The Means Matter
Author: Chris Johnson  


Immigration is an incredibly complicated issue.

For compassionate hearts, there is no simple solution, as too far-reaching of a policy would have a devastating effect on both “good” and “bad” people, and too narrow of a policy would be exploited.

Illegal immigrants are often fleeing terrible living conditions, seeking the best for their families and opportunities they could never have back home.

These are not excuses for their breaking our laws, they are the actual reasons that poor families travel hundreds of miles, often to find work that few Americans would find appealing.

Yet, sadly, no matter the pull on our heart strings, that doesn’t make what they’ve done any less illegal; nor does it make up for the villains who take the same routes, not to escape drug lords and poverty, but to smuggle drugs and commit violence.

Most compelling of all is the plight of children who are brought here illegally by their parents, who have lived their whole lives in the United States, and who have no ties to their homeland whatsoever.

Can you imagine being dropped by yourself in the middle of Mexico and being told, “This is your home now, good luck?”

Would it help if you were told you had been there as a baby?

Of course not! Yet, that’s what many illegal immigrant children, largely raised in the US, live in fear of. Mexico and Guatemala and Nicaragua are as foreign to them as they are to you and me.

And, as you may know, President Trump just made that fear a little more real when he announced the end of Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, usually called DACA.

By this time, you’ve probably drawn a conclusion as to where I stand on this issue - that’s understandable, as emotional pleas generally take the place of logical arguments these days – but I actually support President Trump’s revoking Obama’s DACA executive order.

It’s not because of any specific immigration policy that I support in its place, rather it’s based on a crucial principal required by honest people.

The means matter.

As Rich Lowry says at the National Review, “In a country with a firmer commitment to its Constitution and the rule of law, there’d be robust argument over how to deal with the DACA recipients — so-called DREAMers who were brought here by their illegal-immigrant parents as children — but no question that Congress is the appropriate body for considering the matter, not the executive branch.”

There would be argument over the specific law, but agreement over where the law must come from: Congress.

As we noted above, DACA did not originate in Congress, it was rather an executive order issued by Barack Obama. In fact, Obama did not issue that order until Congress had tried and failed to enact a more practical immigration policy.

And, in trying to push Congress towards such legislation, he said things like this, lots of times:

“With respect to the notion that I can just suspend deportations through executive order, that’s just not the case,because there are laws on the books that Congress has passed …. [W]e’ve got three branches of government. Congress passes the law. The executive branch’s job is to enforce and implement those laws. And then the judiciary has to interpret the laws. There are enough laws on the books by Congress that are very clear in terms of how we have to enforce our immigration system that for me to simply through executive order ignore those congressional mandates would not conform with my appropriate role as President.” 

President Obama said that roughly fifteen months before he “ignore[d] those congressional mandates” and “suspend[ed] deportations through executive order.”

But boy, would 2017 Obama be angry at 2011 Obama.

Today the former president denounced Trump’s policy change, saying, “To target these young people is wrong…” “And it is cruel…“and “contrary to our spirit, and to common sense.”

What his contradiction says essentially is, “Never mind that the president has no authority to do this, it’s wrong for the president not to do this,” or simpler yet, “I have no right to do this and I’m doing it anyway.”

That argument is an example of tyranny, my friends.

Whatever policy we come up with to deal with “Dreamers,” it must originate in Congress. It must recognize the threat to every side. We have to realize that there is no solution to this that makes all the “good” people happy and all the “bad” people sad.

But, putting off the problem and allowing more people to come in and make themselves comfortable is not a compassionate response.

We need to deal with this issue once and for all.

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