By: Linda Chavez, Creators Syndicate
February 20, 2015
A Texas judge handed the GOP a gift this week by issuing a temporary restraining order barring the Obama administration from granting temporary status and permission to work to some four million illegal immigrants. But it’s unclear whether the party’s congressional leaders will be able to convince their members to declare victory and move on to vote for a clean bill funding the Department of Homeland Security, without House-passed immigration amendments. They’d be smart to do so, because the alternative would virtually guarantee that DHS will run out of funding at the end of the month.
If that happens, there is no question which party will bear the blame. Polls show that a majority of Americans (53 percent in a recent CNN survey) would blame Republicans for a DHS shutdown, just as they did in 2013 when squabbles over funding for Obamacare led to a 16-day government-wide shutdown. In that debacle, support for the GOP fell dramatically, with only 32 percent of Americans saying they held a favorable view of the party in a Gallup poll after the shutdown. It took a year before Republicans gained back the support they’d lost, ultimately winning a huge victory in last fall’s election.
Judge Andrew Hanen’s 123-page memorandum and order isn’t the final say on whether the administration’s executive action is lawful. The administration already has announced that it will appeal the order in the Fifth Circuit. In the meantime, the order could provide some space for a more levelheaded approach to immigration.
The judge’s opinion deals definitely with only two of these issues. First, Hanen determined that at least one of the states, Texas, had standing to sue because DAPA imposed a financial burden on the state to provide certain benefits — namely, driver’s licenses, which Texas claimed would cost nearly $200 per eligible. The practical effect of the decision is to affirm the status quo. Some 11 million people will continue to live in the shadows — unless Congress acts.
The administration — with the court’s blessing — can refrain from removing all but the most dangerous criminals, terrorists and others DHS deems a priority for removal. Hanen explicitly conceded that the DHS secretary “has the legal authority to set (enforcement) priorities, and this court finds nothing unlawful about the secretary’s priorities.” But unless a higher court overturns the order, the administration can’t provide four million illegal immigrants with the right to work legally.
RINOTRACKER RESPONSE FROM CHRIS ADAMO
Linda Chavez has long been an open-borders advocate. Though she predictably claims to want “immigration reform,” the idea of ever actually closing the border stopping the influx of millions of illegal foreigners is totally absent any of her writings. Rather, she spouts every customary cliché of those who would hamstring any effort to restore the integrity of these United States.
Throughout her column, the standard GOP “Establishment” talking points are dutifully listed, which can be summed up as “We can’t stop anything Obama wants to do.” This starts and ends on the premise that any government “shutdown” is a disaster to be avoided at all cost, including total capitulation to every demand of the Obama cabal. In support of this bogus premise, she sites the “53% unfavorable” mantra that the GOP supposedly suffered in the wake of the 2013 shutdown charade. Yet 53% is hardly an insurmountable majority, and significantly smaller than the margin by which Republicans trounced the Democrats last November.
Invoking one of Obama’s favorite clichés, she laments the supposedly sad plight of those who “continue to live in the shadows.” Has anyone else noticed that these “shadows” apparently include every public facility and business establishment from coast to coast, and that nobody anywhere is bothering to hide from the light of day? According to such thinking, every shopping mall in the country must be an extremely shadowy place. Also, she flatly sets the number of illegals in America at “11 million,” as if a census has been conducted and tabulated. This is the biggest red-flag revealing her true sentiments, which are not predisposed towards America. Whenever the “11 million” figure is invoked, be assured that the writer is attempting to deceive gullible readers into believing that the number of illegals is far smaller than we all know it is.
Ultimately, Chavez advances the same duplicitous notions as Karl Rove and John McCain, who merely seek to paste enough of a veneer on amnesty to prevent any serious backlash, until it’s too late to do anything about it.