As if we did not have enough to worry about with Ebola, Sharyl Attkisson reported last week that the surge in enterovirus cases may well be related to the infusion of young illegal immigrants throughout the United States.
Although the correlation between the dispersal of these youths and the spread of this deadly disease is not fully established, what is established is that President Barack “Typhoid Barry” Obama made this all happen.
Here is how it shook out. Since year one of the Bush administration, Congress had been trying to pass the awkwardly titled Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act, better known as the DREAM Act.
This was an idealized acronym concocted to paper over what was essentially a crime, a geopolitical breaking and entering.
The bill was first introduced in the Senate in August 2001. In a nutshell, it would have provided permanent residency to those illegal aliens who had arrived in the United States as minors and behaved themselves well enough not to get their mug shot plastered on the post office wall.
Although President Bush supported immigration reform, as did President Obama, neither the DREAM Act nor any major immigration bill made it to their desks.
The reason was simple enough: No variation of such a bill could muster adequate congressional support.
In 2009, eight powerful U.S. senators sponsored still another version of the DREAM Act. Although Democrats controlled both houses of Congress for the next two years, they were not able to pass this bill out of the Senate.
Once Obama ascended to the presidency, all those checks and balances he praised as a candidate just made it harder for him to transform America.
His constituencies, especially labor and the Hispanic lobby, wanted action, not debate. They started leaning on him to ignore Congress and act unilaterally.
One minor obstacle stood in the way, and that was Article I, section 7, of the Constitution. For the previous 220 years, that article informed Congress in some detail on how to turn an idea into a law.
Obama could not enforce the DREAM Act, said constitutional scholar Nicholas Rosenkrantz, “by pretending that it passed when it did not.”
As late as March 2011, Obama seemed to agree. “America is a nation of laws, which means I, as the president, am obligated to enforce the law,” he told a Univision audience.
“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.”
By June 2012, what Obama said in March 2011 seemed as stale as a morning-after bowl of tortilla chips. The president had lost his taste for checks and balances given that the result was “an absence of any immigration action from Congress.”
Five months before the presidential election he knew the media would give him a pass, and he hoped that Latinos would give him their vote.
So he decided to dispense with debate and fix immigration policy by his own lights, confident he could make that policy “more fair, more efficient and more just.”
This fix started with a presidentially guaranteed relief from deportation for the so-called Dreamers. On top of that came the right to apply for a work authorization, both guarantees in full defiance of existing federal law.
The speech that introduced this change of immigration policy was littered with enough lies and half-truths to make his health-care speech seem a model of probity.
Obama boasted that by “putting more boots on the southern border than at any time in our history,” he was able to reduce illegal crossings to the lowest level the past 40 years.
Yes, there were fewer border crossings than in the past. In fact, the number had fallen precipitously since 2005, but that had almost nothing to do with prioritized security and almost everything to do with what the Pew Research Center described as “weakened U.S. job and construction markets.”
Like so many of the “successes” of the Obama era, this one was inadvertent.
On Aug. 23, 2013, in a move the major media barely noticed, the Obama administration subtly expanded the list of those who would be excluded from deportation.
Deep in a nine-page memo from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement headquarters to its field offices was an order that “prosecutorial discretion” be shown to parents or guardians of United States citizens and lawful permanent residents, aka Dreamers.
The news scarcely troubled the media, but it did bother liberal constitutional scholars like Jonathan Turley. “In ordering this blanket exception,” said Turley, “President Obama was nullifying part of a law that he simply disagreed with. There is no claim of unconstitutionality.”
What troubled Turley even more was the willingness of so many participants in this debate to accept Obama’s “transparent effort to rewrite the immigration law.” This included Dick Durbin, the Democratic senator from Illinois who authored the original DREAM Act.
“Because the House has refused to consider the DREAM Act and a filibuster blocked it in the Senate,” said Durbin as casually as if he were the senator from Swaziland, “this presidential action was absolutely necessary to serve the cause of justice.”
By May 2014, the consequences of Obama’s unilateral action were becoming too apparent to ignore. Reuters was among the first to notice that “tens of thousands of children unaccompanied by parents or relatives” were flooding across the southern U.S. border illegally, 10 times more per year than just three years prior.
“Usually you have to pass an ill-considered law before the ‘unintended consequences’ come knocking,” opined Steven Hayward in Human Events, “but in this case the consequences are already parked in emergency shelters in Texas, costing the American taxpayer $252 apiece per day.”
The unintended consequences could, of course, prove to be much worse. People can ignore presidential lies when the victims are in Libya or Iraq.
They will tolerate those lies no longer when the victims are sleeping in the little bedroom down the hall.
Media wishing to interview Jack Cashill, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.