Senator Rubio’s statement:
“There is broad support for the idea that we should figure out a way to help kids who are undocumented through no fault of their own, but there is also broad consensus that it should be done in a way that does not encourage illegal immigration in the future. This is a difficult balance to strike, one that this new policy, imposed by executive order, will make harder to achieve in the long run.
“Today’s announcement will be welcome news for many of these kids desperate for an answer, but it is a short term answer to a long term problem. And by once again ignoring the Constitution and going around Congress, this short term policy will make it harder to find a balanced and responsible long term one.”
He’s making the right points, albeit not strongly enough. The debate over this must not focus on the substance of the DREAM Act. We have a branch of government that does that kind of thing and it’s called “Congress.” The problem with today’s announcement is that it’s an unconstitutional expansion of executive power that can be applied to any area of law. If a future Republican president can’t get Congress to agree to a reduction in tax rates, say, or a change in environmental rules, he can just use this “discretion” to change things on his own. Democrats in Congress should be terrified of this precedent and stand with their fellow members across the aisle to put a stop to it. This is about the rule of law and nothing else. As More asks in A Man for All Seasons, after Roper says he’d “cut down every law in England” to get at the Devil: “And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ‘round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat?”