That is, indeed, the question that begs for an answer. And Obama simply wouldn't answer that question, not in the middle of his remarks or at the end of his statement or at any other time.
Obama announced Friday afternoon that he would grant amnesty to 800,000 young illegal aliens, instead of deporting them, as the law requires. No, he didn't call it amnesty; he denied it was amnesty, but Americans recognize it as amnesty.
The 800,000 are aliens who were brought into the country in violation of U.S. law and have already been rewarded with a free elementary and secondary education paid for by the American taxpayers. Now Obama wants to reward them further by allowing them to stay in America, giving them work permits, driver's licenses and other documents they lack.
The Pew Hispanic Center estimates that as many as 1.4 million aliens might be eligible for Obama's new announcement. The big majority are Latinos, with about 70 percent born in Mexico.
The illegality of these young aliens living in our country is exceeded by the illegality of Obama's action. Obviously, Obama thinks he, too, is above the law and can do by executive order what Congress has repeatedly refused to do.
As The New York Times delicately reported, "He did not consult with Congress." Obama's action is much more outrageous and devious than "not consulting."
Congress has refused, year after year, to pass the legislation, colloquially known as the Dream Act, that would allow these young aliens to remain in America, take U.S. jobs and attend U.S. universities at preferential rates and/or even get financial aid. This is one more example of Obama thinking he can take action without the consent -- indeed defying the opposition -- of Congress and do what he wants anyway.
To take the measure of the Obama administration, we should refer to the unprecedented memo signed by the Attorneys General of nine states. It sets forth 21 instances when Obama or his administration has committed an unlawful or unconstitutional act.
Obama is not fooling anyone about his motives in unilaterally announcing that his administration will not deport these young illegals but will give them the benefits of the unpassed Dream Act. The Obama-friendly New York Times admitted that this is "a bluntly political move," and "a clear play for a crucial voting bloc in states that will decide whether he gets another term. It also held the potential for considerable payoff."
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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