Although we sympathize with the Obama administration's aims in halting the deportation procedures of 300,000 illegal aliens and reviewing -- on a case-by-case basis -- whether deportation or a work permit is the best result, it is not appropriate for the executive branch to make that decision.
Congress is the appropriate body to make a law that allows some illegal aliens a chance to stay in this country with a work permit. It does not take a cynic to see that the administration's move is a back-door procedure toward implementing -- in part -- the DREAM Act, a proposal that would allow younger illegal aliens a path to citizenship.
The DREAM Act has repeatedly been defeated in congressional votes. Even though we support the DREAM Act and would like to see law-abiding, hard-working illegals be allowed to stay in this country as work-permit residents or new citizens, that needs to be accomplished in the appropriate manner, which is through the enactment of a law change. The administration's changing of the law by fiat is just as wrong as the Bush administration's executive fiats during the early years of the War on Terror that were opposed for the reason that Congress should have a role in such decisions.
We agree with U.S. House Judiciary Chairman Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, who said, "The Obama administration should enforce immigration laws, not look for ways to ignore them. The Obama administration should not pick and choose which laws to enforce. Administration officials should remember the oath of office they took to uphold the Constitution and the laws of the land."
Also, the administration's decision comes with the taint of political opportunism. It's no secret that to have a better chance of winning re-election in 2012, President Obama needs the support of Hispanics. This move by executive fiat could be argued as a sop to a voting bloc rather than an honest decision.
That's why we have separation of powers. The Obama administration needs to remember that.