Federal law does not allow the president to exclude broad classes of aliens from the immigration laws, just as it does not allow the president to exclude broad classes of people from the tax laws.  Kings and czars held the power to exempt favored classes from the law. Presidents do not.

The old version of deferred action applies to aliens who have been placed in immigration proceedings to be removed.  The Obama version is much broader and is available to immigrants who have never been in proceedings. In other words, Obama is extending the benefit to people who haven’t even been caught yet and sent into proceedings. This pulls the rug out from law enforcement officials.

No wonder law enforcement officials are fighting back.  The program is so radical and lawless that career employees of DHS recently sued DHS Secretary Napolitano. They rightfully argue that the new policy forces them to exceed their authority and violate immigration law or face insubordination charges from their superiors if they do not. The administration claims it is simply giving its employees prosecutorial discretion. Prosecutorial discretion is the province of prosecutors, not Border Patrol agents. As the president of the ICE union explained, “The administration’s new policies do not provide officers new options or increased flexibility, but instead orders officers not to enforce laws.”

This must be the change we heard so much about in 2008.

Add to this toxic mix the launch of the bus tour by open-borders radicals — “No Papers, No Fear.”  Their website features names and photos of people who are in the United States illegally and now have nothing to fear and no intention of leaving.  Miguel Guerra is one.  “We’re no longer afraid to say we are undocumented,” Guerra declared.

And if any law-abiding citizens raise any questions about it, beware: the bus tour is “holding rallies and confronting anti-Latino prejudice along the way.”

There was a time in America where nearly all of us believed in the rule of law. Law was an agreed-upon set of norms that both Democrats and Republicans accepted as standards of behavior. America was founded on this principle not because it was easy, but because the alternative was worse.  History provides examples of countries where lawlessness, especially lawlessness endorsed by the powerful, leads to outcomes none of us would want, not even Miguel Guerra.  The job-killing policies of the Obama years are the most visible tragedy of the lost hope of 2008. But the corrosion of the rule of law by these educated people in power to satisfy a lawless demographic may be the hardest to reverse.