The GOP, Andy Borowitz and Immigration

Predictably, Congressional Republicans and their faux constitutionalist echo chamber are screaming that the President’s recent immigration order exceeded his authority.

It didn’t.

Congress has given the Executive branch wide discretion over deportation priorities and as both conservative and liberal legal authorities have confirmed, the President  is exercising that discretion in a manner consistent with Congressionally-endorsed policies such as family unification. As legal scholar Walter Dellinger pointed out:

There are 11.3 million people in the United States who, for one reason or another, are deportable. The largest number that can be deported in any year under the resources provided by Congress is somewhere around 400,000. Congress has recognized this and in 6 U.S.C. 202 (5) it has directed the secretary of homeland security to establish “national immigration enforcement policies and priorities.” In the action announced tonight, the secretary has done just that, and the president has approved.

In other words, Congress has never supplied funding sufficient to deport more than a small number of the undocumented, and the President–every President–has been given the discretion to decide who among those living here illegally should be targeted. And every President has exercised that discretion. As a comment on Andrew Sullivan’s blog put it,

As there is an existing, bipartisan agreement that some 96.5% of the undocumented population will be allowed to remain here (i.e., the “how many” question), Obama’s executive action asks only: which undocumented immigrants should populate the 400,000 who are deported?

The question is not whether Obama should increase the number of undocumented immigrants (he isn’t), but whether he should apply severely limited resources in a targeted fashion (e.g., new arrivals, criminals, etc.) or indiscriminately (e.g., a law abiding mother of a U.S. citizen-child)? And, is Obama plausibly “tearing up the Constitution” if he deports the only number of people he can (about 400,000), but prioritizes who should be deported within such Congressionally imposed constraints?

The answer to that question is self-evident. The GOP should be embarrassed to be making the hysterical, ahistorical and factually-inaccurate assertions that are currently filling the airwaves–but this isn’t your father’s GOP and in case you haven’t noticed, this particular President is  (in the eyes of the Republican base) by definition illegitimate.

Sometimes, when logic and fair play are clearly not going to carry the day, satire is all we have left. (I’m laughing because otherwise, I’ll cry.)  Andy Borowitz has been on a roll lately, and with respect to our current kerfuffle over the President’s immigration Executive Action, he has hit a home run/touchdown/nerve. I’m quoting the whole thing, because it’s just too good–and too true– to truncate:

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell unveiled his party’s long-awaited plan on immigration on Wednesday, telling reporters, “We must make America somewhere no one wants to live.”

Appearing with House Speaker John Boehner, McConnell said that, in contrast to President Obama’s “Band-Aid fixes,” the Republican plan would address “the root cause of immigration, which is that the United States is, for the most part, habitable.”

“For years, immigrants have looked to America as a place where their standard of living was bound to improve,” McConnell said. “We’re going to change that.”

Boehner said that the Republicans’ plan would reduce or eliminate “immigration magnets,” such as the social safety net, public education, clean air, and drinkable water.

The Speaker added that the plan would also include the repeal of Obamacare, calling healthcare “catnip for immigrants.”

Attempting, perhaps, to tamp down excitement about the plan, McConnell warned that turning America into a dystopian hellhole that repels immigrants “won’t happen overnight.”

“Our crumbling infrastructure and soaring gun violence are a good start, but much work still needs to be done,” he said. “When Americans start leaving the country, we’ll know that we’re on the right track.”

In closing, the two congressional leaders expressed pride in the immigration plan, noting that Republicans had been working to make it possible for the past thirty years.

As McConnell would say, “A-Yup.”


  1. It is a sad state of affairs when this country’s elected leaders are allowed to police their own actions and make the decision as to the Constitutionality and/or legality of any and all issues based on their personal views. I Googled the House Un-American Activities and followed it’s path via Wikipedia; HUAC (formed in 1938) became the House Committee on Internal Security (1969); moved on to become the House Judiciary Committee in 1975 and here we are today. The House Judiciary Committee should be investigating Boehner, McConnell and SCOTUS as it is charged with the duty of overseeing the administration of justice within federal courts, administrating agencies and federal law enforcement entities. Are the House and Senate not administrating agencies? Under the HUAC primary focus seeking communism within government (and the movie industry) they would be investigating Boehner, McConnell and SCOTUS for un-American activites…except they would be investigating themselves and their cronies. They have in fact overthrown areas of this country’s governmental base. Not fully understanding what constitutes “treason”, I don’t know if they could be considered as treasonous actions against civil and human rights by repeated attacks on President Obama rather than performing their elected duties. They have hung their white sheets in the closet to repeatedly work against him and many rights protected under the Constitution and Amendments – those not now denied by SCOTUS.

    Apparently, our rights are legally being superceded by both Boehner and McConnell with no way to remove them from their elected positions of power which overrules Presidential authority in many instances. Facts and figures are replaced by distortions and whims supposedly found in Bible verses and self-imposed God-given rights to the pseudo Republican based GOP and it’s chosen route to self satisfaction.

  2. I fear that The Great Oligarchy Plot is officially and undoubtably incapapable of even elementary governance anymore. They’ve made it clear that they don’t accept science, law, globalization, education, economics, history, health care and the distance from Alaska to Russia so what’s left? Religion, guns, wealth redistribution and fund raising.

    Such a complete dearth of the stuff of progress does not bode well for one of two things. Either their success or ours. The two are mutually exclusive.

    But those nursing on the milk of mass media seem oblivious, so content are they.

    For decades we worried about Communism. We should have worried more about the TV that was blaring about Communism. It’s done us in.

    Is there a path back to sanity? Undoubtably. Are we on it? Not yet. Can we get there from here?

    I don’t know. I just don’t know.

  3. We probably ought to insert diplomacy and statesmanship into the list that the GOP no longer believes in.

  4. We shouldn’t be surprised. How could we expect any other reaction? They’ve become so programmed to scream “No!” to everything that the President does, they’ve lost the ability to think rationally. Presuming, of course, that they ever had it.

  5. Yesterday, I received the most recent “Coats Notes” from our brain trust, Sen. Coats. In it, he affirmed that the president has acted unconstitutionally, among other things. I took the opportunity to tell him that he knew very well that the president was acting within the limits of the constitution and his office, just doing the job that Congress refuses to do. I suggested that he stop listening to the Fox News echo chamber. It felt good, knowing that someone in his office may spend 1.5 seconds reading my note.

    I’m coming to the conclusion that some of the politicians who repeat the nonsense that has come from Mr. Coats, et al may actually believe this stuff, and that they aren’t smart enough to take the time to find out the straight story, either by reading or listening to people who are informed. Mr. Coats seems to be someone who does what he’s told When a politician’s whole world view is crafted by Fox News, we are all in trouble.

  6. I really wished someone out there, an author maybe, would interview me so that I could give them the details of how to bring your legal spouse to this country. I would explain how expensive it is, how humiliating it is for the person that is healthy to be forced to have a physical and then the immunizations he had to get. Then explain how you have to put your life on hold for months (for us 9 months) while they take their documents and investigate the person from age 14 to their current age. That’s how it works for LEGAL immigration. Our system is so broken and I can prove it. But nobody asks me. And I’ve done the reverse too. I’ve gone to another country (now twice in Europe) and the process is so much easier, so much more humane and I’m doing it legally here because what other way is there?
    Illegals? Humans are illegal? Really? Good grief. But I digress

    And not one of these people have another solution, not one.
    How about protecting human rights?
    How about have a government actually follow up on places where illegals get their jobs?
    How about researching how much money you have to have in your bank account to move here that is checked out by the feds?
    How you could be subject to deportation if you apply for welfare or food stamps or get a speeding ticket?

    Nobody asks me.

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