Morality vs. US Constitution

Dividing our country is the only option Obama has left to win the next election.

Over the course of the last 2 years, both here in Wisconsin and on the national scene, we have been treated to numerous concepts that have pitted one group of people against another all in the name of securing votes.  For instance, the occupy movement is attempting divide the 1% against the 99% based on personal income.  The Democratic Party attempted (both locally and nationally) to create a divide between Republican candidates and women.  Those opponents to Voter ID bills have insisted that supporting such bills is akin to having literacy tests at the voting booths.  Now we have a President using power not invested in the Executive Branch that creates a divide between the US Constitution and your morality.

Last week the President announced that he is side stepping Congress, the will of the people and granting amnesty to a certain population of illegal immigrants.  Taking his ideas from the unsuccessful Dream Act, the administration will no longer be deporting people who:

  • Came to the United States under the age of 16.
  • Have continuously resided in the United States for at least five years preceding the date of the memorandum and are present in the United States on the date of the memorandum.
  • Are currently in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a general education development certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States.
  • Have not been convicted of a felony offence, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise poses a threat to national security or public safety.
  • Are not above the age of 30.

In doing this he has created a divide between those that feel the US is morally responsible for caring people who live in this country illegally and those who demand a President who respects the constitution and want lasting immigration reform.

Many on both sides of the aisle understand that deportation of 800k of immigrants (as most assume exist within this age group) is impractical and something in the style of the Dream Act is a good starting point.  However, it has been cut short because it does little to stop the influx of new illegal immigrants.  This is where the President is attempting to insert a battle over your morality into the equation.

The age group and lifestyles of the people listed in the Presidents Executive Order are younger individuals.  There are dynamics at play within this age group that could have a broader effect on amnesty.  You could have children attending school while living with their parents, who presumably would be over the age of 30, you have people with in the normal age of child bearing and a group may have little history and highly mobile.  All of which can easily lead to more then the expected 800k currently residing in the US being granted visas.  Why?  Lets look at some examples that have been used in the past.

First case, let’s assume we have an illegal immigrant in high school that live with their presumably illegal parents, who wants to toss parents out of the country while the child is left behind.  This would also draw into play any siblings that fail to meet this criteria, can we justifiably deport them also?  Second case, our illegal immigrant is now out of high school or college and has a job, in that time he or she has married and had kids.  Of course the children born here belong here legally, but does the other parent or children that may not have been born in the US.  Can we break up that family?  Third, every Mexican with a dream of coming to the US now knows what must be accomplished or better yet, he knows what must be said to have been accomplished.   What is the price for falsified school and/or employment records?

While the idea of solving our immigration problem becomes tantalizing, the President is using what he feels is your morality as a way to buy the votes of the Hispanics.  He knows when one of these immigration scenarios makes the 24hr news cycle, those wishing to protect our country by the implementation of common sense immigration will be pitted against those asking were the morality is in sending someone back to Mexico.  They will ask: “Don’t all people have the right to a better life?”, “How can you separate this family?”,  “Are you some kind of racist?”.  All the while completely ignoring the breach of constitution that is this Executive Order.  Obama said as much:

In an interview with Univision television earlier this year, President   Obama said that he can’t just “waive away the laws that Congress put in place” and that “the president doesn’t have the authority to simply ignore Congress and say, ‘We’re not going to enforce the laws that you’ve passed.”’

So here is the new divide as created by the President, Democrats and the left in the America.  They will exploit the problem of immigration, promising a solution they cannot uphold and subverting the will of the people in order to secure votes from Hispanics.  Those mindful of the constitution will be told of the immorality and inhumanity of their position.  Not unlike the false accusations of wealth creation in America, Republican hatred of women and those who are called racists for wanting to secure our voting process; US citizens expecting true immigration reform will be demonized.

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James R Hoffa June 22, 2012 at 01:03 AM
It amazes me that we can deploy and bring back nearly 12 million of our armed forces during our active involvement in WWII, which lasted all of four years, but for some reason or another, we've had trouble containing our own borders and expelling those that have no right to be here over the last 30 years! The only policy that makes sense all around is that if you’re here illegally, then you're GONE as soon as you get caught, period - no exceptions!
Lyle Ruble June 22, 2012 at 01:17 AM
@J.B. Schmidt...An interesting and well written blog, but I have some problems with your supposition and following logic. I don't see the the "morality argument" as a problem. This argument has been used now for decades and has had very little impact on people's actions or positions. I really don't think it is a choice of morality verse constitutionality. The best argument put forth in support of the executive order is a rational utilitarian one. It is cheaper and easier to allow this group of individuals to become legal than continuing this charade of ignoring potentially good and productive citizens. President Obama's executive order may or may not be unconstitutional. Even if it is ruled constitutional the congress can take it upon itself to pass a law vacating the executive order and replace it with something else. Therefore, it is neither a issue of morality verse the constitution or even a constitutional issue.
Bren June 22, 2012 at 01:55 AM
Back in 2005 Jim Sensenbrenner was at the heart of the immigration issue. I attended one of his town hall meetings that year. His main point on the issue was that business fuels illegal immigration. As long as people want a nanny, cheap roof repair, labor, etc., we will have this issue. Emotions aside, the cost to find and process illegal aliens is high in terms of price and effort. A relative worked for a fair sized company and learned that they employed illegal workers. Their names were changed on rosters, etc., about every 6 weeks. They earned less than half of what documented workers made. With this much effort put into hiding illegal workers, magnified by the number of businesses and households that use/exploit illegal workers, little cooperation could be expected.
James R Hoffa June 22, 2012 at 02:33 AM
@Bren - Ok then, here is the solution to that situation: If a citizen gets caught knowingly harboring, hiding, protecting, employing, etc an illegal alien, then that person's citizenship is immediately and summarily revoked and they too are deported! Problem solved!
Dirk Gutzmiller June 22, 2012 at 04:43 AM
Illegal immigration was fueled by business people, and some individuals, looking for cheap labor. These illegal sponsors were, by a great majority, Republicans. I find it ironic that the Republicans want to get real tough with those hard working people they once hired and employed. Use'em, then jerk'em. Republican morality. Let that be a lesson to all those who buy into Republicans wanting to help the working man, or working woman, or any woman, or any child except their own..
J. B. Schmidt June 22, 2012 at 04:58 AM
@Lyle I think the problem lies in the fact that the morality of the country, which the people have a chance to influence with their vote, has be subverted by a president telling people in his administration to no longer follow the law. Secondly, that this was done for no further reason the vote buying. If Obama had made this decision when he first came into office or directly after the congress voted down the dream act, I might find some respect in what he is doing. The problem with allowing this group of citizens to just become legal is that could be a never ending amnesty program since you have no way to stop in the influx of new illegals. If the door remains open, we could repeat the process every 5 years and make any attempt at immigration control useless.
J. B. Schmidt June 22, 2012 at 05:00 AM
@Hoffa Ouch! That is even extreme for me. I can't justify a punishment that is more harsh then the one currently handed out for things like murder or child molestation. If you wish to include murderers or child molester in that deportation plane, then I am good with your plan.
J. B. Schmidt June 22, 2012 at 05:04 AM
@Dirk Please site your source that Republicans are sponsoring more illegal via breaking immigration law in their business practice. I can show you liberal socialist policy over and over that wishes to provide government money to illegals for things like medical care, schooling, housing and fully functioning rest stops on the dirt trials between the US and Mexican Border. Which is more likely to sponsor illegals? The Republicans forcing them to work for a business doing manual labor or the Democrats giving everything for free.
Lyle Ruble June 22, 2012 at 11:46 AM
@J.B. Schmidt...What is the morality of the country? There are national normative values, but that doesn't necessarily translate into morality. The normative values are influenced by voters, but there is constant dickering over which values to affirm and which to not affirm. The issues that the president is addressing are matters concerning very practical matters and are also social justice issues. The action of an executive order is only taken when congress either refuses to act or can't act because of partisanship. This is the case with the "Dream Act". At this moment in time, illegal immigration is down because of large scale unemployment. It is obvious to me and anyone else that the president choose this time for the E.O. for political reasons. Is he buying the Latino vote, sure he is. I think it is legitimate to criticize the timing and intent, but he is definitely doing the right thing. The same can be said for his new found support of same sex marriages, but again it is the right thing to do. The long term solution to the problem is to start up a liberal guest worker program and to create severe penalties for those who employ illegals. I have been in meat packing plants when INS moved in and started loading illegals onto buses. The companies employing them were given warnings and this is a continuing process.
J. B. Schmidt June 22, 2012 at 01:23 PM
@Lyle However, the voters decided what the national normative values were. The dream act does not have national support. Whether or not you think the President did the right thing is meaningless in our style of government. The president is using his authority to allow laws to not be enforced. If something like that is allowed, where does it end?
Johnny Blade June 22, 2012 at 06:12 PM
Stop all the freakin handouts .. and everyone is free to come here like ellis island. Where is the morality of forcing me by gun, jail or fines to pay for someone elses life
Lyle Ruble June 22, 2012 at 07:37 PM
@J.B. Schmidt...It stops when congress passes legislation. This congress has gotten away with shutting everything down over ideological issues. Congress is the ultimate arbitrator over the laws passed, if they refuse to cooperate and pass laws, then the president has a duty to put in place regulations that continue to do the nation's business.
J. B. Schmidt June 22, 2012 at 08:13 PM
@Lyle Obama did not issue new laws nor did he issue an executive order renouncing any others. He simply is telling portions of his administration to ignore current laws on the books. Accepting that your leader has the ability to ignore laws (or allow his administration) is to accept a dictator. Congress has no effect on which laws the administration chooses to follow. Congress has spoken with the will of the people and said that the provisions Obama wants to ignore, are current law. Whether you or he find this to be the correct course of action is meaningless. For the Executive Branch of US to ignore one law is as dangerous as an Executive Branch that can ignore all laws.
Lyle Ruble June 22, 2012 at 08:28 PM
@J.B. Schmidt...You need to look a little deeper into the issue of Executive Orders. It is highly controversial and the constitutionality has been questioned. You need to look at precedence. It could be used by a dictator, but congress does have the power to change the E.O. by passing a law overturning the specific E.O.
J. B. Schmidt June 22, 2012 at 08:41 PM
@Lyle How would congress overturn this? Obama has not changed immigration law. The laws as passed are still in existence as the laws of the land. Obama is just telling his administration to ignore them, allowing immigration officials the luxury to deport or not deport illegals on a whim or allegiance. Congress has its hands tied. That is a dictator style move, to side step and/or eliminate the authority of Congress.
Lyle Ruble June 22, 2012 at 08:44 PM
@J.B. Schmidt...Congress could enforce the current law by taking it to the courts. The second is by passing a new law specifically addressing the breach of regulations. If the president continued not to enforce the law, then he can be impeached.
Greg June 23, 2012 at 02:44 AM
After that, I'd really like to hear Dirk's take on the Republicans involvement with slavery.
Greg June 23, 2012 at 02:48 AM
I think to be naturalized, an immigrant needs to understand more about the Constitution and powers of Government than Obama does.
Dirk Gutzmiller June 25, 2012 at 05:39 AM
@J.B. - You have your typical, ugly view of humanity. And your last resort defense of asking those opposing your view to cite their references, even when the facts are overwhelmingly accepted and obvious, displays a desperate, reclusive view of the outside world. The overwhelming majority of illegal immigrants came here for jobs, and those jobs were not with the government. Are you actually denying that? They were mostly with private companies looking for cheap labor. Are you denying that? Most private companies are run by Republicans. Denying that? Now that the Great Recession hit five years ago, many of these illegals are surplus. Republican response: Toss'em, don't need'em, get'em out of here, blame the liberals baby. When you spin and spin and spin, you get dizzy.
Dirk Gutzmiller June 25, 2012 at 05:45 AM
@Greg - Slavery. Once again, cheap labor imported by private companies and individuals. Then tossed into the refuse pile. .
Dirk Gutzmiller June 25, 2012 at 05:48 AM
Greg - Good thing you were born in this Country. By your own standards, you would be forced to be an illegal alien to get into America..
Bren June 25, 2012 at 07:02 AM
Jim Sensenbrenner also blamed businesses for hiring illegals. The teeth were pulled out of the legislation that fined businesses heavily for being found using illegal workers during the Reagan administration (according to JS). Now it's a "cost of business" he said. I asked him about the Bush administration's suspension of the prevailing wage laws in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina, and giving contracts to out of state businesses instead of local companies to help the area rebuild. Those out of state contractors subcontracted, and the employees of many of the subcontractors were illegal workers brought in primarily from Central America. Many of them stayed, creating a Hispanic population in the region that hadn't been there before. Sensenbrenner asserted that he was on record as not being in agreement with GWB on this issue. So 8 years ago there was dissent between the radical wing of the GOP (Bush) and the traditional conservatives (Sensenbrenner). Mr. Hoffa, it seems that hiring illegals is tied to greed. We cannot punish greed for this course of action without doing the same for Wall Street, can we? That would be hypocritical. There are millions of illegal aliens in this country. Barack Obama has been deporting far more of them than George W. Bush has, but I believe JS's estimate in 2005 was 20 million illegals in the U.S. What is the logical, best solution to this issue?
Bren June 25, 2012 at 07:12 AM
I remember hearing about a study some years back about how many Americans would fail the immigration test. It was surprisingly high. Immigration is important for our country, and I respect the people of other nations who follow their dream of American citizenship legally. As a teenager I was given the assignment of processing all of the paperwork for a relative by marriage who seeking their U.S. green card. Later, that experience came in handy when I actually worked with an immigration consulting firm. It's important to follow the rules carefully in filing papers in a timely manner, and the U.S. Government is on the whole very willing to work with immigrants who have not committed crimes in the U.S. or their home country and provide information as and when required, even if a visa has expired.
Eric June 25, 2012 at 05:25 PM
J.B., agree with your analysis, the administration is just campaigning to secure support from its various constituencies. But that after all, is an essence of democracy. Granted we were lead to believe this president would be above such cynical things, but we've also heard the president is a very competitive person. So while the president's political behavior may be disappointing to some, it should hardly be surprising. Regarding the two layers to the immigration question: 1) Moral: Should the child be held accountable for the sins of the parents? 2) Legality: a. Enforce immigration laws at the borders b. Eliminate incentives to break immigration law: prosecute employers who knowingly employ illegal immigrants, address the misuse of the constitutional amendment intended to insure the citizenship of former slaves (NOT citizenship for the children of foreign nationals born on US soil), penalize those who have entered this country illegally The easy legal answer appears to be that the sins of the parents should be revisited on the children, but some will argue lax government enforcement of the borders and employment laws would appear to make our government complicit, and by extension all of us. Politically I don't like what the president just did, but it’s understandable, predictable. Regarding minor illegal immigrants, as you point out, it is a complicated policy issue, but morally, when do we require children to pay for their parent's sins?


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