As expected, President Barack Obama issued an executive order covering immigration last week. Perhaps even more expectedly, Republicans freaked out.
But in the days since, none of them have really been able to explain what exact part of law they believe he violated. Probably because he didn't, and also because he has one-upped them.
The Constitution gives the powers of regulating naturalization to Congress. It does not explicitly speak about immigration, and no, the two are not the same. Naturalization covers citizenship, and immigration is simply movement and residency, permanent or otherwise, from one country to another.
Notice in Obama's orders, it doesn't say anything about making undocumented immigrants permanent citizens. It only gives them the ability to stay here, protected, while they navigate a long term solution within the current law.
He can do this by instructing organizations under Executive authority: federal border guards and federal immigration courts.
But that's not at all the view of a Congress who has refused to act on this matter time and time again. Even a bi-partisan passed Senate bill on immigration reform cannot get a hint of debate in the House of Representatives, controlled by a majority that would like nothing more than for this nation to fail under Obama.
So when he actually tries to do something about the very subject they ignore until it comes to criticizing our so very porous border (by the way, that Senate bill provides more funding and personnel for border patrol), of course the GOP-led House is going to be upset.
Obama did something in one night that this do-nothing Congress has failed to achieve in years. So out they go, criticizing this action with one insane idea to the next, from Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach's "ethnic cleansing comment" to an Alabama representative accusing Obama of some unknown felony.
Then there's good old Ted Cruz. The Texas Senator issued a preemptive Op-Ed blasting Obama for going outside of his authority limited by the Constitution.
"When the president usurps the legislative power and defies the limits of his authority, it becomes all the more imperative for Congress to act."
He then goes on to say this three paragraphs later:
"Additionally, the new Congress should exercise the power of the purse by passing individual appropriations bills authorizing critical functions of government and attaching riders to strip the authority from the president to grant amnesty."
I'm sorry, Mr. Cruz, do you mean the "authority" that you first say he does not have? Well, does he have it, or does he not? Or do you not know? That's probably it.
He then also has the audacity to say Obama "will no doubt threaten a shutdown" despite the fact that he just did. Should we expect any less from Mr. Cruz?
Just be honest, guys. The President upstaged you by actually doing something to try and fix this problem, and now you're so upset you can't even read your Constitution straight.