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Washington Post to Obama: Don't 'tear up the Constitution' over immigration

Washington Post op-ed begs Obama not to shred Constitution over immigration.
Washington Post op-ed begs Obama not to shred Constitution over immigration.
Alex Wong/Getty Images

On Tuesday, the Washington Post editorial board published an op-ed practically begging President Obama not to tear up the Constitution over immigration. The article expressed sympathy for Obama's frustration with Congress and with the thousands of illegal immigrants, but said it was no excuse for unilateral action that would not fix the problem with immigration.

"The president’s frustration is understandable," the Post said. "Faced with a genuine humanitarian crisis, Congress’s failure to pass a workable fix is unconscionable. In the Republican-controlled House, the GOP bowed to its most extreme lawmakers in passing measures that have zero chance of becoming law — and would have paved the way for deportations of blameless young people raised in this country after being brought here by their undocumented parents. In the Senate, the intransigence of both parties yielded no bill at all."

The article shredded Congress as being obstinate and incapable of solving anything. Nevertheless, the editorial board said, that "doesn’t grant the president license to tear up the Constitution" with unilateral action.

The Post also cited Obama's own words: “If, in fact, I could solve all these problems without passing laws in Congress, then I would do so. But we’re also a nation of laws.”

Obama, however, has repeatedly said since then that he would use his pen and his phone to take unilateral action on a variety of issues, bypassing Congress whenever and wherever he can. He has lived up to that promise, issuing a number of executive orders, one of which allows for the detention of Americans who show symptoms of certain respiratory illnesses.

Now, the Post added, Obama is considering unilateral action to protect millions of illegal immigrants from deportation, something that would make liberal Democrats like Rep. Luiz Gutierrez, D-Ill., very happy. The Post acknowledged this would give Democrats a boost in 2016, but could also trigger a "constitutional showdown with congressional Republicans, who could make a cogent argument that Mr. Obama had overstepped his authority."

But, the editorial board said, Obama should think twice before issuing such a dictatorial decree. Democrats who would applaud such a move by Obama would be outraged if a Republican president took the same action on voter ID, the Post added. Not only that, but if Obama is allowed to unilaterally grant amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants, what else might he decide to do on his own? The possibilities are endless, and frightening.

But will Obama listen to the Post? Writing at Truth Revolt, Bradford Thomas said it's unlikely, given his actions and "increasingly defiant 'bypass Congress' mantra." Just last week, Obama indicated he would take action while Congress is on recess.

“Without additional resources and help from Congress, we’re just not going to have the resources we need to fully solve the problem," he said. "That means while they’re out on vacation, I’m going to have to make some tough choices to meet the challenge, with or without Congress.”

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