A federal judge ruled Tuesday that large parts of President Obama’s executive immigration order are unconstitutional, in the first court opinion to address Obama’s controversial actions.
U.S. District Court Judge Arthur Schwab in Pennsylvania said Obama’s immigration order was effectively “legislation” handed down from the Executive Branch, thus invalid and unconstitutional.
“President Obama’s unilateral legislative action violates the separation of powers provided for in the United States Constitution as well as the Take Care Clause, and therefore, is unconstitutional,” Judge Schwab wrote.
However, it is unclear what impact, if any, the opinion might have other than adding momentum to critics’ legal argument, because it did not come in response to a challenge to Obama’s immigration policy announcement. In a separate lawsuit, half of the country is united against the order that would grant roughly 5 million illegals legal status, a development that came just a week after the Republican-controlled House voted to strip the order.
Schwab handed down his opinion in UNITED STATES vs. ELIONARDO JUAREZ-ESCOBAR, which was a response to a criminal case against the Honduran illegal immigrant (Elionardo Juarez-Escobar), who was previously deported in 2005 and caught again in the U.S. earlier this year.
Juarez-Escobar had pleaded guilty to “re-entry of a removed alien,” but the court also examined the impact of Obama’s past and present immigration actions on the case. While Judge Schwab said it is possible the actions might apply to Juarez-Escobar’s situation, it doesn’t matter, because he determined the executive actions, themselves, are unconstitutional.
The president’s immigration action went beyond oft-cited “prosecutorial discretion,” as “discretion” is only granted to the administration after illegal immigrants are prosecuted and the actions taken are specifically prohibited by laws already passed by the U.S. Congress.
Judge Schwab, a George W. Bush appointee, also said “discretion” is only allowed on a “case-by-case” basis, but Obama’s order is a “systematic and rigid process” that applies to a “broad range” of decisions immigrants. Also, the judge ruled that the action gives illegal immigrants “quasi-United States citizens,” and goes far beyond deferring deportation by letting beneficiaries apply for work authorization.
“Congressional inaction does not endow legislative power with the Executive,” the judge wrote, which was a citation of Obama’s argument. Obama argued that he was proceeding with executive action after Congress failed to act on comprehensive immigration legislation, but that’s just not how the Constitution was written.
The Obama administration via the Justice Department tried to shrug off the opinion.
“The decision is unfounded and the court had no basis to issue such an order,” a DOJ spokesperson said in a statement. “No party in the case challenged the constitutionality of the immigration-related executive actions and the department’s filing made it clear that the executive actions did not apply to the criminal matter before the court. Moreover, the court’s analysis of the legality of the executive actions is flatly wrong. We will respond to the court’s decision at the appropriate time.”
Critics, however, say this is just the first in a slew of open-and-shut decisions on what is clearly an unconstitutional act by the president.
“The President’s unilateral executive action suspending the nation’s immigration laws for roughly five million illegal aliens has received its first judicial test, and it has failed,” John Eastman, law professor at Chapman University, said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the states suing Obama over his unilateral amnesty order now include Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, South Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen last week was assigned to hear the legal challenge. Judge Hanen, who was appointed to the bench in 2002 by President Bush, said the Obama administration was involved in the “criminal conspiracy” involving defendant Mirtha Veronica Nava-Martinez, a mother who paid $6,000 to smuggle her child from El Salvador to Virginia.
(READ MORE: Obama Talks Immigration As Half The Nation Joins Lawsuit Against Executive Order)
The Obama administration is also urging dismissal of a lawsuit brought by an Arizona sheriff, Joe Arpaio, who contends that President Barack Obama’s program serves as a magnet for more illegal entries into the U.S. Arpaio says the new arrivals will commit crimes and thus burden his law enforcement resources.
In a court filing late Monday, the Justice Department told U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell that the sheriff’s theory is speculative, “meritless” and unsubstantiated. They said that Arpaio has failed to show he will suffer any injury at all from the federal government’s program, thus leaving him without standing.
Rehbock / December 17, 2014
Only proves that not all judges belong on the Federal Bench.
Ancalimon / December 17, 2014
Actually your comment proves you have no comprehension or respect for the Constitution of the United States and the separation of power between the Legislative, the Judicial and the Executive.
Cindy Xi / December 17, 2014
You would think good Liberals would oppose this amnesty bill.
Allowing illegals to stay takes jobs away from America’s poorest citizens and job competition lowers their wages.
Allowing illegals to stay means they suck up social services funds that should go to struggling American citizens.
Allowing illegals to stay floods our hospitals with people seeking free medical care making medical care more expensive for all citizens. Mine is up to $450/month. I’m a healthy 28 year old female. (Contrast this to my $26/month auto insurance from Insurance Panda or my $15/month renters insurance from Eagle or my $15/month dental from Delta)
Allowing illegals to stay increases population which increases pollution and urban sprawl. (just look at LA)
Allowing illegals to stay floods our schools with thier spawn taking resources meant for our kids education.
Allowing illegals to stay helps businesses to operate with cheap non-union labor.
So why do Liberals support amnesty when it hurts most of the people and issues they support?
Dave Francis / December 17, 2014
THE US CONSTITUTION MUST BE UPHELD?
A U.S. District Court judge
yesterday ruled that President Obama’s executive directive successfully
granting amnesty to 5 millions or more illegal aliens, guaranteeing against
prosecution plus the provision of positive legal benefits — violates the US
Constitution. In this 38 page opinion Judge Arthur J. Schwab held that this
president’s action exceeds executive authority.
IN Judge Schwab opinion the complainants were provided a measured and
descriptive rebuttal of Obama’s attempt to grant amnesty to millions of illegal
aliens that should have been welcomed by the extreme right? However, the
Republican hierarchy on Capitol Hill met the abuttal with an ominous chilly
hush and unfriendly whispers. It is suggested the reason Capitol Hill
Republican establishment has been silent for two reasons: first, it convinces
me Obama’s amnesty that they had no intention in truth of fighting this issue,
and secondly, it demonstrates that Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Mike Lee (R-KY) were correct,
that is something the Republican establishment just cannot stomach, because
they don’t get their discount slave labor.
OBAMA executive order is now invalid and every red blooded
American has heard the truth from the bench, although the Justice Department condemned
THE Republican godfathers are hypocrites and worse, as they
really had no intentions of battling King Obama on his illegal executive order.
In actual fact they wanted the illegal alien invaders to settle here or the new
surges of people at the Southern border which is still wide open on Obamas
orders. Under these circumstances the Republican Elites blaming the outgoing
administration. Anybody with one brain cell can see through the cracked mirror
that the career GOP can witness their clever ploy in a backlash on House speaker John
Boehner (R-OH), and inward bound Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, (R-KY)
had stealthily arranged this behind the proverbial closed doors.
SO now the American people know where they stand, as it seems
an arranged compromise between the Godfathers of GOP and the Democrats. The
Leftists need those 5 million votes to keep their continuing Socialistic
Communistic agenda to control us, while the Republicans have to appease their
business money contributors. For the average American taxpayer, just more taxes
to pay for the millions of illegal aliens. The higher ups, don’t care and have
literary ignored the peoples demand to stop Obamas amnesty. If either political
party were ever serious about stopping this economic threat, the US/Mexican
border would be highly enforced which it hasn’t since the original massive
amnesty of 1986.
BY now tourists and others would be fully vetted at
airports—coming and going. The automatic citizenship of illegal alien children
would be have been amended, which is yet another crushing tax on Americans. The
dollar figure for each state and federal treasury is not released in most cases
and the fact that Sen. Harry Reid (R-NV), halted any investigation of
fraudulent child tax credits of 2013–6 billion dollars, which does not include
other tax credits. Then the sponsorship travesty of Chain Migration that should
be rescinded, as eventually taxpayers once again must bare the costs for the
extended nuclear family members.
IT makes no difference if Americans are frustrated or
complain about a tax code that is only for the benefit of special interest and
its lobbyists–Its welfare for Industry and corporations. No matter the
majority of our nations rule of law, our sovereignty or the constitution King
Obama and his Imperial court pay no attention what the people want and its
fundamentally the same with the Hard-core Republicans who want that never
ending stream of cheap labor. In the Department of labor statistics, 92 million
Americans are out of a job, and this administration wants to swamp the job
market, with people who have stolen jobs, stolen social security cards?
And of course Ted Cruz was right, along with Mike Lee, as
Obama’s executive action entered in the bill is ready to be signed by our
DeFacto dictator. Now all patriotic people are watching and listening to see if
these pathetic well-heeled Republicans are actual ready carry out their word of
honor TO STOP THIS DEFACTO AMNESTY. Trouble is most American doesn’t see it that
way, as both Democrats and Republicans have been brought by corporate interests
and a long list of lobbyists on K Street. Liberal Democrats are on a different
track; looking for those valuable votes—illegal or legal, radical minority
groups, unions, environmentalists and liberal millionaires.
Money is their commodity that comes with the political
territory, as it governs the favors of paying for the politician’s campaign
chests. The donors pay for television commercials, the banquets, and foreign
conferences tagging along with the family and anything money can buy. It’s a
corrupt system and only by changing the system to a fair and equal means will
the corruption end. Only by public financing as European democracies run their
elections can we expect change. Until then the corruption will continue,
especially among the career godfathers;
What their money contributors want is access to the political
policies, to amend or alter any provision in their favor—and they do, by buying
Now you have
been sold out by this President and 99 percent of the politico’s and we will be
ready with our votes to remove all corrupt politicians from office in 2016 who
voted for his anti-middle class agenda. Here
is the phone Numbers and Mailing Addresses of
Members of Congress
The TEA PARTY members are urged to pick-up the phone. US Capitol Switchboard (202)
224-3121; (the toll free
number is 1- 866-220-0044)
and join other conservatives who are committed to flood the phone lines on
Capitol Hill with this simple message. A very reliable website designed for
those against illegal immigration is Americans for Legal
Immigration PAC http://www.alipac.us