The Obama administration has pretty much gone rogue, ignoring the 535 duly elected officials in Congress who also represent the American people. Most recently, the chaotic influx of thousands of young undocumented immigrants has been linked to executive orders issued by the White House.
Increasingly, political analysts and pundits say the ongoing crush of unaccompanied minors scrambling across the border illegally is due to changes made last week to Pres. Obama’s 2012 executive order called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
The administration’s order allowed some undocumented immigrants who came to America as minors to defer deportation for two years. However, last week the administration announced changes that allow many immigrants to defer deportation for an additional two years.
The problem is, like most things with this administration, the devil is in the details. As it turns out, last week’s changes in Mr. Obama’s DACA order do not apply to undocumented immigrants crossing the border today. Only undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as minors before June 15, 2007 are eligible.
Because the administration did not consult Congress or clarify its actions to immigration officials who were caught unprepared, we have a new immigration crisis.
Meanwhile, tens of thousands of undocumented, un-chaperoned minors confused about Mr. Obama’s plan have overwhelmed the U.S. immigration system, resulting in chaos – particularly in border-states like Arizona and Texas where Republican governors have to deal with the crisis.
Making matters worse, federal immigration officials have without consent transported thousands of undocumented minors from overwhelmed Texas facilities to Arizona, creating a second crisis in that state.
While bypassing Congress certainly speeds up the political process for White House operatives, rule by decree has opened up a huge can of squiggly political worms for Democrats.
Currently, a public perception of incompetence surrounds the White House due to missteps like Benghazi, the prisoner swap of Sgt. Bergdahl (who allegedly deserted his post) for five top terrorists at GITMO - not to mention earlier scandals like the bungled rollout of Obamacare and the failed “Fast and Furious” government gunrunning operation.
While the current immigration debacle temporarily displaced the simmering VA scandal in newspaper headlines, it is difficult to name a single domestic policy implemented by the White House in nearly 5 1/2 years that is popular with most voters.
Meanwhile, the surge of undocumented young people entering the U.S. is alarming. In fiscal 2012, federal immigration agencies were charged with caring for 7000 to 8000 unaccompanied undocumented minors here illegally. In fiscal 2011, 6,560 minors were processed into the country, according to a Department of Health and Human Services fact sheet.
The number of undocumented minors processed in 2013 grew to 13,625. However, during this fiscal year, which ends September 30, 2014, federal officials expect that number to increase to 80,000, according to an internal memo cited by the New York Times.
The problem for Democrats is that Mr. Obama brought them to the White House dance and they will arrive at the midterm elections in the president's limousine. There is no other ride available to them.