Congressman Ron DeSantis (R-FL) is becoming very popular with the grassroots of the GOP for his willingness to say the hard things that others in the establishment work to avoid. In his most recent newsletter to his supporters, the Congressman reminds us all that the President has no power to change our laws!
The President cannot change the law. This is a central principle of our constitutional system. When President Obama announced he was taking “executive action” regarding illegal immigration, his defenders said that Obama’s actions, which include issuing 5 million work permits and Social Security numbers to illegal immigrants, did not constitute changing the law but was merely an exercise of “discretion.”
This defense has been, shall we say, complicated by the President’s own statements. During a speech following the announcement of his executive action, he told a heckler in the audience, “what you are not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law.” At a hearing before the House Homeland Security Committee, Rep. Jason Chaffetz from Utah confronted DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson about the President’s admission. Judge for yourself by watching the clip if you believe Johnson’s response is credible. I sure don’t.
Congress needs to defend the Constitution, reassert its authority, and check the President. Congress should use the power of the purse to bar any funds from being used to issue work permits or Social Security numbers to illegal immigrants. It is clear that conferring positive benefits on illegal immigrants is more than simply a use of enforcement discretion. In addition, no funds should be appropriated to hire the 1,000 workers that DHS is seeking to administer the amnesty applications. Finally, the U.S. Senate should require all nominees to relevant executive branch posts, such as Attorney General and Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, to state whether they believe the President can issue 5 million work permits and Social Security numbers to illegal immigrants. If a nominee answers yes then the Senate can vote the nominee down.
The whole premise of the constitutional system is that when one branch attempts to usurp the authority of another branch, the affected branch will seek to check the usurpation. The failure to use constitutional checks effectively green lights the accumulation of power in a single branch. This is exactly what the Constitution was designed to avoid.
Oh, that we had more representatives like Congressman DeSantis willing to stand up to the establishment and the powers that be for our freedom!