With the wave of illegal immigrants crossing America’s southern border thanks to the Obama administration’s policy of non-enforcement, more and more Americans are rightfully anxious about the new and unprecedented use of executive power by President Obama. In December, US District Judge Andrew Hanen of Brownsville, Texas, wrote, “[The government] has simply chosen not to enforce the United States’ border security laws.”
This is criminal stuff. Nothing in the Constitution gives the president the power to selectively enforce the laws of the United States. 18 US Code Section 1503 states:
[Whoever] corruptly or by threats or force, or by any threatening letter or communication, influences, obstructs, or impedes, or endeavors to influence, obstruct, or impede, the due administration of justice, shall be punished… [with] imprisonment for not more than 10 years, a fine under this title, or both.
As I argue in my new book, The People vs. Barack Obama, this is obstruction of justice. It is not merely selective prosecution of the law. When President Obama declared that the Department of Homeland Security would not be deporting so-called DREAMers – illegal immigrants aged 16-30 – then-DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano lied and said this was not selective prosecution. It was, instead, “an exercise of discretion so that these young people are not in the removal system.” That would “help us continue to streamline immigration enforcement and ensure that resources are not spent pursuing the removal of low-priority cases involving productive young people.”
Obama was clearer: “They are Americans in their hearts, in their minds, in every single way but one: on paper.”
In other words, Obama didn’t like the law, so he wouldn’t be enforcing it. That had nothing to do with prosecutorial discretion and everything to do with executive tyranny.
However, that’s just the beginning. According to the Associated Press, Obama told immigration groups on Monday that he thought “there was a 50-50 chance of House action in the next month – perhaps higher if they kept up their advocacy.”
Yet the only true reason for the House to take action would be to avoid the prospect of Obama’s doing so unilaterally. President Obama will undoubtedly move to utilize executive action to legalize some eleven to twelve million illegal immigrants if he sees his prospects in the 2014 midterm elections slipping away – and after the election if he does not.
Were Obama to use his pardon power under the Constitution, he could theoretically provide blanket amnesty to everyone. However, knowing Obama, he wouldn’t bother exercising his power properly, even when attempting such an unprecedented action. Instead, he would simply attempt to broaden his “selective prosecution” of the DREAMers to all illegal immigrants – which would be illegal.
But who is there to stop him? No one, unless we do.
Ben Shapiro is Senior Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the new book, The People vs. Barack Obama: The Criminal Case Against The Obama Administration (Threshold Editions, June 10, 2014). He is also Editor-in-Chief of TruthRevolt.org. Follow Ben Shapiro on Twitter @benshapiro.