President Obama’s immigration speech was a brazen, unapologetic attempt to shift the blame for the border crisis from himself to House Republicans. His tortured logic is that America is experiencing a border surge of unaccompanied illegal aliens because the GOP didn’t pass the Senate amnesty bill. He blamed others, refused to admit it’s his own lax enforcement policies that have fueled the problem, and declared he’ll simply accomplish what he wants, when he wants by executive action. Petulant and un-presidential, Mr. Obama once again dismissed the separation of powers and gave a middle finger salute to the authority of Congress to regulate immigration.
Most Presidents having done that – although we can’t think of any who ever actually did – would be well advised to avoid Capitol Hill after such scurrility. Yet, next week, President Obama will audaciously ask the same legislative body he just dissed and intends to usurp for $2 billion in funding to help manage the flow of illegal aliens flooding across the border.
If politics is gamesmanship, Congress has the winning-hand right now and a royal flush comes to mind. Obama’s lax immigration policies have blown up in his face and now the House of Representatives has something he needs; money and lots of it.
Congress needs to administer tough love and set forth the parameters of the deal: “We’ll give you the money to house and process these kids, but in return you’re going to guarantee they’ll be removed, you’re going to stop abusing executive power and you’re going to start enforcing the immigration laws as we intended. The nonsense stops now.”
If the current crisis doesn’t compel Congress to exercise its “power of the purse” with course-correcting conditions, when will it ever?