On more than 20 occasions, President Obama asserted he did not have the constitutional authority to circumvent Congress in order to create his own immigration policy. During one such occasion in 2011 he stated: “Believe me, the idea of doing things on my own is very tempting … But that’s not how our system works. That’s not how our democracy functions. That’s not how our Constitution is written.” In 2013, he echoed his earlier comments: “My job in the executive branch is supposed to be to carry out the laws that are passed … if we start broadening that, then essentially I would be ignoring the law in a way that I think would be very difficult to defend legally.” Clearly, Obama had a firm understanding that he should not exceed his constitutional mandate. Then, just a few months later, he entirely changed his mind. Standing in the Rose Garden, President Obama sidestepped congress and announced what is now known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. DACA circumvented U.S. law to prevent the deportation of young illegal immigrants under certain circumstances. To have qualified, illegal immigrants must have attended or graduated from high school, entered the United States before the age of 16 and had a criminal record free of felonies or major misdemeanors. At the time, many lawmakers raised concerns over the legality of President Obama’s action. The...Read More
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