Monday, November 24, 2014

Catholic Vote: Obama Power Grab Is 'Lawless'

A very special message from

We support immigration reform.

But strongly oppose President Obama’s executive action announced last night.

That’s because the legislative process and our system of government matter. Presidents don’t dictate policy. If we accept that President Obama, or any future President, may selectively enforce laws based on his or her political preferences (even policies we agree with) --- our nation is in trouble.

Consider a few things following the President’s announcement last night:

As we predicted, the President’s move has fanned anti-immigrant flames. His temporary solution is not reform, is an insult to Congress, and has made real reform even more difficult.

Opposing this power grab doesn’t mean we support the status quo. CV supports immigration reform. Just not this way.

Legal scholars on both left and right agree this action is constitutionally dubious. Even President Obama admitted in March 2011 that this action was unconstitutional. You can watch the video here.

Americans are divided over how to best solve this issue. Some want to deport anyone here illegally. Others want to grant blanket amnesty. In our opinion, both of these answers are wrong.

As Catholics, we are called to respect the dignity of every human person - to welcome the stranger, clothe the naked, feed the hungry, defend the unborn. This does not mean we are obligated to grant legal status or citizenship to anyone and everyone. But it does mean, it seems, that we must work to treat those that wish to come to America with dignity and respect -- and to offer them a legal process that is fair, just, and orderly.

That said, the situation on our borders and in our immigration system is anything but dignified right now. Children are being led by criminals across the border, families are being torn apart, and gang and drug violence is rampant. It’s disgusting and it’s unsustainable.

Republicans must show real leadership and respond.

We expect to see a border security bill move through the Senate or House fairly quickly. This is a critical and necessary first step. But it is not enough. A real solution to the millions of illegal immigrants living and working in America must be addressed.

Republicans must respond firmly – but also calmly. Opponents of this power grab must explain why it is both lawless and reckless without resorting to equally reckless attacks on immigrants.

Members of Congress have the ability to slow down this action through the power of the purse. But defunding the President is not enough. Republicans should combine any response to curb the President’s power with reform proposals of their own.

America can be a welcoming country and still uphold its Constitution.

Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. 

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