Shouldn’t Ryan sue Obama over his original immigration plan?


After the Supreme Court upheld the injunction on President Obama’s controversial, unilateral amnesties last week, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said the following:

Today, Article I of the Constitution was vindicated. The Supreme Court’s ruling makes the president’s executive action on immigration null and void. The Constitution is clear: The president is not permitted to write laws—only Congress is. This is another major victory in our fight to restore the separation of powers.

Similarly, in the amicus brief filed in the Supreme Court by the House Republicans, Ryan agreed to the following statement: “the executive does not have the power to authorize — let alone facilitate — the prospective violation of the immigration laws on a massive class-wide scale.”

{mosads}And little more than a week ago, Ryan stated his opposition to presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump’s proposed temporary ban on Muslim immigration and suggested that he would be willing to sue over it. Specifically, Ryan said: “I would sue any president that exceeds his or her powers.”

So when is Paul Ryan planning on suing Obama over his 2012 Deferred Action amnesty?

It’s important to remember that the two policies before the Supreme Court in United States v. Texas were Obama’s Deferred Action for Parents of Americans, or DAPA (an amnesty for illegal aliens with U.S. citizen children or permanent resident children) and an extended version of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) which expanded the original amnesty to a larger number of people.

Still standing is Obama’s original DACA, which he announced through a series of memos in 2012. At this very moment, the Obama administration is handing out work permits, Social Security accounts and other benefits to thousands of illegal aliens. At last count, over 700,000 illegal aliens have benefited. Yet Congress has done nothing to stop it.

Ryan clearly feels that Obama’s DAPA program and the extended version of DACA exceed the powers of the presidency and run afoul of the Constitution. Logically, he must feel the same way about the 2012 DACA amnesty.

Is Speaker Ryan being honest about his willingness to sue any president who exceeds his authority? Or was that line limited to actions that could be taken by a President Trump? Or, put another way, is Ryan only interested in suing over actions that might reduce immigration, but not over actions that reward illegal immigration?

Feere is the legal policy analyst at the Center for Immigration Studies.

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