Put down the pen and phone, Mr. President. That was the message from a federal appeals court just a few days ago. In a victory for the Constitution and the American people, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld an injunction preventing President Obama’s executive amnesty on immigration from being implemented.
Next week marks one year since President Obama announced that he would act on his own to change our immigration laws. These actions would allow up to five million unlawful immigrants to stay in the U.S. without facing the consequences of the laws they have violated. It was alarming that this President, or any president for that matter, would so boldly take powers that the Constitution places with the Congress and ignore the limitations placed on his authority.
No Administration should be allowed to run roughshod over the Constitution. Such lawlessness must be stopped so that we preserve the separation of powers in the Constitution and protect individual liberty. However, perhaps adding insult to injury, the President’s lax immigration enforcement could put the American people in danger. While presidents of both parties have not fully enforced our immigration laws, President Obama has unilaterally gutted the interior enforcement of our laws.
By refusing to enforce laws against illegal immigration, his immigration policies collectively undermine the integrity of our immigration system and send the message to the world that our laws can be violated with little consequence. This is a serious matter, and too many times we have heard of crimes committed by unlawful immigrants who should have previously been removed from the United States.
The federal appeals court’s ruling affirms that President Obama’s executive overreach is just that – a gross overreach of his authority. Should the Supreme Court choose to take up this case next, I hope they will protect the authority granted to Congress by our Constitution and hold the President accountable for his duty to faithfully execute the laws.
Bob Goodlatte represents the Sixth District of Virginia in Congress.