Obama beats GOP to punch on immigration

B eating the will of the people to the punch is not part of the job description for presidents of the United States. Neither is altering or hamstringing laws with which a chief executive disagrees.

Yet that has been the story of President Barack Obama’s nearly six years in office. Because no one has been able to curtail his imperial presidency, he sees no reason to alter his behavior.

Thursday night, Obama used a nationally televised address to unveil a new exercise in abuse of power. He plans to make it official policy that about 5 million illegal immigrants may remain in the United States with no fear of apprehension and deportation.

That would in effect wipe the slate clean for nearly half the 11 million or so illegal immigrants living in the United States. Beyond any reasonable doubt, it also would be viewed by millions of other people in Central and South America as an incentive to come here illegally.

Obama insists he is acting because Congress has not adopted a reasonable plan of immigration reform. He neglects to mention that when conservatives have suggested improvements in immigration policy, he has made it clear he would veto them.

There is no clearer evidence of what the president has in mind than the timing of his announcement. Obama knew what he wanted to do before the Nov. 4 congressional elections. White House sources said he delayed making an announcement until after ballots had been cast.

Obviously, Obama knew his plan would be so unpopular that it could cost some Democrats their seats in the Senate and House of Representatives.

As it turned out, voters made a historic sweep of Democrat lawmakers. In early January – only about six weeks from now – a new Congress will take office. Both houses will be controlled by Republicans. Their leaders have said immigration reform will be one of their priorities.

Clearly, then, Obama wants to beat Congress to the punch. In doing so, he will be thumbing his nose at the will of the American people, expressed through their elected representatives in the House and Senate. He also will be changing existing law on illegal immigrants.

At issue is more than illegal immigration. Obama wants to be a one-man government. That is not how our country is supposed to work.