President Obama, ultimately the nation’s chief law enforcement officer, failed to either detain, or arrange for the detention of, two alleged criminals who were riding with him in his motorcade Thursday evening.
It’s not clear if the suspects were with him in his actual car, or if they came along separately in a different vehicle within the motorcade.
The allegations of wrongdoing against the two men, known so far only as “Luis and Victor,” were made by . . . Barack Obama.
Mr. Obama lodged the charges during remarks to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Gala in Washington. From the White House transcript:
I want to give a special thanks to two young men who rode over with me from the White House tonight. Luis and Victor are CHCI (Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute) interns and fellows. (Applause.) They are also DREAMers, living and working in the country they call home, and making it a better place for all of us.
Their stories are inspiring. And along with the other CHCI fellows, they give me great hope for the future. They make me optimistic about what America is all about.
Dreamers, as you may know, are illegal immigrants who were brought into the United States as children. While they deserve our compassion, they are in violation of the law, to the extent there are still laws in this country. That’s why Obama only gives out their first names.
Here’s the law:
U.S. code Title 8 Chapter 12 Subchapter II Part VIII § 1325:
“Improper entry by alien”
(a) Improper time or place; avoidance of examination or inspection; misrepresentation and concealment of facts
Any alien who
(1) enters or attempts to enter the United States at any time or place other than as designated by immigration officers, or
(2) eludes examination or inspection by immigration officers, or
(3) attempts to enter or obtains entry to the United States by a willfully false or misleading representation or the willful concealment of a material fact, shall, for the first commission of any such offense, be fined under title 18 or imprisoned not more than 6 months, or both, and, for a subsequent commission of any such offense, be fined under title 18, or imprisoned not more than 2 years, or both.
Luis and Victor broke this law by way of their parents. They may have qualified for Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) edict issued in 2012, which allows them to stay two years and even makes them employable. It was the president’s way of promulgating legislation Congress refused to enact.
Nevertheless, DACA only defers prosecution of their cases. It doesn’t make them legally present.
Of course, I have empathy for kids brought here illegally. It’s not their fault, though Luis and Victor are old enough to understand that they are de facto lawbreakers at this point.
But the point of this exercise is not to attack Luis and Victor. I would probably, if I knew more about their cases, admire their desire to remain in the country where they were raised and which they perhaps even love.
The point is that our president doesn’t give a damn about the law. He cares about what he thinks is right, or what is politically expedient. And that, for the leaders of our country, is an outlook our system was designed to prevent.