John Yoo, a lawyer from George W. Bush’s administration, has accused Barack Obama of overstepping his presidential authority by implementing a deferred action immigration policy. According to our own scientific calculations, this means Yoo must have balls that are roughly the size of the Epcot Center, because this is the same guy who once told Justice Department investigators that he believed the president’s authority was so broad that President Bush had the constitutional power to order a village to be “massacred” if he found it appropriate. Yoo, as you may recall, also penned the so-called “Torture Memos” authorizing the use of waterboarding and other enhanced interrogation techniques. But deferred deportation? That just goes too far, Mr. Obama.
From Yoo’s recent Fox News Op-Ed:
Although it might not come up in the debates, Obama has pursued a dangerous change in the powers of his office that disregards the Constitution’s careful separation of power between the branches of the federal government.
Obama put his radical vision of executive power clearly on display this summer when he announced that he would refuse to deport up to a million illegal aliens, as required by the immigration laws. According to the Department of Homeland Security, they will not be deported if they came to the United States under age 16 and are currently under 30, and have not committed any major crimes. Even though Congress has failed to pass the DREAM Act, which would create such a program, Obama has commanded DHS to grant these aliens work permits for periods of up to two years.
Just so we’re clear here, torture in contravention of the Geneva Convention = no biggie. However, a deferred action policy on deportation = a “radical” and “dangerous” usurpation of executive power. Got it.
Yoo ackowledges that the president has prosecutorial discretion in terms of how federal laws are executed due to limited time and resources. However, he still insists that Obama’s decision not to immediately deport people who were brought to America as children and have not committed any crimes is somehow not a legitimate use of that discretion.
Instead, Yoo speculates that Obama was “[w]orried about Hispanic support for his re-election [and therefore] simply decided to unilaterally enact his own legislation.” Which is funny, because the deferred action policy is supported by both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, and the people directly impacted can’t vote anyway. But whatever, details, schmetails.
*Are you interested in learning more about executive power? Here, read this book. It’s about how the president should have tons of power to do what he wants. It’s written by John Yoo.
Epcot photo: chensiyuan/wiki