This is disingenuous on two levels. First, Republicans bitterly opposed President Obama’s use of executive orders to work around Congress on health care and the Iran deal, and repeatedly won substantial majorities in both chambers. That’s exactly how our democratic process is designed to work. When the executive branch oversteps, the other branches and the people themselves act in correction.
The second problem with Meadows’ statement runs deeper: he argues that the ends justifies the means, that an agreeable outcome is worth ditching process for. But weren’t conservatives in Congress elected to stand for limited government and against executive overreach, regardless of whether these are mere “process” issues? It’s easy enough to resist executive overreach when the president is on the other team, but if you don’t apply the same to your own party, how can you say your opposition was ever principled?
Watching conservatives in Congress sell their souls on this issue is particularly disheartening because a border wall will not solve the illegal immigration problem. The vast majority of people here illegally have overstayed their visas, true now for seven consecutive years. The number of illegal border crossings have dropped; last year’s total was less than a quarter of what it was in 2000. To be sure, the U.S. immigration system is rife with problems, but these deserve a legislative fix. They do not qualify for an emergency executive one.