Ends vs Means – The Problem with President Obama’s Immigration Proposal


I just read the transcript of President Obama’s Immigration Announcement.

Honestly, I agree with a lot of the points he makes. As I have mentioned previously, illegal Immigration is a difficult problem. How do we be fair to those who play by the rules, while still dealing with the realities of families and economics while still respecting the law? How do we balance justice and mercy?

But, regardless of the merits of his proposals, as I have tried to repeat over and over: the ends do not justify the means. Good ends can be pursued through unwise or wicked means.

The President cannot unilaterally decide to change law by executive decree. Law must be changed through proper constitutional procedure through the Congress. That is the whole point of the separation of powers the Constitution establishes. It may be inconvenient, but it helps protect us from tyranny.

Imagine if the next president is a Republican. Should he be able to simply decree that certain large corporations will be exempt from taxes because he believes it will help the economy and create jobs? No. The President is not a king.

This is similar to my objections to President Obama’s “Net Neutrality” proposal.

Now, I know that many people are frustrated by gridlock in the government. But in my view, gridlock is a feature, not a bug. It is an intentional consequence of the separation of powers and checks and balances.

There are plenty of people who disagree with me, however, and think that these constitutional roadblocks are outdated and irrelevant to our modern world. That may be a legitimate criticism. However, the proper course of action is to make your case, persuade enough people of that view, and amend the Constitution through proper procedure to rectify the inadequacy.

Ignoring constitutional limits and usurping powers is the wicked road to tyranny.

So don’t let the fact that the ends are good and the motivations good lead you to think that the means are therefore justified or worth it.

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