President accused of ‘sleight of hand’ to protect self from impeachment
President Obama speaks in a nationally televised address from the White House on immigration Nov. 21.
NEW YORK – Did President Obama just set up Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson to be a candidate for impeachment instead of himself if conservatives convince the Republican majorities in the House and the Senate that his “executive actions” on immigration are unconstitutional?
The inquiry begins with the question: Where are the executive orders Obama supposedly signed to permit up to 5 million parents of young illegal aliens to remain in the United States for three years?
The White House appears to have engaged in administrative sleight of hand, changing U.S. immigration law not by executive order but by a memorandum “exercising prosecutorial discretion” Johnson signed the day of Obama’s Nov. 20 nationwide address that so far has not been filed in the Federal Register.
Tom Fitton, president of Washington-based watchdog institution Judicial Watch, told WND in an interview the legal status of Johnson’s memo is a serious constitutional question that deserves to be adjudicated.
“The entire implementing authority involves a memorandum published by DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson that changes the immigration law, directing federal money to be spent that has not been appropriated by Congress,” he said.
“In my view, there is a serious question whether Jeh Johnson should be impeached for taking this action, and a criminal investigation should be initiated to determine how and why federal funds are being misappropriated,” he declared.
Fitton said DHS “is being hijacked to implement actions Congress has neither authorized nor appropriated funds to accomplish.”
“All remedy options need to be on the table when attacking this threat to the Constitution,” he said.
On Wednesday, attorneys general in 17 states joined in a lawsuit filed by Texas attorney general and governor-elect Greg Abbott that charges the Obama’s immigration action violated the U.S. Constitution’s “Take Care” clause and failed to follow the Administrative Procedure Act’s guidelines for implementing new policies, including a comment period to outline the changes’ benefits, National Review’s Andrew Johnson reported.
Abbot said in a statement the president “is abdicating his responsibility to faithfully enforce laws that were duly enacted by Congress and attempting to rewrite immigration laws, which he has no authority to do — something the president himself has previously admitted.”
The 16 other states are Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
Showtime in Vegas
The White House drew attention to President Obama’s trip to Las Vegas Nov. 21, where he was expected to sign two executive orders that would revise his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. But a close examination of the executive actions Obama actually signed shows they had nothing to do with implementing the move he announced in his Nov. 20 White House address to the nation.
According to the White House website, on Nov. 21 Obama signed a presidential proclamation titled “Creating Welcoming Communities Fully Integrating Immigrants and Refugees” and a presidential memorandum titled “Modernizing and Streamlining the U.S. Immigration Visa System for the 21st Century.”
The first of the presidential actions, “Creating Welcoming Communities Fully Integrating Immigrants and Refugees,” filed Nov. 26 in the Federal Register at Vol. 79, No. 228, in the category “Presidential Documents” at page 70769, created a White House Task Force on New Americans to “engage with community, business, and faith leaders, as well as State and local elected officials.” The task force is designed to “help determine additional steps the Federal Government can take to ensure its programs and policies are serving diverse communities that include new Americans.”
The second of the presidential actions, “Modernizing and Streamlining the U.S. Immigration Visa System for the 21st Century,” filed Nov. 26 in the Federal Register at Vol. 79, No. 228, in the category “Presidential Documents” at page 70765, empowered the secretaries of State and Homeland Security, in consultation with the director of the Office of Management and Budget, the director of the National Economic Council, the assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism, the director of the Domestic Policy Council, the director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, the attorney general, and the secretaries of Agriculture, Commerce, Labor and Education, to make a series of recommendations “to reduce government costs, improve services for applicants, reduce burdens on employers, and combat waste, fraud, and abuse in the system” of issuing immigrant and non-immigrant visas.
The only Obama administration document relevant to altering DACA to accommodate the legislative changes announced in Obama’s address to the nation Nov. 21 is a DHS memorandum signed by DHS Secretary Johnson titled “Exercising Prosecutorial Discretion with Respect to Individuals Who Came to the United States as Children with Respect to Certain Individuals Who Are the Parents of U.S. Citizens or Permanent Residents.”
Written by JEROME R. CORSI
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