In May of this year, Charles R. Kesler wrote an article for National Review pointing out that at one time “almost every major U.S. political controversy involved, at its heart, a dispute over the interpretation of the Constitution.” Kesler observed that “politics today are different … the Constitution is no longer at the heart of our political debates.” Living and governing “in accordance with the Constitution is not the first item on anybody’s platform.”
Office holders still take the oath to “preserve and protect’ but that seems to be about as far as it goes. Tea Party activists, Kesler points out, are attempting to restore compliance.
Where the Founders established the separation of powers they envisioned that each branch would jealously guard its powers against usurpation by the other two. That tension and the federal system helped to limit government and prevent centralization of power. Today’s politicos, however, are not so much concerned with the separation of powers as with its exercise.
Kesler lists TARP and the delegation of legislative powers to the executive, specifically to the Treasury Secretary and the army of bureaucrats in his employ; and the health care bill that Congress left to legions of as yet unformed new bureaucracies to determine what the 2,000 plus pages require.
Another violation of the separation of powers can now be added to Kesler’s list. According to a leaked memo, the Obama administration is considering “a non-legislative version of amnesty.” The Democrat controlled Congress, painfully aware that many, perhaps a majority, of its members will receive voters’ pink slips in November, are loath to pass amnesty legislation opposed by those they claim to represent.
The memo, written by staffers of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) suggests a way to accomplish the goal but avoid legislative responsibility. It says the administration has to “reduce the threat of removal” for many illegal immigrants who have run afoul of immigration authorities.”
In the absence of comprehensive immigration reform, USCIS can extend benefits and/or protections to many individuals and groups by issuing new guidance and regulations, exercising discretion with regard to parole-in-place, deferred action and the issuance of Notices to Appear.
The memo reveals that in-depth discussions have occurred on how to keep many illegal immigrants in the country, which would be at least a temporary alternative to the proposals Democrats in Congress have made to legalize illegal immigrants.
An agency spokesperson hastened to explain, “that drafting the memo doesn’t mean the agency has embraced the policy” and “nobody should mistake deliberation and exchange of ideas for final decisions.” He also said that the Homeland Security Department “will not grant deferred action or humanitarian parole to the nation’s entire illegal immigrant population.”
If the last statement is intended to be reassuring, it isn’t. So, how big a portion of the illegal immigrant population will Homeland Security grant amnesty? (The USCIS is a bureau of Homeland Security.) Those who would like to assess the value of assurances from Homeland Security are advised to read AP’s Fight For Freedom of the Press.
The memo does make clear that the Obama Administration’s determination to invalidate AZ’s enforcement law has little to do with allegedly interfering with federal jurisdiction and a great to do with creating a new population of Democrat voters.
As the article, Another Pillar of the Republic Under Attack, explains, tampering with the balance of powers so carefully constructed by the Founders alters the essential nature of our government and opens the way for the nationalization of the central government from which the Founders sought to protect us.