On Monday, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals told the immigration power-grabbers in the Obama administration to stuff it.
The amnesty sympathizers in the media mourned mightily.
"Appeals court rules against Obama's plan to protect about 5 million people from deportation," the Associated Press spun.
"Court again blocks Obama's plan to protect undocumented migrants," the left-wing U.K. Guardian decried.
"President Barack Obama's executive action to shield millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation suffered a legal setback on Monday with an appeal to the Supreme Court now the administration's only option," Reuters reported.
Or rather, editorialized in the guise of reporting.
By a 2-1 decision, the federal judges handed a landmark victory to 26 states, led by Texas, that forcefully challenged the legality of Obama's executive amnesty overreach. The 5th Circuit majority ruled that the states' case was "likely to succeed on its merits" and that a lower court's injunction against the White House was "impressive and thorough." Judge Jerry Smith summed up: "At its core, this case is about the (Department of Homeland Security) Secretary's decision to change the immigration classification of millions of illegal aliens on a class-wide basis."[Full decision: PDF]
By a wave of his hand, President Obama and his DHS minions issued blanket deportation waivers and work authorization documents to 1.2 million young illegal immigrants (the "DREAMers") and 4.3 million parents of an even broader class of illegal immigrants. No congressional debate about the impact on American citizens and American workers. No public comment period as required by federal Administrative Procedures Act. No nothing.
Current immigration law, the majority concluded, "flatly does not permit the reclassification of millions of illegal aliens as lawfully present and thereby make them newly eligible for a host of federal and state benefits, including work authorization."
Here's how the radical transformer-in-chief turned the law on its head:
Under the Constitution, Congress defines the classes of immigrants eligible to work in the United States, and the executive branch has the broad authority to determine the individual immigrants within those classes who are authorized to work. Obama's Department of Homeland Security flipped this around and usurped the authority to allow any alien—legally or illegally in the country—to work unless Congress explicitly prohibits it.
The Obama administration first encroached upon congressional authority over immigration with the so-called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which allowed illegal immigrant children to remain in the United States.
Next, Obama created the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents program, which granted illegal immigrant parents with children born in the United States the right to remain in the United States and work.
After lower court judge Andrew Hanen issued his initial injunction this year, Obama bureaucrats defiantly violated it anyway and issued 2,000 more work permits to people here illegally. The 5th circuit ruling puts an exclamation point on Judge Hanen's order to stop the unlawful Obamnesty. Stop!
But if you thought these brazen usurpations of power were bad, you ain't seen nothing yet.
Both George W. Bush and Barack Obama sneakily expanded the foreign worker supply by administrative fiat another way: executive expansion of the Optional Practical Training program, through which 560,000 foreign "students" have been authorized to work in the U.S. It may well be America's largest de facto guest-worker program, yet it has never been authorized by Congress. This backdoor H-1B visa increase allows foreign students to work with little monitoring, no wage protections, no payment of Social Security payroll taxes and no requirement for employers to demonstrate labor market shortages.
In addition, Obama this year unilaterally started allowing certain spouses of H-1B workers (H-4 visa holders) to work in the United States.
The good news is that software engineer-turned-lawyer John Miano, the co-author of our new book, "Sold Out: How High-Tech Billionaires & Bipartisan Beltway Crapweasels Are Screwing America's Best & Brightest Workers," is challenging both schemes in court. Like the states that stopped executive expansion of illegal immigrant worker benefits, John and his clients aren't waiting for D.C. politicians to do the job of defending American sovereignty.
John's groundbreaking federal lawsuit on behalf of WashTech (a labor union of professional tech workers) against President Bush's regulatory expansion of the OPT program is, as National Review's John O'Sullivan called it, "the first step of a long battle." In April 2015, John and the Immigration Reform Law Institute filed another federal lawsuit in D.C. [PDF]challenging President Obama's arbitrary and capricious regulatory expansion of work authorizations for H-1B workers' spouses (classified as H-4 visa holders). The plaintiff, Save Jobs USA, is a group of former Southern California Edison employees who were forced to train their foreign guest-worker replacements before being laid off.
"Under the Constitution, Congress is supposed to have control over immigration," John reminds our fellow citizens. At stake is a fundamental question for the republic:
Do we have an office of president or an office of Caesar?
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Michelle Malkin [email her] is the author of Invasion: How America Still Welcomes Terrorists, Criminals, and Other Foreign Menaces to Our Shores. Click here for Peter Brimelow’s review. Click here for Michelle Malkin's website. Michelle Malkin is also author of Unhinged: Exposing Liberals Gone Wild, Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies, and Who Built That: Awe-Inspiring Stories of American Tinkerpreneurs.