What makes Obama’s actions so terribly different

By Charles Barr | The Save Jersey Blog

“Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.”

Ronald Reagan accepted the presidency on a mid-January afternoon, urging the American people past, present, and future to recall the achievements of the Founding Fathers and renew their quest for individual liberty and their confidence in self-government.

Today, confidence in self-government is at odds with the fabric of history and eradicates even the most basic premise of individual liberty.  

Life, liberty, and property are the most cherished rights of man. The United States has a proud history of defending these rights and remains the only nation that can proclaim its enduring spirit is inextricably linked to defending them for generations to come.

The United States welcomes all people on the condition they embrace and learn the civic culture and political institutions in the country. Everyone on earth has a chance at life, liberty, and property, no matter what their past or future holds.

As the Constitution clearly states in Article One, Section Eight: Congress has the authority to “establish a uniform rule of naturalization.”

And in Article Two, Section Three: the President can, “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.”

Congress has passed numerous naturalization acts, the most recent being in 2001. Even going back to the Immigration and Reform Control Act, passed by Congress in 1986 and granting amnesty to 3 million illegal immigrants, Congress approved the rule of naturalization. Both Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush acted on executive orders to faithfully execute the laws that Congress passed.

This isn’t a post wrestling with the question of whether executive actions are constitutional.

My point is simply that both Reagan and Bush were acting within some Constitutional boundary. Congress passed the law and the President faithfully executed it to the best extent they could.

On Thursday night, Barack Obama granted amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants residing in the United States by executive order. Let’s be clear: the difference between Obama’s actions and those of his predecessors’ is that Congress hasn’t acted on immigration in recent history.

Let me be blunt: I personally support amnesty by act of Congress. But I don’t support Obama’s disregard for the Constitution.

The process to become an American citizen is costly. According to the Department of Homeland Security’s website (don’t ask me why it’s on there), the cost for the application alone can total an upwards of $680. The requirements also include a minimum permanent residence in the United States for 3 years and passing a test on the English language and the history of the United States.

If those requirements weren’t hard enough to meet, the constant flow of illegal immigrants into the United States is also aided by the $64.34 billion from drug sale proceeds; simply put, we can’t ignore the vacuum the United States creates by artificially inflating drug prices by supporting drug prohibition aides in the smuggling of illegal immigrants, weapons, drugs, among thefts, and kidnappings across the southern border.

Conversely, President Obama would not be able to prevent or stop illegal immigration into the United States with an executive order that disregards the causes for illegal immigration in the first place.

Allowing 5 million illegal immigrants to become naturalized citizens would extend the chance to pursue life, liberty, and property to a historic number of human beings. I don’t see many drawbacks to that. However, I would suggest that President Obama allow the Republican Congress in January a chance to act on immigration and the underlying cause of the influx of illegal immigrants.

The immediate problems with immigration, as outlined above, are what President Obama should urge Congress to tackle before wading into amnesty. But above all else, Save Jerseyans, President Obama should not be the one to act alone on the problems.

One more time: I want as many people as possible to have a chance at life, liberty, and property without restrictions on who they are or where they come from. That’s why I support amnesty by act of Congress.

The achievements of our founding generation are too great to turn our backs on the millions of immigrants who built this nation. They welcomed all people who wanted to work toward a better future. That’s what the American tradition entails: one nation made from many peoples- e pluribus unum.  

What Ronald Reagan said, though, rings true in this particular instance on morning after President Obama’s power grab as well as many others: “Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.”