The Founding Fathers designed the separation of powers in our Constitution to protect us from tyranny. And, of course, that’s by far most important function of the Constitution’s checks and balances. But President Obama is finding out that it also can protect a president from undue political pressure.
Before he decided that he would further rewrite the law to suit open borders pressure groups on his own, President Obama himself said to a protestor who interrupted his speech in San Francisco, “if in fact I could solve all these problems without passing laws in Congress, then I would do so. But we’re also a nation of laws. That’s part of our tradition.”
However, he had already shown, with his implementation of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), an administrative version of the DREAM Act that failed to pass Congress, that to him, these were just empty words. Less than a year before implementing DACA, President Obama had in fact asserted that to do so would be a violation of the law. No wonder that open borders groups now brush aside assertions that he cannot simply do whatever they demand.
Now, though vulnerable Senate Democrats would prefer that the President not grant unilaterally before the election, there is little he can do to satisfy them without in turn angering the open borders pressure groups that believe there should be nothing stopping them from getting their way. As amnesty activist Lorella Praeli says, President Obama “has made certain promises to our community, and he has made those promises public.” She went on to threaten: “The truth is, nothing and no one will stand in the way of relief for our communities, and we will make sure everyone is held accountable.”
No matter what he does, President Obama is unlikely to satisfy every activist with a demand. For instance, some illegal alien pressure groups find a unilateral amnesty that excludes those with criminal records to be insufficient. But an amnesty that includes those with felony records is likely to cause even more distress to a public that has already rejected the President’s immigration policy, including some of the President’s own supporters. If the President had not unlawfully rejected Congress’ Constitutional authority to write the nation’s immigration laws, he could have deflected some of this pressure from himself onto members of Congress. But now he can’t.
It turns out, as much as President Obama likes to lament the confines of the American political system, it could have helped him, as well as the public. President Obama, having taught his open borders supporters that American political constraints do not apply, has also taught them that they have only him to blame for failing to satisfy all of their ultimatums.