Reportedly, the order that is being drafted by the White House would empower Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to extend what is known as "deferred action" on the cases of millions of illegal aliens that would otherwise face deportation.
In response to the leak of the news of this plan, several senators have sent a letter to President Obama asking for clarification of the proposed scope and purpose of the amnesty order.
Eight senators signed the query: Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa); Orrin Hatch (R-Utah); Saxby Chambliss; David Vitter (R-La.); Jim Bunning (R-Ky.); Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.); James Inhofe (R-Okla.); and Thad Cochran (R-Miss.). The text of the letter follows:
Dear President Obama:
We understand that there’s a push for your Administration to develop a plan to unilaterally extend either deferred action or parole to millions of illegal aliens in the United States. We understand that the Administration may include aliens who have willfully overstayed their visas or filed for benefits knowing that they will not be eligible for a status for years to come. We understand that deferred action and parole are discretionary actions reserved for individual cases that present unusual, emergent or humanitarian circumstances. Deferred action and parole were not intended to be used to confer a status or offer protection to large groups of illegal aliens, even if the agency claims that they look at each case on a “case-by-case” basis.
While we agree our immigration laws need to be fixed, we are deeply concerned about the potential expansion of deferred action or parole for a large illegal alien population. While deferred action and parole are Executive Branch authorities, they should not be used to circumvent Congress’ constitutional authority to legislate immigration policy, particularly as it relates to the illegal population in the United States.
The Administration would be wise to abandon any plans for deferred action or parole for the illegal population. Such a move would further erode the American public’s confidence in the federal government and its commitment to securing the borders and enforcing the laws already on the books.
We would appreciate receiving a commitment that the Administration has no plans to use either authority to change the current position of a large group of illegal aliens already in the United States, and ask that you respond to us about this matter as soon as possible.
The fact that even a breath of such a threat from the White House exists is evidence of the success achieved by the citizens of this republic in keeping Congress from voting on any of the various amnesty proposals.
While the White House remains mum on plans to circumvent the separation of powers established by the Constitution, it is presumed that any executive order affecting the immigration status of the millions of illegals that have invaded the nation over the past decade would contain a grant of some level of work and residency rights until such time as Congress can be cajoled, charmed, bullied, and/or bought into passing President Obama's vision of giving every illegal a Community Chest card allowing them to "Get Out of Deportation Free."
Surprisingly, President Obama's zeal for unilaterally and unconstitutionally covering a multitude of sins with a blanket of amnesty has attracted support from an unlikely amen corner.
At a recent Brookings Institute conference, many of the nation's most influential religious leaders expressed sympathy with the plight of illegal immigrants and their support for various shades of amnesty legislation.
The liberal conclave of the Christian church is extending a warm hand of ecumenical fellowship to spokesmen of more traditional denominations (Southern Baptists and the independent evangelical movement) that are seeming to side with them in the amnesty debate.
The Reverend Richard Land, head of the Southern Baptist public policy commission, encouraged federal officials to continue working on an immigration package that would grant illegals "a period of grace" during which they could "come forward and register and begin a pathway" toward "earned, legal status" regardless of the laws they flouted in order to enter this country. Apparently, there is a feeling among many Christian conservative leaders that obedience to the law is no longer a fundamental principle of Christian dogma.
Matthew Staver of Liberty University Law School, a school established by the late evangelical icon, Jerry Falwell, recently described deportation of illegal immigrants as "not moral" and not "biblical either." Has the rewarding of lawlessness become more moral than the punishment of wrongdoing?
Katharine Jefferts Schori, is the 26th Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church. She was the first woman elected as a primate of the worldwide Anglican Communion. When questioned recently about how to marry the official position of her church with the antipodean position of the congregation that seem more committed to the perpetuation of the rule of law in America, Bishop Schori responded, "The role of the prophetic tradition is to challenge laws and structures that appear to be unjust.... We are meant to see every human being as our neighbor."
Apparently, according to Bishop Schori's interpretation of Christian doctrine, treating one's neighbor as himself means allowing the neighbor to break into one's home, steal his belongings, and expect not only no punishment, but reward for the act.
The Brookings Institute itself recognized the unusual level of concord among religious leaders with regard to the amnesty issue:
"Religious leaders have demonstrated a remarkable degree of unity across theological, denominations, and ideological lines for comprehensive immigration reform. Religious groups have organized marches, prayer vigils and postcard campaigns to pressure the U.S. Congress to take up immigration reform."
Unless the concerned and educated citizens of this republic waste and wear out their lives in the manly defense of the Constitution of the United States, then we will be left without so much as a prayer for the perpetuation of our liberties and the rights with which we have been kept free.
Photo: At a rally at the Arizona Capitol on April, 25, 2010, activists called on President Obama to fight Arizona's law againt illegal immigration. U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva of (D-Ariz) told about 3,500 protesters that the Obama administration can help defeat the law by refusing to cooperate: AP Images