Rep. Ruben Gallego of Arizona sent out a charming tweet yesterday, warning immigration officials they will not be safe from prosecution once Democrats take control of the House.
If you are a US government official and you are deporting Americans be warned. When the worm turns you will not be safe because you were just following orders. You do not have to take part in illegal acts ordered by this President's administration. https://t.co/BLq48HRkbH
— Ruben Gallego (@RubenGallego) August 30, 2018
Not surprisingly, the union representing ICE agents was none too pleased.
Chris Crane, the president of the National ICE Council, which represents thousands of ICE employees, accused Gallego of inciting violence against them as they “enforce the nation’s laws and keep our communities safe.”
“It should be frightening to every American that a sitting member of Congress would threaten the safety of any person and their family, and incite the public to take acts of violence against them, let alone the lives of those whose job it is to protect us and keep us safe,” Crane said in a statement.
Later came the inevitable — and entirely insufficient — “clarification” from Gallego:
“Government officials who violate the law or the constitution will not be immune to legal consequences,” Gallego said Thursday. “They will eventually be held accountable for their actions, even if the Trump administration is refusing to do so.”
What laws have been violated? What part of the Constitution has been breached? ICE agents are enforcing the law. The fact that the previous administration refused to enforce the law is where the illegality and a violation of the Constitution occurred.
Gallego apparently based his warning on a bit of fake news from the Washington Post:
Gallego’s warning was prompted by a story in The Washington Post on Wednesday that examined how the U.S. government has denied passports to Hispanics who have U.S. citizenship but are suspected of possibly having fraudulent birth certificates.
In a statement to Fox News on Thursday, a State Department spokesman blasted the Washington Post report, saying passport denials in these cases have actually declined under this administration. Both the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations reportedly denied passports to people delivered by midwives in Texas’s Rio Grande Valley, though the practice was hindered by a court challenge years ago.
“The facts don’t back up the Washington Post’s reporting. This is an irresponsible attempt to create division and stoke fear among American citizens while attempting to inflame tensions over immigration,” said Heather Nauert, a State Department spokeswoman. “Under the Trump Administration, domestic passport denials for so called ‘midwife cases’ are at a 6-year low. The reporting is a political cheap shot.”
Gallego didn’t quite go full Nuremberg on immigration officials but he came close. It’s an absolute no-brainer to say that “following orders” is not a defense in breaking the law. Gallego’s problem is that no one is breaking the law and his threats to prosecute federal officers who are performing their duties in enforcing the law rile people up for no reason at all.
Gallego, like several federal judges, refuses to acknowledge the fact that the executive branch enjoys wide discretionary powers to interpret and enforce the laws of the land. Obama was lax in enforcing the law, which led to a flood of illegals crossing the border. Trump is interpreting the law differently, but is well within the boundaries of his constitutional authority in that interpretation.
Shouldn’t there be a test on the Constitution we give these congress critters that they have to pass to serve?