Conn Carroll | Aug 11, 2014
Some pundits, like Vox’s Ezra Klein, believe that if Congress refuses to vote an any issue a president deems important, then the president is then empowered to make new law on that issue.
This is, of course, completely false. But The New York Times embraced that position Sunday with an editorial calling on President Obama to grant temporary amnesty to up to 5 million illegal immigrants currently in the United States today. Below is a paragraph-by-paragraph response to the Times’s editorial:
We don’t know the details. Mr. Obama and the Department of Homeland Security have not yet supplied the who, what, when or even, officially, whether. But Mr. Obama has promised to respond to Congress’s refusal to act on immigration reform. And the most obvious thing is to lift the threat of deportation from immigrants who should be the lowest priority for removal: those with citizen children, jobs, clean records and strong community ties. Some reports put the size of that group at four million to five million.
First of all, as noted above, the fact that Congress has not acted on an issue does not provide any justification for a president to act on his own.