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HORIST: The Dreamers’ problem is Congress … not Trump or the courts.

HORIST:  The Dreamers’ problem is Congress … not Trump or the courts.

On the other side of the looking glass, where the left proffers beliefs and policies that make no sense to the rational mind, we have the issue of the Dreamers.  It makes no sense to call President Trump a serial power abuser and then criticize him for not using an Executive Order to extend the old Obama DACA (Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals) policy on illegal residents who were brought here as children – the Dreamers, as we call them.

First of all, what was the Obama policy?  Well, for the first part of his presidency, President Obama drew upon his knowledge as a former constitutional law professor at the University of Chicago to declare that it was beyond the authority of a President to act unilaterally (Executive Order) to legalize the status of the Dreamers.  It was the sole authority and responsibility of the United States Congress to legislate that issue.  End of subject.

Weeeeell … not the end of the subject.  With Congress permanently pre-disposed to do nothing on the issue, Obama finally issued what he, himself, had seen as an illegal Executive Order – a prima facie abuse-of-power.  This sent the matter to the United States Supreme Court, which is constitutionally empowered to determine abuses-of-power.

Obama’s Order was set to run out in 2014.  Democrats and the political left (repeating myself, of course) wanted President Trump to extend Obama’s questionable Executive Order.  Although Trump expressed his own policy to keep the Dreamers safely in America – at least those who were not criminals – he echoed Obama in saying that the President does not have such power – AND that Obama’s Order was currently being reviewed by the federal courts.

While no decision has been rendered, most constitutional scholars believe the high court will strike down Obama’s Executive Order as being unconstitutional – an abuse-of-power.  That would not be the first time Obama lost an abuse-of-power issue in court.  When he attempted to make recess appointments when the senate was only on break, the Supreme Court declared Obama had abused his power.

In most cases, abuse-of-power is only a matter of opinion – not crime – to be settled by the Supreme Court.  The fact that the  Democrats have gone to impeachment to oust a President for abusing his power – rather than taking the matter to the courts – is, in a sense, an abuse of Congressional power.  Alleged abuse of presidential power is NOT a “high crime or misdemeanor,” but a matter of opinion.  Using impeachment to address the issue could be considered an abuse of congressional power – a political gambit to weaponize the impeachment process.

But I digress.  So, what about the Dreamers?

In September of 2017, I wrote a commentary entitled, “DACA proves Trump a constitutionalist.”  I made two points – Obama did little to protect the long-term security of the Dreamers because his actions had a shelf-life, could be overturned by the courts or reversed by a future President.  Obama did not give Dreamers a secure future, but a politically advantageous short-term reprieve.  Obama did not solve anything.  He just kicked the can down the road into the next administration.

Obama also provoked the court case that will determine if his Executive Order – or any presidential Executive Order – is a constitutionally legal means to address the issue.  That means that even as the ball was thrown to Trump, there was already a case in the courts that would possibly – and maybe probably – strike down Obama’s and any other presidential Executive Order of this type.

That issue is coming to a head and the nine justices will soon issue their decision.  That is why we are seeing demonstrators outside the Court building demanding that they declare Executive Orders to be an appropriate means of addressing the issue.  If they truly understood the issue – and were not being flimflammed by the Democrats and a news media that propagates rather than educates — Dreamers would be demonstrating on Capitol Hill to get a permanent legislative solution.  Their problem is with Congress, not Trump.

It is no small irony that Democrats and the press beat up on Trump for abusing power in the Ukrainian case – as THEY determine it – and at the same breath beat up on Trump for NOT potentially abusing power in the DACA case.  In the former case, Democrats refuse to take the matter to the courts and in the latter case, they want to ignore the courts.  Democrats are arguably abusing congressional power by attempting to nullify the role of the federal courts as the third branch in the constitutional balance of powers.

What is indisputable is that the Congress has the authority and responsibility for creating legislation that will secure a safe permanent future for Dreamers – and for all other illegal aliens, for that matter – but they would rather attack the President for their own failure.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. Richard Hennessy

    Correction–the dreamers’ enemy is the Democrats in Congress. They won’t agree to reasonable changes to immigration laws to reduce illegal immigration, because they continue to “dream” of huge numbers of Democrat voters from among additional illegal aliens entering our Country. They also want immediate amnesty and an unconditional path to citizenship. They won’t agree to a solution to continued illegal entry or a reasonable time or conditions for citizenship to allow for assimilation into our Country’s culture, because they fear that assimilation will reduce the number of Democrat voters. They want to be sure that illegal immigrants can be maintained as a tool of their identity politics. Republicans would be foolish to agree to such conditions for legal amnesty for dreamers.

  2. James


  3. Shelba

    NO AMNESTY the so called dreamers are illegals, we have American youths who also have dreams, yet the illegals are getting more benefits than our own young people, the dreamers can commit crimes yet they are not punished for them, let an American youth commit a crime just see how fast he or she is indicted and punished, it is time the blinkers are taken off, deport these illegals and their illegal parents, if they want to return let them get in line and apply for entry the proper way, deport all illegals and stop birthright citizenship illegals are not under US jurisdiction a bit more than our service people stationed in a foreign country is under that country’s jurisdiction, true the people are supposed to obey the laws that they are in whether legally or illegally, don’t know who sold the myth that illegals are under US jurisdiction but they didn’t do the US any favors, birthright citizenship should be stopped and all illegal babies that have been given citizenship needs to have it revoked and their citizenship should be the same as their illegal parents

  4. Cameron

    No matter how or when or why these “Dreamers” came to be here, they are still NOT US citizens, & as such, have NO rights under our Constitution. They should first become citizens before claiming any “rights” or “entitlements”.

    While I’m on that soapbox, the Constitution needs to be amended to define “natural born citizen”, if Congress or the Supreme Court won’t. The 14th Amendment was written to guarantee citizenship to former slaves, as expressly stated by the author himself. I don’t think any other country grants citizenship to children of foreign nationals, when those children are born within their borders.

    We have too many condemned people now who don’t understand our Constitution or way of gov’t, yet they get elected to high office & show their ignorance for all the world to see. Be an AMERICAN, not African-, Irish-, Mexican-, or any other hyphenated nationality, if you want to live here & enjoy everything our great nation has to offer.