Grassley doesn't mince words in his letter. He accuses Obama of taking an action for which he lacks legal authority, is contrary to his constitutional duty to "take care that the laws be faithfully executed," is an affront to representative government and the legislative process in bypassing Congress, and is an inappropriate use of executive power.
Grassley points out that Obama has full knowledge that his action was unlawful. Just last year, Obama stated, "This notion that somehow I can just change the laws unilaterally is just not true. ... We live in a democracy. You have to pass bills through the legislature, and then I can sign it."
Here are a few of the 29 questions, slightly paraphrased and condensed, which Grassley asked the president to answer.
Why has your position on your legal authority changed? Did you consult with attorneys about this and get a legal opinion and, if so, please provide copies of those legal opinions and emails? How will you treat the parents and others who deliberately violated federal immigration law by illegally bringing these young people into the U.S.?
What criteria will you use to decide who gets work permits and who doesn't, and what will be the status of the illegal aliens after the expiration of the two-year span of your executive order? Will the implementation cost of this gigantic program be paid by those who benefit, or will it be loaded onto the U.S. taxpayers?
Obama supporters try to justify his illegal order by claiming that the young people were brought into the U.S. through no fault of their own. Then we must assume that the fault belongs to the parent or whoever brought the kids, so those persons should be deported and allowed to take their children with them.
Although Obama bragged that his executive order would make our policies "more fair" and "more just," Grassley prefaced his litany of legal and fiscal questions about Obama's executive order by citing its fundamental unfairness. American citizens of ages comparable to the illegals who Obama is rewarding, ages 16 to 24, are suffering 17 percent unemployment, and another 32 percent of American citizens aged 18 to 29 are underemployed.
Grassley wrote: "It is astonishing that your administration would grant work authorizations to illegal immigrants during this time of record unemployment." No wonder Obama wouldn't answer a reporter's question as to why he favors foreign workers over American.
Obama argues that he has the authority to stop deportations of illegal aliens and reward them with work permits because he was using "prosecutorial discretion." But prosecutorial discretion is properly applied only on a case-by-case basis to deal with extenuating circumstances, not for cancelling prosecution of a million people.
Obama's action is an open invitation to fraud and lies. For example, Obama says his plan is for illegal aliens who arrived in the U.S. before the age of 16 and are still under the age of 30. Will the young illegal aliens Obama is favoring be required to prove their age with verifiable documents, such as birth certificates, school records, W-2s, tax returns, or affidavits under penalty of perjury?
Obama's estimated figure of eligibles is 800,000, but the Pew Hispanic Center says it will be 1.4 million. The bipartisan amnesty of the 1980s was estimated to top out at 1 million, but wholesale document fraud coupled with the lack of enforced sanctions increased the number to 3 million.
Obama undoubtedly thinks he will benefit from the mainstream media's continued failure to report the many costs to U.S. taxpayers of tolerating the influx of illegal aliens. According to Victor Davis Hanson, California is a showcase of the problem: taxes are the highest and rising, 70 percent of the last 10 million new Californians are on Medicaid; public schools have plunged to 48th and 49th in English and math test scores; and 50 percent of college freshmen need to take remedial courses.
Obama's pitch to illegal aliens is one more unlawful, unilateral, dictatorial action added to his administration's 21 specific violations of law that were itemized in an amazing document issued a few weeks ago by the Attorneys General of nine states.
Obama's gambit to admit illegal aliens will not help our country. It is clearly designed to help Obama attract a bloc of voters to re-elect him in November, and that's no excuse for violating the laws of the United States.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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