Gov. Pat McCrory announced Wednesday he has joined the lawsuit with Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, now the governor-elect, in a lawsuit challenging President Obama’s executive action on illegal immigration.
In November, Obama bypassed Congress and shielded about 5 million illegal immigrants from deportation, about 40 percent of the 11 million illegal aliens currently in the U.S.
“The president has exceeded the balance of power provisions clearly laid out in the U.S. Constitution and his unilateral expansion of power must be challenged,” McCrory said in a prepared statement. “In North Carolina, the 10th most populous state, the president’s actions are likely to put even more financial strain on our state’s government services. It’s disappointing that the president has shown little regard for states which must shoulder the costs of his actions.”
According to the suit, Obama violated the Take Care Clause of the U.S. Constitution, found in Article I, Section 8, Clause 4.
The clause gives the power of setting a uniform rule of naturalization to Congress and not the president.
The lawsuit also contends that Obama violated the Administrative Procedure Act by issuing guidance to the Department of Homeland Security that is “essentially a legislative rule” because it creates new federal rights, duties and obligations having the effect of law.
“This lawsuit is about upholding the U.S. Constitution and the rule of law which is why North Carolina must join with its fellow states to stop this expansion of presidential power,” McCrory said.
Republican Sen.-elect Thom Tillis said Obama’s executive action has set the country back on immigration, not moved it toward meaningful reform.
“I’m afraid that the president’s unilateral action is going to set us back,” Tillis said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” over the Thanksgiving holiday.
Tillis also said the nation should take “credible steps” to seal the border before taking other actions on immigration.
Tillis participated in a panel looking forward to January when Republican majorities in the House and Senate will come into effect.
Republicans held the House in the midterm elections and secured the Senate as well.
Republicans will control at least 53 seats in the Senate to the Democrats’ 44 seats.
There are two independent seats, and at press time Louisiana was awaiting results of a runoff election Dec. 6.
Illegal Immigrants in NC
North Carolina’s illegal alien population has swelled from 350,000 in 2012 to 410,000 this year, according to data pulled from a Pew Research Center report and a Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) release. The statistic represents a 17 percent increase since 2012.
That equals out to slightly more than the entire population of Raleigh, which sits at just over 403,000.
That is the same as more than 10 times the population of Hickory, seven times Chapel Hill’s population, three times Cary’s, and more than two times Fayetteville’s.
The illegal immigrant population makes up 4.3 percent of the overall NC population, 0.4 percentage points higher than the national average of 3.9 percent.
Obama’s Executive Order
Obama announced his order late last month to give protection to illegal immigrants who:
- Have been in the nation for more than five years;
- Have children who are American citizens or are legal residents, such as those under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, often referred to as DREAMers;
- Have registered with the government;
- Have passed a criminal background check; and
- Have paid a “fair share” of taxes.
Obama said he was using his executive privilege to change the law because Congress had not acted.
Noticeably missing from protection are people working in agriculture, a field known to be a haven for illegal immigrants. The mandate also directs more efforts to border security, with an emphasis on deporting new arrivals.
Some amnesty activists said the move failed to protect enough of the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants already living in the United States. That is equal to the population of New York City and Chicago put together.
Many are calling the president’s actions an illegitimate power grab to give amnesty to illegal aliens without going through Congress, but Obama maintains he is acting where Congress hasn’t.
“To those members of Congress who question my authority to make our immigration system work better, or question the wisdom of me acting where Congress has failed, I have one answer: Pass a bill,” Obama said in a speech from the White House on Nov. 20.