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OPINION: Obama's immigration policy unconstitutional

Published: Friday, June 22, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 20:07

Just like I want to find employment after college, I want all my fellow Aggies to pursue their dream job, let alone not live in fear of being deported.

The issue of immigration is a complicated one that deserves a thoughtful solution. President Barack Obama's move to change immigration policy last Friday was not that.

The president of the U.S. takes an oath to uphold the Constitution. So, why isn't he honoring that oath?

The Constitution reads, "All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives." In other words, the president does not have the authority to make a new law.

The young people who were not born in the U.S. need accommodation and a path to legal employment. But why did Obama unconstitutionally bypass Congress to try to accomplish just what he wants? Well, it is because Congress isn't exactly simpatico.

Our two-sided government can't find a middle ground on a lot of issues. The three branches of government seem to differ on fundamental principles about how a government should operate. One side seems to think that more governmental control — and therefore less freedom to its citizens — is the way to get things done. Our government needs to comprise on policy issues such as economic, international and, last but not least, immigration, but shouldn't comprise citizens freedoms.

It is actually to illegal immigrants' disadvantage that the government would affect change in a disorderly fashion, contrary to the Constitution upon which it is built. These young "illegal" immigrants will just be trading freedom-less labels: "illegal immigrant" for "legal under a big, antagonistic government."

This is a complex issue that needs a long-term solution — not a temporary fix that will actually make more complicated the government's attempts to establish such a solution to immigration policy.

Obama is not serving these needing people who want to become legal so that they may contribute to the betterment of the U.S. He is fishing for votes. And by doing so, the president is hurting immigrants by complicating the political process.

It's fishy that the president made this announcement during the election year. Let alone, the policy could be turned around if he isn't re-elected. GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney hasn't yet responded to Obama's immigration announcement, but he is schedule to speak Thursday to more than 1,000 leaders of the National Association of Latino Elected Officials at Disney's Contemporary Resort in Florida, where Marco Rubio, Republican Senator and Romney's potential running mate, has been working on an immigration reform program that he said is more comprehensive than the president's.

Rubio also questioned the message Obama is sending to the 1 million people per year who are coming into the country legally.

"We get hundreds of people a year in our office who are asking for help because their relatives have been waiting in line, doing it the right way. What do we tell them? ‘Come illegally, it’s cheaper and quicker’?" he said.

There should be a new urgency in the houses (Representative, Senate and White) around Washington D.C. to find a thoughtful, balanced solution to immigration reform, if for no one else, for the people eager to have life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.


Trevor Stevens is a senior English major and assignments editor for The Battalion.

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