As a growing string of policy debacles threatens to consign his presidency to the ranks of failures, President Barack Obama has taken bold steps in the area of immigration to transform America and reshape his legacy. By ignoring the Constitution’s separation of powers and using his executive powers effectively to rewrite the nation’s immigration laws, Obama has helped trigger a torrent of fresh illegal immigration across the nation’s southern border. In doing so, he has laid claim to the sympathies of liberal historians who dominate the academy and can burnish his image one day, while simultaneously delivering a sharp jab to his detractors. But he has also called down a cascade of problems for the nation being asked to absorb a seemingly endless stream of new foreign nationals.
What the Obama administration has gingerly called a “humanitarian crisis” is rapidly accelerating. The ongoing, open rush of Latin Americans scrambling north across an insecure porous border to gain entry into the United States now produces an estimated 35,000 illegal immigrants a month. The actual numbers cannot be known but could easily be higher.
The Obama administration dismisses talk that the president’s own conduct contributed to the situation. Obama’s proposals for blanket amnesty for illegal immigrants, through so-called comprehensive immigration reform he has urged Congress to pass, were oft-repeated and heavily publicized throughout Latin America. Most directly, the president declared, for all intents and purposes, his administration will not enforce federal law and deport illegal immigrants who are juveniles.