Teacher at Catholic University to student: If you don’t support gay marriage, drop my class

Cheryl Abatte copy

Teacher to student: If you don’t support gay marriage, drop my class

Students who oppose gay marriage are homophobic, according to an audio recording of a Marquette University instructor who went on to say that gay right issues cannot be discussed in class because it might offend homosexuals.

I reached out to the 20-year-old student at the center of this outrageous episode and the story he tells should serve as a warning to anyone who thinks religious schools are safe havens for open discourse.

The story was first reported on a blog run by a Marquette University professor and was picked up by the good folks over at The College Fix.

The young man, who asked not to be identified, explained what happened when his ethics instructor, Cheryl Abbate, led a conversation in “Theory of Ethics” class about applying philosophical theories to modern political controversies. There were a list of issues on the board – gay rights, gun rights, and the death penalty.

“We had a discussion on all of them – except gay rights,” the student told me. “She erased that line from the board and said, ‘We all agree on this.’”

Well, as it so happened – the student did not agree with instructor Abbate.

So after class he approached the instructor and told her he thought they should have discussed the issue of gay rights. He also recorded their conversation — without her permission.

“Are you saying if I don’t agree with gays not being allowed to get married that I’m homophobic?” the student asked.

“I’m saying it would come off as a homophobic comment in this class,” the teacher replied.

“Regardless of why I’m against gay marriage, it’s still wrong for the teacher of a class to completely discredit one person’s opinion when they may have different opinions,” the student said.

Abbate  disagreed.

“There are some opinions that are not appropriate – that are harmful – such as racist opinions, sexist opinions,” she said. “And quite honestly, do you know if anyone in the class is homosexual?”

The student said he did not know the answer to her question.

“Do you not think that would be offensive to them if you were to raise your hand and challenge this,” she asked.

At that point, the student told the instructor he had a right to challenge that – “that’s my right as an American citizen.”

“Actually,” the teacher replied, “You don’t have a right in this class especially [in an ethics class]  to make homophobic comments.”

The student retorted that the comments were not homophobic.

“This is about restricting rights and liberties of individuals,” he said. “Because they’re homosexual, I can’t have my opinions?”

And that’s when the teacher dropped the bombshell.

“You can have whatever opinions you want but I will tell you right now – in this class homophobic comments, racist comments, sexist comments will not be tolerated,” she said. ‘If you don’t like it, you are more than free to drop this class.”

So the student dropped the class.

“I understand that other people have very different views than I do and that’s understandable,” the student told me. “But when a student is not allowed to have an open discussion in a discussion-type class on a specific issue because it’s regarded as homophobic – that really irks me.”

Marquette Professor John McAdams, who runs the Marquette Warrior blog, accused Abbate of using a tactic “typical among liberals now.”

“Opinions with which they disagree are not merely wrong, and are not to be argued against on their merits, but are deemed ‘offensive’ and need to be shut up,” he wrote.

The student told me he filed a complaint – but he said university officials dismissed his concerns.

McAdams wrote that he was not surprised because the university officials held the same intolerant views as the instructor.

“Like the rest of academia, Marquette is less and less a real university,” he wrote. “And when gay marriage cannot be discussed, certainly not a Catholic university.”

A university spokesman told me they were viewing “both a concern raised by a student and a concern raised by a faculty member.”

“We are taking appropriate steps to make sure that everyone involved is heard and treated fairly,” the spokesman told me. “In compliance with state and federal privacy laws, we will not publicly share the results of the reviews.”

Abbate told the website Inside Higher Ed that the “class discussion was not meant to be an opportunity for students to express their personal beliefs about political issues.”

She said she hoped Marquette would “use this event as an opportunity to create and actively enforce a policy on cyberbullying and harassment.”

“It is astounding to me that the university has not created some sort of policy that would prohibit this behavior which undoubtedly leads to a toxic environment for both students and faculty,” she told Inside Higher Ed.

The only thing toxic at Marquette are teachers who oppose Catholic doctrine and try to silence dissenting opinions.

I would be remiss if I did not address the student’s behavior. A full review of the audio tape reveals the student was in fact disrespectful to the instructor. And when the instructor asked if she was being recorded, the student did not tell the truth.

I asked the young man about his behavior and he admitted to me that it was wrong. He told me that he “regretted” his actions.

Nevertheless, the student’s behavior does not excuse Marquette University’s successful attempt to silence the free exchange of ideas.

So let’s review — an instructor at a Catholic university taught material that is contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church and when a Catholic student brought this information to the attention of Catholic administrators – the student was the one who got rebuked.

I’m not a Catholic – but it seems to me Marquette University is one of those CINO schools – Catholic in Name Only.

Todd Starnes is host of Fox News & Commentary, heard on hundreds of radio stations. Sign up for his American Dispatch newsletter, be sure to join hisFacebook page, and follow him on Twitter. His latest book is “God Less America.”

Christian Neurosurgeon Ben Carson Says ‘I Feel Fingers’ of God Prodding for Presidential Run

Christian Neurosurgeon Ben Carson Says ‘I Feel Fingers’ of God Prodding for Presidential Run

BY ANUGRAH KUMAR , CHRISTIAN POST CONTRIBUTOR
November 22, 2014|9:07 am
Ben Carson Speaks at CPAC(PHOTO: THE CHRISTIAN POST/SONNY HONG)

Former pediatric neurosurgury director at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center Ben Carson speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland, March 8, 2014.

Dr. Ben Carson, accomplished neurosurgeon and conservative Christian, tells David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network that there’s a “good chance” he’ll run for president as he can feel “God’s fingers” touching him gently for the 2016 race.

Brody, CBN news chief political correspondent, interviewed Carson during the week for an upcoming national profile story for “The 700 Club,” and asked, “How is that conversation going with God about this potential presidential run? Has He grabbed you by the collar yet? I read an article about that.”

“I feel fingers,” Carson replied in a one-on-one interview in his home in West Palm Beach, Florida. “But it’s mostly me. I have to be sure, and it’s part of my personality that says always look before you leap, but don’t leap before you have to,” he added.

Brody then said, “I do cover the presidential campaign trail,” and asked, “May I potentially see you there soon?”

“I think there is a good chance you might,” Carson responded in the interview, which was only partially released.

“He [Carson] and his wife, Candy, are dedicated followers of Jesus,” Brody remarks in a posting on CBN’s website. “They don’t hide their faith. They can’t. It’s at the core of who they are as people. Evangelical Christians will be attracted to how he doesn’t shy away from proclaiming Jesus as Lord.”

While Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, won the annual Values Voter Summit straw poll for president in September with 25 percent of the vote, Carson finished 5 percentage points behind him earning 20 percent of the vote.

The poll was conducted via mobile votes from 901 attendees of the group’s annual summit in Washington, D.C. The poll included over 22 candidates, including prominent Democrats Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden.

Carson, who has already won a few straw polls this year, was the only candidate that finished in the top three of the voting that did not attend the event. Although Carson has relatively no political experience under his belt, he continues to gain political support with his unwavering conservative comments in the limelight of national media.

“He is extremely popular. … If he decides he wants to [run], I think he could be a serious contender,” Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said in an interview with The Christian Post at the time. “He is another example of someone who refuses to be throttled down by political correctness and is simply speaking the truth. He is laying it out there. He is giving an accurate diagnoses of where America stands and people respond to that. … Republican minded voters are looking for someone who will simply tell the truth and Dr. Carson fits that category.”

If Carson runs for president, “he’s going to shake up politics and politicians,” Brody writes. “He’s not your typical, lunch bucket Republican. He’s going to keep both Republicans and Democrats on their toes.”

RAPE ALLEGATIONS: MEDIA HUNTS BILL COSBY, CELEBRATES BILL CLINTON

RAPE ALLEGATIONS: MEDIA HUNTS BILL COSBY, CELEBRATES BILL CLINTON

Regardless of the circumstance, time, place, identity of the victim or the accused, allegations of sexual assault are serious and should be taken seriously. Bill Cosby, along with George Carlin and Richard Pryor, is a permanent fixture in my lifelong holy trinity of stand-up comedians. I love the guy. I am in awe of his talent.

Nonetheless, a woman has come forward with the claim that Cosby assaulted her 30 years ago. The allegations are horrifying and media outlets from NPR to the Washington Post toCNN are treating the woman’s story with the seriousness it deserves.

The scandal is a classic case of Power vs. The Powerless. There is substance to the charges,including a lawsuit Cosby settled with the woman in 2006, and similar allegations from other women.  As loved and lovable and talented as Bill Cosby is, as much as I am personally fond of him for all the pleasure he has brought into my life, looking into this kind of story is what the media is supposed to be about.

Unfortunately, our media is not guided by the lofty principle of what it is supposed to be about; because history shows that when it comes to these kinds of allegations some powerful men like Bill Cosby are taunted and hunted, while other powerful men with the first name Bill, who have faced similar allegations, are protected.

I am of course talking about former-President Bill Clinton, who like Bill Cosby has been accused of rape and has settled a sexual harassment lawsuit. There is also another woman who has accused Clinton of groping her in the White House. All of this is above and beyond the countless extra-marital affairs that swirl around Clinton, including an admitted one with a 21 year-old  White House intern named Monica Lewinsky. Clinton’s deceit during the fallout of his affair with Lewinsky resulted in impeachment and the loss of his license to practice law.

Juanita Broderick’s charges of rape against Clinton appear every bit as credible as those against Cosby. Moreover, unlike Cosby’s accuser, Broderick was a reluctant witness who never filed a financial lawsuit. Regardless, the media went out of its way to discredit and dismiss Broderick as a liar, a tool of the Right, or my personal favorite, old news.

Paula Jones would eventually settle a sexual harassment lawsuit against Clinton for $850,000, but not before Clinton surrogates smeared her as trailer trash as television news anchors chuckled along.

Kathleen Willey, a Democrat and White House volunteer who worked on Clinton’s 1992 campaign, accused Clinton of sexually groping her in the White House in 1993. The Clinton machine worked overtime to destroy and discredit her in 1998, and the media is still  too happy to play along.

Let us also never forget that the elite media not only attempted to cover up the Lewinsky affair, but before Lewinsky came up with Clinton’s DNA on the infamous blue dress, his White House was pouring every ounce of energy into portraying this young woman as a crazed liar and stalker. And again, the media was all-too eager to play along.

While I’m at it, let’s throw in the media’s never-ending Frankenstein villaging of Clarence Thomas, a black Supreme Court Justice who was dragged through the mud based on the allegations of only one woman. Unlike the allegations against Clinton, there was no established pattern with other woman. Just the one.

Herman Cain, a black Republican presidential candidate, was destroyed by the media just as he assumed the role of front runner. The sexual harassment allegations against Cain were nowhere near as serious as the charges of outright assault against Clinton, and no more credible. The only difference was a media determined to destroy Cain.

If political correctness was really about political correctness and not partisan politics, the media’s offense here would be condemned by the left as racist. There is no question that what we have is a media that takes allegations of sexual misconduct against black men with the utmost seriousness, while a white southerner is protected at all costs.

Race is certainly part of it. The elite media is left-leaning and the political left is desperate to keep blacks “in their place,” which of course means voting for Democrats.  Cosby, Cain, and Thomas challenge and question that destructive cultural mindset. Therefore, all three are threats to Power. Therefore, all three must be marginalized and destroyed at all costs — not just personally but also as a warning to others.

Again, the media is doing the right thing in chasing down the truth about Cosby, but not for the right reasons.

The media’s motives are racial, not noble.

If the media was really about protecting women from powerful predators, the idea of Bill Clinton as America’s first First Gentleman would horrify, not thrill.

Dear Black People: The Democrats Are About To Break Up With You

Derek Hunter

For decades, the black vote in the United States almost uniformly has gone to Democrats.

How’s that working out? Black unemployment is twice the national average, poverty rates are higher than before Democrats offered “help,” and the education system fails a disproportionate number of black children. That’s what 50-plus years of blind voting loyalty to Democrats has earned. And, thanks to those same Democrats and the nation’s first black president, it’s about to get a lot worse.

President Obama is set to legalize upwards of 5 million illegal aliens, with the dream of granting amnesty and citizenship to 6 million to 25 million more, based on estimates and chain migration. These aren’t Ph.D.s with seed capital ready to start tech companies; they’re low- and no-skilled workers with limited English skills ready to take any job available, especially entry-level jobs.

After decades of embracing Democrats on a national and local level, the black community is disproportionately poor and, therefore, a higher percentage of the Americans likely to be competing for those entry-level jobs.

Just six years ago, this extra thumb in the eye to a loyal Democratic voting base would have been unthinkable, but Hispanics are the new dominant minority in American politics. In the future, the black vote is going to be less and less necessary to Democrats, which means they will be taken for granted even more than they have been. Loyalty in politics lasts only as long as the last election.

Democrats won’t immediately ignore black voters. It will be gradual. When loyalty is garnered so effortlessly, dismissing it out of hand is folly. But it will happen.

Democrats play identity politics – appealing to people based on race, gender, sexual orientation, income level—whatever you got works for them. If people are concerned that an “other” is out to harm them in some way, they’re extremely loyal to those who pretend to be their protector.

“Leaders” reinforce this lie because it empowers and enriches them personally. They see members of these groups as nothing more than a means to an end. Identity politics is not their genuine belief system; their agenda is. And if they have to stand on people’s necks and crush their spirit to obtain what they want, so be it.

Democrats, particularly progressive Democrats, have run every city with a large minority population, nearly uninterrupted, for generations and they’ve only declined. Detroit, Baltimore, Chicago … name any city with a large minority and/or poor population and you will find it run by progressives for the vast majority of the last 50 or more years.

We must stop Emperor Obama

Sen. Sessions reacts: We must stop Emperor Obama

Congress must fix the problems President Obama’s executive amnesty plan creates.

Americans defeated President Obama’s disastrous amnesty plans both in Congress and at the voting booth. Tonight, President Obama defied an entire nation and declared that he will impose his rejected amnesty through the brute force of executive order.

President Obama’s executive amnesty will provide an estimated 5 million illegal immigrants with the exact benefits Congress rejected, in violation of federal law. His order will grant them social security numbers, government-issued ID’s, legal status and work permits. Illegal immigrants will now be able to take jobs and benefits directly from struggling Americans in a time of high unemployment and low wages. They will be able to take jobs from Americans in all occupations, ranging from truck drivers to power company workers to jobs with city government. Many illegal immigrants will also be able to obtain green cards and become permanent residents, allowing them access to almost all federal programs, to receive citizenship and sponsor foreign relatives to join them in the U.S.

In addition to providing formal amnesty benefits for 5 million illegal immigrants, President Obama has also eliminated virtually all enforcement with respect to the other nearly 7 million illegal immigrantsin the United States. As the president’s own former ICE Director, John Sandweg said: “if you are a run-of-the-mill immigrant here illegally, your odds of getting deported are close to zero.”

All you have to do is get into the country from anywhere on globe — whether through the border or by overstaying a visa — and you are free to remain, take jobs and receive benefits. This year alone, the White House has released into the United States more than 100,000 illegal immigrants who simply showed up at the border and demanded entry.

And now, with a single pen stroke, President Obama is obliterating what little remains of Americans’ immigration protections. Not only will millions of low-wage illegal immigrants rush into the labor market, but they will collect billions in taxpayer dollars as well. These costly government benefits range from child tax credits, to public housing to the likelihood that amnestied immigrants will rely on taxpayers for medical and retirement benefits.

Only a short time ago, President Obama himself admitted this action would be illegal and unconstitutional: “I know some people want me to bypass Congress and change the laws on my own” he explained, adding “that’s not how our democracy functions. That’s not how our Constitution is written.” President Obama also said that: “The problem is that I’m the president of the United States, I’m not the emperor of the United States. My job is to execute laws that are passed.”

Apparently, America now has its first emperor.

And he has issued an imperial order to dissolve America’s borders. Millions more will enter and demand the same amnesty benefits as those who came before. The entire moral foundation and consistency of our laws will have been eviscerated. Law enforcement officials have repeatedly warned that the president’s new amnesty will unleash a “tidal wave” of illegal immigration. The impact on our jobs, wages, hospitals, schools, police departments and neighborhoods will be crushing.

A second hammer blow will be dealt by the president’s unilateral increase in foreignworker programs for large corporations, including technology corporations. Currently,two-thirds of all new jobs in the IT industry are being filled by foreign workers — and yet the president wants to dramatically surge foreign worker admissions even further. This at a time when the Census Bureau tells us more than 11 million Americanswith science, technology, engineering and math degrees don’t have jobs in those fields.

President Obama is auctioning off America’s middle class to the highest bidders.

Immigration already stands at record levels and is rising quickly. Between 2000 and 2014 — a period during which the government issued nearly 30 million lawful visas to foreign workers and permanent immigrants — all net employment gains among the working-age went to imported labor. Now the president is planning to unilaterally increase immigration even further — all to placate a few billionaire lobbyists and open border extremists.

The great task before the nation now is to resist this imperial decree and return control of this nation to its own citizens — as our Constitution established.

That task begins with Congress refusing to allow a dime of money to be spent executing this unlawful amnesty. This a routine, constitutional and crucial application of congressional power.

If Democrat lawmakers join Republicans in blocking funds for his unlawful plan, the president will be stopped. Americans must ask their representatives this one question: do you serve the citizens of this country and their Constitution — or not?

Sen. Jeff Sessions is the ranking member of the U.S. Senate Budget Committee and a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Senator predicts a firestorm that could lead to violence

November 20, 2014 1 comment

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WASHINGTON — Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn warns there could be not only a political firestorm but acts of civil disobedience and even violence in reaction to President Obama’s executive order on immigration Thursday.

“The country’s going to go nuts, because they’re going to see it as a move outside the authority of the president, and it’s going to be a very serious situation,” Coburn said on Capital Download. “You’re going to see — hopefully not — but you could see instances of anarchy. … You could see violence.”

Coburn, 66, is a conservative Republican but one who has a personal relationship with Obama. They entered the Senate in the same class, elected in 2004, and the new senators from opposite ends of the political spectrum and their spouses immediately hit it off at an orientation dinner. Last year, the president wrote a tribute in Time magazine to Coburn as “someone who speaks his mind (and) sticks to his principles.”

“I really like the guy,” Coburn, 66, told USA TODAY’s weekly video newsmaker series Wednesday. “I thought he’s neat, and I think Michelle’s a neat lady.”

“Instead of having the rule of law handling in our country today, now we’re starting to have the rule of rulers, and that’s the total antithesis of what this country was founded on,” Coburn says. “Here’s how people think: Well, if the law doesn’t apply to the president … then why should it apply to me?”

Though he says both parties deserve some of the blame for Washington’s dysfunction, he argues that the president has the ability to chart a different path. Solid Republican control of Congress in the wake of this month’s midterm elections could make it easier to deal with an issue such as the structural problems associated with the deficit. Making the compromises necessary for that “requires divided government,” he says.

“If I were in his office, I’d say, if you want to have a successful second term, dig down, swallow your pride, get what you can get, compromise on everything you can for the best interests of the country,” he says. “Bring us back together.”

He will ignore the people, the constitution, and his own words.

HE

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will outline a plan on Thursday to relax U.S. immigration policy for as many as 5 million people, bypassing Congress and angering Republicans.

U.S. Representative Paul Ryan, the leading Republican voice on fiscal policy and a potential 2016 presidential candidate, called the plan a “partisan bomb” while a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner branded the president “Emperor Obama” for acting unilaterally.

The White House said Obama will deliver a televised speech at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday (0100 GMT Friday) laying out the plan followed by a trip to Las Vegas on Friday. Nevada is home to the highest proportion of undocumented immigrants.

Frustrated by years of congressional inaction on what most in Washington agree is a broken immigration system, Obama said he is now prepared to use his executive authority.

Obama’s directives are expected to remove the threat of deportation for as many as 5 million of the estimated 11 million people living illegally in the United States.

He will ignore the people, the constitution, and his own words.

With the White House poised to grant executive amnesty any day now despite the American people’s staunch opposition, on Sunday President Obama was asked about the many, many statements he made in the past about his inability to unilaterally change or ignore immigration law. His response was astonishingly brazen: “Actually, my position hasn’t changed. When I was talking to the advocates, their interest was in me, through executive action, duplicating the legislation that was stalled in Congress.”

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President Obama is once again trying to mislead Americans, but he can’t run from what he’s said over and over (and over) again. Not only are Americans not stupid – they can read[.]

brazen

The list of 22 statements follows, stretching from 2008 to as recently as August 2014. The whole thing may be found here.

This is a flagrant untruth: “In fact, most of the questions that were posed to the president over the past several years were about the very thing that he is expected to announce within a matter of days,”reported The New York Times. “[T]he questions actually specifically addressed the sorts of actions that he is contemplating now,” The Washington Post’s Fact Checker agreed, awarding President Obama the rare “Upside-Down Pinocchio,” which signifies “a major-league flip-flop.” Even FactCheck.org piled on.

22 times

President Obama is once again trying to mislead Americans, but he can’t run from what he’s said over and over (and over) again. Not only are Americans not stupid – they can read:

  1. “I take the Constitution very seriously. The biggest problems that we’re facing right now have to do with [the president] trying to bring more and more power into the executive branch and not go through Congress at all. And that’s what I intend to reverse when I’m President of the United States of America.” (3/31/08)
  2. “We’ve got a government designed by the Founders so that there’d be checks and balances. You don’t want a president who’s too powerful or a Congress that’s too powerful or a court that’s too powerful. Everybody’s got their own role. Congress’s job is to pass legislation. The president can veto it or he can sign it. … I believe in the Constitution and I will obey the Constitution of the United States. We’re not going to use signing statements as a way of doingan end-run around Congress.” (5/19/08)
  3. “Comprehensive reform, that’s how we’re going to solve this problem. … Anybody who tells you it’s going to be easy or that I can wave a magic wand and make it happen hasn’t been paying attention to how this town works.” (5/5/10)
  4. “[T]here are those in the immigrants’ rights community who have argued passionately that we should simply provide those who are [here] illegally with legal status, or at least ignore the laws on the books and put an end to deportation until we have better laws. … I believe such an indiscriminate approach would be both unwise and unfair. It would suggest to those thinking about coming here illegally that there will be no repercussions for such a decision.And this could lead to a surge in more illegal immigration. And it would also ignore the millions of people around the world who are waiting in line to come here legally. Ultimately, our nation, like all nations, has the right and obligation to control its borders and set laws for residency and citizenship.  And no matter how decent they are, no matter their reasons, the 11 million who broke these laws should be held accountable.” (7/1/10)
  5. “I do have an obligation to make sure that I am following some of the rules. I can’t simply ignore laws that are out there. I’ve got to work to make sure that they are changed.” (10/14/10)
  6. I am president, I am not king. I can’t do these things just by myself. We have a system of government that requires the Congress to work with the Executive Branch to make it happen. I’m committed to making it happen, but I’ve got to have some partners to do it. … The main thing we have to do to stop deportations is to change the laws. … [T]he most important thing that we can do is to change the law because the way the system works – again, I just want to repeat, I’m president, I’m not king. If Congress has laws on the books that says that people who are here who are not documented have to be deported, then I can exercise some flexibility in terms of where we deploy our resources, to focus on people who are really causing problems as a opposed to families who are just trying to work and support themselves. But there’s a limit to the discretion that I can show because I am obliged to execute the law. That’s what the Executive Branch means. I can’t just make the laws up by myself. So the most important thing that we can do is focus on changing the underlying laws.” (10/25/10)jmOneNationUnderSocialism 001
  7. “America is a nation of laws, which means I, as the President, am obligated to enforce the law. I don’t have a choice about that.That’s part of my job. But I can advocate for changes in the law so that we have a country that is both respectful of the law but also continues to be a great nation of immigrants. … With respect to the notion that I can just suspend deportations through executive order, that’s just not the case, because there are laws on the books that Congress has passed …. [W]e’ve got three branches of government. Congress passes the law. The executive branch’s job is to enforce and implement those laws. And then the judiciary has to interpret the laws. There are enough laws on the books by Congress that are very clear in terms of how we have to enforce our immigration system that for me to simply through executive order ignore those congressional mandates would not conform with my appropriate role as President.” (3/28/11)
  8. “I can’t solve this problem by myself. … [W]e’re going to have to have bipartisan support in order to make it happen. … I can’t do it by myself. We’re going to have to change the laws in Congress, but I’m confident we can make it happen.” (4/20/11)
  9. “I know some here wish that I could just bypass Congress and change the law myself.  But that’s not how democracy works.  See, democracy is hard.  But it’s right. Changing our laws means doing the hard work of changing minds and changing votes, one by one.” (4/29/11)
  10. “Sometimes when I talk to immigration advocates, they wish I could just bypass Congress and change the law myself. But that’s not how a democracy works. What we really need to do is to keep up the fight to pass genuine, comprehensive reform. That is the ultimate solution to this problem. That’s what I’m committed to doing.” (5/10/11)
  11. “I swore an oath to uphold the laws on the books …. Now, I know some people want me to bypass Congress and change the laws on my own. Believe me, the idea of doing things on my own is very tempting. I promise you. Not just on immigration reform. But that’s not how our system works. That’s not how our democracy functions. That’s not how our Constitution is written.” (7/25/11)
  12. “So what we’ve tried to do is within the constraints of the laws on the books, we’ve tried to be as fair, humane, just as we can, recognizing, though, that the laws themselves need to be changed. … The most important thing for your viewers and listeners and readers to understand is that in order to change our laws, we’ve got to get it through the House of Representatives, which is currently controlled by Republicans, and we’ve got to get 60 votes in the Senate. … Administratively, we can’t ignore the law. … I just have to continue to say this notion that somehow I can just change the laws unilaterally is just not true.  We are doing everything we can administratively.  But the fact of the matter is there are laws on the books that I have to enforce.  And I think there’s been a great disservice done to the cause of getting the DREAM Act passed and getting comprehensive immigration passed by perpetrating the notion that somehow, by myself, I can go and do these things.  It’s just not true. … We live in a democracy.  You have to pass bills through the legislature, and then I can sign it.  And if all the attention is focused away from the legislative process, then that is going to lead to a constant dead-end. We have to recognize how the system works, and then apply pressure to those places where votes can be gotten and, ultimately, we can get this thing solved.” (9/28/11)illegal-immigrants-climbing-fence-630x286

In June 2012, President Obama unilaterally granted deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA), allowing “eligible individuals who do not present a risk to national security or public safety … to request temporary relief from deportation proceedings and apply for work authorization.” He then argued that he had already done everything he could legally do on his own:

  1. “Now, what I’ve always said is, as the head of the executive branch,there’s a limit to what I can do. Part of the reason that deportations went up was Congress put a whole lot of money into it, and when you have a lot of resources and a lot more agents involved, then there are going to be higher numbers. What we’ve said is, let’s make sure that you’re not misdirecting those resources. But we’re still going to, ultimately, have to change the laws in order to avoid some of the heartbreaking stories that you see coming up occasionally. And that’s why this continues to be a top priority of mine. … And we will continue to make sure that how we enforce is done as fairly and justly as possible. But until we have a law in place that provides a pathway for legalization and/or citizenship for the folks in question, we’re going to continue to be bound by the law. … And so part of the challenge as President is constantly saying, ‘what authorities do I have?’” (9/20/12)
  2. “We are a nation of immigrants. … But we’re also a nation of laws. So what I’ve said is, we need to fix a broken immigration system. And I’ve done everything that I can on my own[.]” (10/16/12)
  3. I’m not a king. I am the head of the executive branch of government. I’m required to follow the law. And that’s what we’ve done. But what I’ve also said is, let’s make sure that we’re applying the law in a way that takes into account people’s humanity. That’s the reason that we moved forward on deferred action. Within the confines of the law we said, we have some discretion in terms of how we apply this law.” (1/30/13)
  4. I’m not a king. You know, my job as the head of the executive branch ultimately is to carry out the law.  And, you know, when it comes to enforcement of our immigration laws, we’ve got some discretion. We can prioritize what we do. But we can’t simply ignore the law. When it comes to the dreamers, we were able to identify that group and say, ‘These folks are generally not a risk. They’re not involved in crime. … And so let’s prioritize our enforcement resources.’ But to sort through all the possible cases of everybody who might have a sympathetic story to tell is very difficult to do. This is why we need comprehensive immigration reform. To make sure that once and for all, in a way that is, you know, ratified by Congress, we can say that there is a pathway to citizenship for people who are staying out of trouble, who are trying to do the right thing, who’ve put down roots here. … My job is to carry out the law. And so Congress gives us a whole bunch of resources. They give us an order that we’ve got to go out there and enforce the laws that are on the books.  … If this was an issue that I could do unilaterally I would have done it a long time ago. … The way our system works is Congress has to pass legislation. I then get an opportunity to sign it and implement it.” (1/30/13)fence
  5. “This is something I’ve struggled with throughout my presidency.The problem is that I’m the president of the United States, I’m not the emperor of the United States. My job is to execute laws that are passed. And Congress right now has not changed what I consider to be a broken immigration system. And what that means is that we have certain obligations to enforce the laws that are in place even if we think that in many cases the results may be tragic.” (2/14/13)
  6. “I think that it is very important for us to recognize that the way to solve this problem has to be legislative. I can do some things and have done some things that make a difference in the lives of people by determining how our enforcement should focus. … And we’ve been able to provide help through deferred action for young people …. But this is a problem that needs to be fixed legislatively.” (7/16/13)
  7. My job in the executive branch is supposed to be to carry out the laws that are passed. Congress has said ‘here is the law’ when it comes to those who are undocumented, and they’ve allocated a whole bunch of money for enforcement. And, what I have been able to do is to make a legal argument that I think is absolutely right, which is that given the resources that we have, we can’t do everything that Congress has asked us to do. What we can do is then carve out the DREAM Act folks, saying young people who have basically grown up here are Americans that we should welcome. …But if we start broadening that, then essentially I would be ignoring the law in a way that I think would be very difficult to defend legally. So that’s not an option. … What I’ve said is there is a there’s a path to get this done, and that’s through Congress.” (9/17/13)
  8. [I]f, in fact, I could solve all these problems without passing laws in Congress, then I would do so. But we’re also a nation of laws. That’s part of our tradition. And so the easy way out is to try to yell and pretend like I can do something by violating our laws. And what I’m proposing is the harder path, which is to use our democratic processes to achieve the same goal that you want to achieve. … It is not simply a matter of us just saying we’re going to violate the law. That’s not our tradition. The great thing about this country is we have this wonderful process of democracy, and sometimes it is messy, and sometimes it is hard, but ultimately, justice and truth win out.” (11/25/13)
  9. “I am the Champion-in-Chief of comprehensive immigration reform. But what I’ve said in the past remains true, which is until Congress passes a new law, then I am constrained in terms of what I am able to do. What I’ve done is to use my prosecutorial discretion, because you can’t enforce the laws across the board for 11 or 12 million people, there aren’t the resources there.  What we’ve said is focus on folks who are engaged in criminal activity, focus on people who are engaged in gang activity. Do not focus on young people, who we’re calling DREAMers …. That already stretched my administrative capacity very far. But I was confident that that was the right thing to do. But at a certain point the reason that these deportations are taking place is, Congress said, ‘you have to enforce these laws.’ They fund the hiring of officials at the department that’s charged with enforcing.  And I cannot ignore those laws any more than I could ignore, you know, any of the other laws that are on the books. That’s why it’s so important for us to get comprehensive immigration reform done this year.” (3/6/14)President-Obama-signs-executive-order-cutting-spending_1_1
  10. “I think that I never have a green light [to push the limits of executive power].  I’m bound by the Constitution; I’m bound by separation of powers.  There are some things we can’t do. Congress has the power of the purse, for example. … Congress has to pass a budget and authorize spending. So I don’t have a green light. … My preference in all these instances is to work with Congress, because not only can Congress do more, but it’s going to be longer-lasting.” (8/6/14)

President Obama should listen to President Obama, drop his plan to “expand the authority of the executive branch into murky, uncharted territory,” and work with Congress rather than insisting on his stubborn, “my way or the highway” approach.

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