The Supreme Court is currently considering the legality of President Obama’s executive action on immigration that grants legal status to an estimated four million undocumented immigrants who have children who are U.S. citizens and no criminal record.
The debate has divided those who love liberty, because while the policy—ending forced deportations of upstanding parents of Americans—is seen by many as pro-liberty, the means by which it was attained—an executive order by the president – viewed my many as anti-liberty.
The U.S. Constitution clearly states that broad policy changes should be made by the Legislative Branch, or Congress, rather than by the Executive Branch, or the President. When presidents make laws by fiat, the Constitutional checks and balances put into place by the country’s founders are eroded. (In this specific case, contributors to Reason’s blog argue that the President’s actions were justified; more on that here.)
Should you oppose a law you might agree with because you don’t agree with the means with which it was put in place? Or should policy trump constitutional safeguards? Or, were the President’s actions completely justified in this case?
What do you think?
For a broader discussion of immigration policy, check out the debate between Jan Ting and Bryan Caplan in the video below.