By ROGER J. KATZ
THE ARSENAL OF DESTRUCTION: PRESIDENT OBAMA GRANTS AMNESTY FOR MILLIONS OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS TODAY; WILL HE GRANT THEM FULL CITIZENSHIP TOMORROW?
HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY CALLED TO TESTIFY BEFORE HOUSE HOMELAND SECURITY COMMITTEE.
New York, N.Y. –-(Ammoland.com)- On Tuesday, December 2, 2014, Jeh Charles Johnson, Secretary of DHS, testified before the House Homeland Security Committee.
What prompted the Congressional Hearing is well known. President Obama had unilaterally granted amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants.
He had threatened to do so, after the 2014 midterm elections. And immediately following the midterm elections, Obama did in fact order DHS to suspend deportation proceedings on 5 million illegal immigrants on U.S. soil.
In so doing, he has acted contrary to the will of Congress. Congressional Republicans insist that Obama explain his actions.
Over 11 million illegal immigrants currently reside in the U.S. Potentially all of these illegal immigrants are subject to deportation, pursuant to present immigration law. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is tasked with their removal. Yet, President Obama has called for an immediate halt to deportation of roughly half of them.
At Tuesday’s Hearing, Representative Michael McCall, R-Texas, Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, expressed outrage at the Obama Administration’s actions that effectively bypass Congress. Upon calling the Committee Meeting to Order, McCall wasted no time asserting that the President’s actions “undermine our Constitution and threaten our Democracy.”
Representative Bill Keating, D-Massachusetts, asked Secretary Johnson, pointedly, whether the President’s actions amount to granting amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants? Johnson replied that the current situation does amount to amnesty.
But, what does ‘amnesty’ mean? Black’s Law Dictionary ( tiny.cc/lmkmqx ) (Ninth Edition), defines ‘amnesty’ as “a pardon extended by the government to a group or class of persons, usually for a political offense; the act of a sovereign power officially forgiving certain classes of persons who are subject to trial but have not been convicted.” Black’s Law Dictionary (Ninth Edition) also says that, “unlike an ordinary pardon, amnesty is usually addressed to crimes against State authority – that is, to political offenses with respect to which forgiveness is deemed more expedient for the public welfare than prosecution and punishment. Amnesty is usually general, addressed to classes or even communities.”
The President, not Congress, has granted amnesty to literally millions of illegal immigrants. Congress can do so. The President cannot. This President does so anyway. The unstated basis for the President’s unilateral action is expediency and public welfare. But, entering U.S. borders illegally in the first instance and re-entering U.S. borders illegally after deportation are both criminal offenses under U.S. immigration law.
Moreover, we may rightly ask whether presumed “expediency” is a sound basis for the President’s actions when such actions disrupt the rule of law and undercut the U.S. Constitution. And we may well ask whose public welfare the President has in mind by granting amnesty. Is he not less concerned for the welfare of American citizens and more concerned for the welfare of millions of immigrants who crossed our Nation’s borders illegally and in obvious defiance of our Nation’s immigration laws? It would seem so!
DOES THE PRESIDENT’S GRANT OF AMNESTY TO FIVE MILLION ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS CONFER CITIZENSHIP ON THOSE FIVE MILLION ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS?
This question is singularly important and has been given scant, if any, attention in the face of the President’s grant of amnesty. But, the American public should consider the ramifications of the grant of amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants. For, where amnesty is awarded to those so undeserving of it, will they not flex their muscles and request – indeed, at some point demand – full citizenship, with all that the word, ‘citizenship’ entails?
To be sure, granting amnesty does not ipso facto confer citizenship. But, might not the President’s actions operate as a step toward full citizenship for these five million illegal immigrants? Is that not the tacit assumption behind the President’s unilateral actions?
WHO IS A CITIZEN?
To understand who is a citizen, we must first get a handle on what the word ‘citizen’ means? Once again, let us turn to the legal definition of ‘citizen.’ Black’s Law Dictionary (Ninth Edition) defines the word ‘citizen’ as “a person who, by either birth or naturalization, is a member of a political community, owing allegiance to the political community and being entitled to enjoy all its civil rights and protections.”
The paramount question before us, aside from the questionable actions of the President in granting amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants in contradistinction to the laws of naturalization enacted by Congress, is whether the President’s unilateral actions create a defacto class of citizens. What we need to ask is: what legal rights will accrue to these five million illegal immigrants through the President’s unprecedented act of amnesty? And, having arrived here illegally, to whom do these people owe allegiance? Do they owe allegiance to the U.S. or to their native Countries? And, if they are not at present entitled to all the rights and protections of bona fide citizens, what rights and protections, if any, are they entitled to? And, if they are in fact entitled to the same rights and protections as those enjoyed by American citizens, are they not, then, essentially American citizens?
Even if the President denies he has created or intends to create a quasi-class of citizens through the grant of amnesty to five million illegal immigrants, might not these five million illegal immigrants sue for full rights and protections somewhere down the road if they do not in fact enjoy all rights and protections under the U.S. Constitution by virtue of the President’s grant of amnesty to them?
Can we not imagine a slew of civil rights lawsuits filed by, or on behalf of, these five million illegal immigrants at some point in the future? Would these illegal immigrants not claim that their rights under the Constitution must be met? As incongruous as that may sound at the moment, we should reflect on the true implications of the President’s unsound actions in granting amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants.
WHAT LIES IN STORE FOR AMERICANS?
Clearly, the President’s actions have opened a Pandora’s Box of troubles for Americans. Whatever complications exist over the mere presence of millions of illegal immigrants in this Country, such complications pale in comparison to what lies ahead for Americans as a result of Obama’s illegal actions granting amnesty to five million illegal immigrants in the first place.
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