Washington Post: Obama Doesn't Have 'License to Tear up the Constitution'

August 6, 2014 - 7:00 AM

immigration advocates

Immigration advocates rally outside the White House. (AP File Photo)

(CNSNews.com) - The Washington Post editorial board says President Obama "should think twice" about deferring deportation for millions more illegal immigrants, as he reportedly may do later this summer.

"Obstinate, hopelessly partisan and incapable of problem-solving, Congress is a mess. But that doesn’t grant the president license to tear up the Constitution," said the editorial printed in Wednesday's edition.

The editorial board pointed to Obama's remarks last fall, when he said acting on his own would violate U.S. law.

"Mr. Obama now seems to be jettisoning that stance in the name of rallying his political base. He is considering extending temporary protection from deportation to millions of illegal immigrants, including the parents of U.S.-born children and others who have lived in the United States for years. Conceivably, this would give Democrats a political boost in 2016. Just as conceivably, it would trigger a constitutional showdown with congressional Republicans, who could make a cogent argument that Mr. Obama had overstepped his authority."

The editorial says President Obama "can do certain things" on his own, such as giving unaccompanied minors due process in U.S. courts; setting up asylum screening for children in their home countries; and transferring enforcement resources to the border from the interior.

"The right response to the collapse of the U.S. immigration system is for Congress to fix the law," the editorial concluded.

"The House had a vehicle to do just that by taking up the legislation passed by the Senate last year. But it does not follow that Congress can be ignored based on its failure to act. The right response to lawmakers who won’t solve the immigration mess is to replace them with ones who will."