The political landscape was shaken yesterday in a Court decision that was a major defeat for the Obama Administration.
Last night, a district court in Texas ordered a halt to the Obama Administration’s program (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, or DAPA) that offers licenses and work authorization to illegal immigrants who identify themselves to authorities. The state of Texas and numerous other states filed a federal lawsuit against the program last December under the Constitution’s Take Care Clause and the Administrative Procedure Act (APA).
Townhall has a listing of five major findings in the decision. Here is one of the most interesting.
There Is A Big Difference Between Executive Discretion And Bestowing Benefits . . .
Judge Hanen found that Obama's DAPA program, however, cannot be characterized as "non-enforcement" since "it is actually affirmative action rather than inaction."
Specifically, Hanen notes that DAPA "awards legal presence to individuals Congress has deemed deportable or removable, as well as the ability to obtain Social Security numbers, work authorization permits, and the ability to travel."
"Absent DAPA, these individuals would not receive these benefits," Hanen continues, "Exercising prosecutorial discretion and/or refusing to enforce a statute does not also entail bestowing benefits."
Professor Josh Blackman has more background on the case here.
Hans Von Spakovsky highlights an irony pointed out by Judge Hanen.
Hanen points out further irony by citing a question from a Department of Homeland Security civics test for naturalization applicants. At the very same time the administration is asserting power over state driver’s licenses because of federal authority over immigration, the Department’s test tells applicants that one of the powers that “belong to the states” (not the federal government) is giving out driver’s licenses.
The Obama Administration has repeatedly refused to recognize, much less obey, the Constitution’s separation of powers. But as every high school student learns, Congress creates the laws and the President executes them. This Administration has now elevated lawlessness to high art, whether by rewriting Obamacare, refusing to enforce the laws, or even, as the Court held in this case, creating laws from scratch.
Senator Ted Cruz of Texas highlights the irresponsibility of Senate Democrats regarding this decision:
"The Texas court decision reached last night is a major turning point in the fight to stop Obama's lawless amnesty," said Sen. Cruz. "Gov. Abbott and Attorney General Paxton are leading a coalition of 26 states to block the illegal executive actions and to protect our states, cities, and communities. This is a major victory for the rule of law; the District Court's ruling states that President Obama must now stop implementing these policies in 'any and all aspects.' Last summer we saw a humanitarian crisis on our southern border that was a direct consequence of Obama's previous amnesty. Republicans are now standing together to try to ensure that it never happens again.
"The Senate Democrats who are filibustering Department of Homeland Security funding should look hard at this ruling. At a time when we face grave national security threats, at home and abroad, it is the height of irresponsibility for the Democrats to block this funding in an extreme attempt to save Obama's amnesty, which a federal judge has just declared illegal."