A new Fox News Poll released on Wednesday reveals Americans are far from dumb when it comes to understanding the importance of our Constitutional system of checks and balances designed to guard against executive branch over reach.
By an 8-point margin, 51% to 43% of respondents believed that President Barak Obama exceeded his authority in granting legal status to more than 5 million illegal immigrants now living in the United States.
More importantly, Americans fear that Obama’s executive overreach may permanently damage the balance of power between the three branches of government – as in the case of illegal immigrant amnesty.
In this case, the president grows impatient with Congressional inaction on an issue (amnesty)… uses executive action to impose new law on the American people (no deportation, legal residency, right to work)… knowing it could take months or even years for the federal courts to rule on the constitutional merits of a particular executive order.
The poll reveals even wider margins of disapproval of executive orders when it comes to the long-term consequences that executive actions may have on the country.
Roughly three quarters (74%) believe President Obama’s amnesty order will encourage more people to enter the country including fully half saying it is “very likely” to lead to more illegal immigration in the years ahead.
According to Fox News, the “poll goes on to ask what such actions mean for the country in the long term and finds more than two-thirds – 68 percent of voters – are concerned Obama’s use of executive orders and unilateral actions may be “permanently altering” our country’s system of checks and balances.
That includes 42 percent of Democrats, 72 percent of independents and 93 percent of Republicans.”
This doesn’t mean the American people want to deal harshly with illegal immigrants already inside the country.
As Fox reports, “a 63-percent majority wants the government to allow illegal immigrants to remain in the U.S. and eventually qualify for citizenship after meeting certain requirements.”
What Americans do want as part of any comprehensive immigration reform deal is a “border security first” approach before the country can address the question of bringing illegals “out of the shadows”.
This is especially true since border security is already the law of the land. According to the House Committee on Homeland Security:
“Keeping our borders secure from potential terrorists, illegal immigrants, and illicit contraband, is vital to the safety and security of the United States. The Committee on Homeland Security supports efforts to gain and maintain operational control of the entire border as well as vigorously enforce our nation’s immigration laws.”