Led by Texas Attorney General and Governor-elect Greg Abbott, 17 states filed a lawsuit on Wednesday against President Barack Obama’s administration over his decision to create legal status for millions of illegal immigrants via executive actions.
“His state is joined in the lawsuit by Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin,” NPR reported.
The Associated Press revealed more details about the basis for the suit:
“The lawsuit raises three objections: that Obama violated the ‘Take Care Clause’ of the U.S. Constitution that limits the scope of presidential power; that the federal government violated rule-making procedures; and that the order will ‘exacerbate the humanitarian crisis along the southern border, which will affect increased state investment in law enforcement, health care and education.’
“The President is abdicating his responsibility to faithfully enforce laws that were duly enacted by Congress and attempting to rewrite immigration laws, which he has no authority to do – something the President himself has previously admitted,” Abbott asserted in a statement announcing his decision to sue the president. “President Obama’s actions violate the Take Care Clause of the U.S. Constitution and the Administrative Procedure Act, which were intended to protect against this sort of executive disregard of the separation of powers.”
As Allahpundit observed on Wednesday, a recent poll conducted by YouGov confirmed the results of a series of earlier surveys when it found that a plurality, 45 percent to 38 percent, disapprove of the president’s executive immigration reform maneuver. That gap may widen when the true costs of this decision are made clear to the public.
When defending the decision to extend amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants, the president is always careful to note that the move will have positive economic benefits. Writing in The Atlantic, however, David Frum discovered the introduction of millions of new eligible beneficiaries of the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Additional Child Tax Credit is going to put a strain on the treasury.
Here’s one indicator, courtesy of the Center for Immigration Studies. About 14.5 percent of the native-born population of the United States earns little enough to qualify for the EITC. Almost twice as great a portion of the total immigrant population, 29.7 percent, qualifies. But the specific immigrant groups most likely to benefit from the president’s action earn even less. Fifty-three percent of Mexican-born immigrants, 55 percent of Honduran-born immigrants, and 57 percent of Guatemalan-born immigrants earn little enough to qualify for the EITC. About half the migrants from these communities in the United States are present illegally, and they dominate the numbers among the newly legalized. Almost 87 percent of those who have received deferred action under the president’s 2012 action come either from Mexico or Central America. Everything points to a huge surge in EITC eligibility following this year’s executive action.
Remember, the EITC and ACTC have already grown into very big problems. The EITC will cost a shade over $70 billion in fiscal 2015. The refundable portion of the child tax credit will cost about $33 billion. That’s $100 billion in total. Together, they cost 10 times as much as traditional cash welfare. Soon they will cost much, much more.
So when liberal columnists express amazement that Republicans in Congress are suddenly expressing qualms about EITC and ACTC growth … well, this is why. EITC and ACTC are not hostages seized by anti-poor Republicans to send a message of intimidation to the president. They are the first and most obvious costs of the president’s amnesty.
Democrats know that they cannot allow an unpopular policy like Obama’s immigration order to continue to be defined by its opponents. As a result, The Washington Post reported, congressional Democrats and the White House are forming an “Immigration Strike Team” which will counter GOP messaging on immigration reform in the coming months.
First, “Strike Team?” Really?
The Post revealed few details of the supposed goals or tactics of this “strike team,” but it did reveal one key detail. “The new strike team project will be bilingual, ensuring that Democrats continue to use their connections to Spanish-media outlets like Univision, Telemundo and popular radio stations in several states to spread their message, said several aides who were familiar with the plans but weren’t authorized to speak publicly about them,” The Post reported.
So, this group will aim, primarily, to defend the president’s actions to audiences of Hispanics whom polls show are already more supportive of Obama’s move than not. That doesn’t seem like an especially productive use of resources. Even if it’s a bad hand, you play the one you’re dealt.