger is wrong. I lived in CA for 30 yrs and have seen many illegals get benefits. Actually, 50% of illegals use at least one form of government assistance. Recently , I was in line at Walmart behind two Hispanic women & it was taking forever because I never saw a credit card or cash, but they had tons of vouchers. The cashier told me after they left that each of those women had 3 different kinds of vouchers for free goods. Much of it was for the 5 children with them.

    I also disagree that illegals have worked harder than me. After my Dad died I went into Fostercare bad my first job was at age 14. At 16, my school counselor helped mr become an emancipated minor. My Dad had been a Vet so it did get a little $ to help pay for a studio apartment that I rented from a local police officer a& his wife. I felt safe living in their extra room. Many kids work their way through college, but I worked my way through high school.

    I always had 2-3 jobs until the time I opened my own little business in a spare bedroom-I’d married by then. My business eventually went from our house to the San Francisco Financial District. For many years we worked all the time, but we did prosper eventually and I’m proud that everything I have I bought myself.

    Arnlof wants you to believe that illegals work harder than Americans, that they are better people than us & we should let all in & give them Amnesty. I say…even at 16 I knew that what I wanted in life I had to get legally and that it would never be right to break into someone’s house or their country to make them support me. The illegals need to go home & Arnlof needs to get a decent job, shilling for OFA, ACORN or La Raza is despicable.

    • avatar
      John WInthrop on

      Well Mary I hate to say you had an easy life compared to other illegals where they are raped and abused for years to work for lower wages. They stayed in the US where they do not see their family members for decades just to be able to support them and I am sure they work much much harder than you ever will……but then again you have your own world and opinions…………………..far different from reality…..

      • avatar
        John WInthrop on

        Mary in addition…..most illegals work as hard or harder than us. Now when you say the illegals are better than us I see a bit of bigotry in you…very unamerican…….so you think we are better than illegals?…you are wrong…..some better some worse…but you are very limited in your intellect for comparing and thinking you are better than illegals……there are many illegals that are better educated, yellower, whiter etc than you and me put together…..wake up……this is a fact

        Maybe in your neiborhood you had US citizens of illegal parents collecting vouchers but in the rest of the country they work harder than you do and nobody supports them…….think use your brains ……3% of the population….11M not all are kids or US citizens…….they have a harder life than yours……………

        • avatar
          John WInthrop on

          That is all facts aside from the fact whether or not they will become legal……

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            Clearly you are speaking for yourself John Winthrop. NO, they have NOT worked harder than me. I have seen MANY illegals getting benefits John Winthrop. They LIE, the CHEAT, and they STEAL. They have no love for this country. There is MASSIVE fraud in the ITIN program which the IRS has ignored. They are too busy oppressing Americans who oppose Obama. Check these out John:
            Illegal immigrant convicted of welfare fraud in Green Bay

            Massive tax fraud: IRS taking action after 13 Investigates report on tax fraud

            They don’t love this country, and they will LIE, CHEAT, and STEAL to get what they want.

          • avatar
            John Winthrop on

            Boetica yes they work harder than you…and some are whiter, a blacker, yeliower and wealthier in addition to more educated than you are,,,,,and pay the taxes will support you in your old age ….

            Now getting to your point then IR will fix the things you said…….for every illegal that cheats the SYstem ie the parents of US ccitizens a million americans do the same so basically the system has to be fixed.

  5. avatar

    There are some great posts today. But what everyone is pointing out here has to do with patriotism. Our members of Congress have no sense of this word. They merely want to get re-elected. They concern themselves only with money – just like illegals, the Chamber of Commerce, big (and small) businesses that hire illegals, families who hire illegal maids, babysitters, gardeners, et al.

    I think that the only way to truly solve our illegal immigration problem is with lawsuits. So the best first step here is maybe a class action lawsuit on behalf of legal US citizens who pay property taxes for their children to attend public schools – public schools that are knowingly admitting illegal children. Most lawyers are far from patriotic, but they do love money and that will be one of the end results of major lawsuits on this issue.

    Where are all the lawyers on this issue? There are numerous areas relating to illegals and illegal immigration where major lawsuits could be filed on behalf of legal US citizens.

    • avatar
      John Winthrop on

      Maybe you are Mexican or from the middle East……in American no single president rules…..

  6. avatar

    As an African American I am ashamed and disgusted by the actions of President O’Bama. He has been a disgrace
    to the people who voted for him and by my his lies and promises he made to the people. His remaining two years can’t come fast enough for me. It wouldn’t surprise me if he was voted the ‘most hated man in the world.’ His actions or lack of, has sealed the fate of future African Americans becoming President.’

    • avatar
      Margaret Larison on


      I fear I have to disagree with you. I know of two that would be elected in a heartbeat – Dr. Ben Carson and Adam West.

      • avatar
        Barbara Griffith on

        Margaret, I agree I would love to see Dr. Carson or Mr. West in the White House. I would like to see both of them, one the President and the other the VP. I think the whole world would benefit from one experienced in the military and the other the world of medicine. I don’t care what color a person is so long as they are honest.
        I feel i could trust both people to make the right decisions for the country and I’m not alone.

        • avatar
          John WInthrop on

          If you do not care about color then why do you bring it up? and choose two African Americans in your feedback to discredit the president?….you are alone they would b=never be elected……

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      Robert Jackson on

      We can’t judge an entire race by the inactions of one person. I have been in the service (U.S. Navy) and seen the good in so many African-Americans. I also lived in Pensacola, Florida during the Jim Crow days and didn’t enjoy it in the least. We moved from Newfoundland to Pensacola and it was culture shock. What I didn’t like about the election of Obama was the 90 plus % of the African-Americans who voted for Obama en mass. That to me tells me we really haven’t come that far.

  7. avatar

    The problem is the Chamber of Commerce. Illegal aliens are easy to exploit for wages and working conditions and have no recourse. The current e-verify program is voluntary and only about 10% of business participate for obvious reasons. As the CC provides most of the campaign funding (bribes) they are well heard in the halls of Congress and are addicted to cheap labor.

    A MANDATORY e-verify program means No job, No money, No reason to stay. The CC would violently oppose any change to mandatory e-verify and their bought-and-paid-for stooges would comply. The only way to put an end to it is to go to public financing of elections, opposed by the same CC as they prefer the rigged system in place as their influence would diminish. I think America is screwed.

    • avatar
      arnlof sweigeir ft on

      I disagree I think u r the one screwed not the US…….history has always shown the oppressed…..slaves Irish Italians Chinese et etc And we have made it…we will make….speak for yourself…..

  8. avatar

    Because of these things, many are calling for impeachment of this president. I think that is the wrong move, especially right now. If we impeach, it has to be AFTER we get a big majority in the Senate, or it is counter productive.
    What is galling to me is how the “birthers” have been ridiculed and demonized. No one of stature is willing to look at the volume of evidence collected by Sheriff Arpio and his team of researchers. It all points to FRAUD, but even the conservative news media have been afraid to touch it. They say that the long form birth certificate has been released, and that settles it.
    Not having been able to see all the evidence, I can not for certain say that Obama is not a citizen of the USA, but I DO think all the evidence should be presented to the country and court system so that a determination can be made. So far, that has not been allowed.

  9. avatar

    our government don’t care about the American Citizens anymore…we are the ones who have to follow the laws, we are the ones who have to pay our taxes so they can reward the illegals for breaking our laws.. IT IS OUTRAGEOUS!! OUR GOVERNMENT IS INSANE!!! Obama’s change for American.. allow the illegals to take over this country and turn us into an extension of Mexico… our government has NO backbone to do what is right for this country… we will NEVER stop illegals from coming until we STOP ALL BENEFITS TO ALL ILLEGALS!!! they come here to get rewarded for breaking our laws.. they drain our resources and our tax dollars… we are NOTHING but a CESSPOOL that is contaminated by the illegals and it is getting worse…

  10. avatar

    Dustin, you should write to the Oregon DMV and tell them you were there to get your license, had to show your ID and pay a hefty fee -and a Latino -appearing person was able to go thru the DMV with absolutely nothing. Maybe, he was just getting an ID and already processed his papers. Who knows? But you can give them your information and they can see who came before you and give you an explanation or not! Just ask them why you were discriminated against!
    If someone is just ignoring the law – they certainly need to be fired. Write for an explanation and ask why the law would be different? There is discrimination qnd a “War on Whites” in this country.

    • avatar
      arnlof sweigeir ft on

      This makes no sense….the whole story is not told here…..DMV…will never do anything illegal…..

  11. avatar

    obama and holder will do everything to wait until that tree is broken! So sad thatt the American People have to suffer from this ILLEGAL man in the wh!

    • avatar
      John WInthrop on

      you are the most ignorant blogger in this page to call the president an illegal man…..

  12. avatar

    During my teaching career – from 1954 through 1996 – I saw Mexicans come from their own homeland in Mexico to the United States, without invitation or permission, and fill up our schools with their children and take jobs that by right belonged to native American Hispanics. I taught at a high school in a small town in southern California that
    had opened its doors to 750 students in its first year and when I retired in 1996 had over 3,500 students most of whom were from families that came across our borders illegally. I saw our school district attendance balloon from less than 4,000 to over 20,000 in a forty year period. Over 60% of its students came from families that were in our country illegally from Mexico. Almost overwhelmed, the school district had to furnish Spanish speaking teaching aides in every classroom because so few of the new student arrivals could speak English. Most of the teachers in the school district had to teach their classes bilingually. It appeared to me that our school district worked extremely hard to get a handle on its two language problem. Now, In the year 2014, we have a president who believes that our nation should open its borders to anyone who wants to immigrate to this country legally or illegally. He has made it clear to those who are paying attention to his words and his actions that he believes that all nations should be borderless. He doesn’t appear to have a handle on anything resembling just how a nation should be governed.
    It’s kind of scary when you think about it.

    • avatar

      That’s a big part of the problem. We complain about how our students don’t know anything, but it’s hard to teach when you have to be teaching the same thing to two different sets of students in two different languages. It’s dragging down the native born students to pacify those who support illegals.

      • avatar
        John WInthrop on

        Leland you got it all wrong………..our HS System on its majority lacks of quality because of its teachers and most immigrants even from 3rd World Countries come here better prepared on math and sciences……..unless you want o pay a premium in schools such as Stevenson where actually they r world class and some public ones…… see that deficiency clearly once they get to the universities……unless they studied the advanced courses where the immigrants have no choice but to take.

    • avatar
      arnlof sweigeir ft on

      What is scary is that that is how this country be Ame a power and as a teacher your understanding lacks of intellect and the fact that u r against it BUT supported it by teaching them and making a living for something g u supposedly do not stand for?….. What does that say about u?….reLlyo pathetic …..

      • avatar

        That’s laughable. The school districts all over the country who have had to deal with the “minors” who have crossed the border all say they are way behind their grade levels. Add the language difference and it’s a huge problem. Resources should go to our students. Not foreign nationals. You think differently apparently.

        • avatar
          John Winthrop on

          To start with they will be bilingual…..are you capable of speaking a second language? probably not. So they are already more advance that you will ever be once they learn English since they are not adults yet..BUT this is besides the point.

          The point I am making is that our teachers are no longer good enough most of them in HS….I have no idea what will happen to this Children but also you should be smart enough with the correct amount of common sense to realize my feedback was back to the teacher within the context and you jumped in not understanding my feedback…..I hope you realize that any of this children if allowed to stay, do have the potential to contribute more than you and i together…….

  13. avatar

    and why is this so called “president” allowed to constantly make up his own “laws” and change our country into a third world banana republic? Most of us to whom the USA is “our country” either by birth (and our parents being here in a legal status) or having legally immigrated, are dismayed & troubled with the invasion of the country being allowed by obama & his gang of liberals. Of those liberals pushing for the invasion, I would bet that most of them are living in some form of a gated community & do not want these invaders to be living next to them. For instance, why are not those illegals being housed at the whitehouse & in hollywood? And then obama will be giving anyone illegally in the USA a fully & complete amnesty and full access to “free” (to them) medical & social security, etc. and once that happens, there will be no way to deport them, as should be done now in a rapid & final measure. Those “children” now invading should be fed, medicated, & immediately put on a plane for return to their own country. That is the only way this invasion can be stopped.

  14. avatar

    The claim is always “we can’t deport all the illegals here”. But we don’t need to. We simply enforce laws against being here illegally. We should have e verify for every job and secure driver’s licenses issued only to those here with permission. If a form asks if you are here legally, and you lie, then you do a brief term in jail, and are then deported.

    If we actually make people think twice about being here legally, instead of bending over backwards to accommodate their illegal actions, many will leave the same way they came. By themselves, in other words self deport. That term is enough to make some fall into a faint, but so what. Obey the law. If you don’t, leave. Could you or I steal someone else’s SS number or simply make up a fake one? Please, we’d be facing charges.

    • avatar

      all they have to do is STOP ALL BENEFITS TO ALL ILLEGALS AND THEY WILL DEPORT THEMSELVES.. if they can’t get the free handouts anymore, they will have no reason to be here… along with that.. STOP ALL ANCHOR BABIES, ENFORCE E-Verify 100%… arrest ANYONE using a fake ID or stolen SS#… FINE all employers who hire them.. do this and you won’t need to try and deport, they will self deport …
      we will NEVER stop illegals from coming here as long as this pathetic government rewards them for being here illegally… our government is insane!!!

        • avatar

          The benefits come with their anchor babies, who become US citizens even when mom crossed the border illegally the day before. And federal law allows any state that wants to forbid asking for “status” to do so. Many states have done that, including the biggest, California. The “no benefits” story is as fake as the “record deportation” story.

          • avatar
            arnlof sweigeir ft on

            How about the story of the illegal that became the best surgeon and now saving Americans Lives…or those illegals who died for our country…. I do not agree with your limited views…

        • avatar
          Barbara Griffith on

          Arnlof, Who are you working for or are you just a troll?? It looks more like you are following a script insulting anything you don’t happen to agree with. What are you doing on this blog anyway? Why don’t you slither back under your rock.

          • avatar
            John WInthrop on

            Barbara may be you are the one that lives under a rock……… if somebody disagrees you call it an insult?…it appears to me you never left your state rt travel abroad……you watch too much Fox news…..

  15. avatar
    Christopher J Butler on

    It is my opinion that this so called president
    Has not only violated his oath of office and committed treasonous offenses
    Against this country but he has also aided terrorist groups
    and turned his back on the Veterans who bravely fight for our freedom only to be spit on by this administration
    And turns every crisis into some sort of racial issue. And I think it’s time
    for Obama to pay for his crimes and be put to a traders death
    and left on display as to deter others from committing the same
    crimes in the future.