Why the process for immigration reform matters

Julia K. Stronks

Julia K. Stronks
February 23, 2015

Is it legitimate to achieve immigration reform by any means necessary, or is there something about the process of politics that reflects one’s worldview?

Jerry In DC
February 24, 2015

Thank you, Julia, for once again reminding us that whatever the political ends, they never ever justify the means. Indeed, for the ends to be worth winning, the means must be properly limited. We kingdom-types should know by now that we are free to advance properly bounded ends because we know "success" or "victory" never depends on us in the end. May faithful citizenship, not triumphant politics, be the watchword.

Doug Vande Griend
February 25, 2015

I couldn't agree more with this post's suggestion that process matters greatly in law, and law making. However, the author seems to depart from her own appreciation of that when in the the latter part of the article she predominantly lays blame on the (Republican controlled) House, saying "[The House] Playing with DHS funding to force a point about immigration is a mistake."

A core power of the House is to originate taxing and spending bills. Along with that power comes the responsibility to be a steward (of money and power) in behalf of the nation's citizens. What we know at this point is that federal Judge Hanen has issued a 123-page opinion/decision that characterizes this president's recent actions as to immigration (DAPA) as clearly unlawful, and so has enjoined the actions. The unlawful nature of DAPA seemed to be obvious before Judge Hanen's decision but the judge's treatise-length opinion/decision confirms it. In light of that, why in the world would one would then expect the House to fund the implementation of DAPA (the unlawful action). It is clear the House bill DOES fund DHS, not just fully but quite beyond what the president requested. What the House bill does not do is fund that which Judge Hanen said was unlawful, that is, the implementation of DAPA. If one wants to issue blame demerits here, it would be to Democratic Senators who have chosen to hold the entire DHS budget hostage until the House agrees to fund an unlawful program.

If the House passed a bill that funded an unlawful program, would it not itself be complicit in the the executive branch's unlawful act? Even more importantly, would it not be significantly encouraging/approving present and future disregard of constitutional law, both procedural (including jurisdictional) and substantive? If indeed all Obama needs is a "a phone and a pen" to do what he decides Congress should do, then Congress doesn't really exist as a meaningful branch of the federal government.

If we want to look at this through eyes of faith, why would we not insist that the president obey the rule of law about a very big issue, and encourage our federal representatives in the House to require that of the president as well.

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