Thursday, April 21, 2016

Lawfully v. Legally

In case you missed it, here's an update on obama's executive action allowing millions of illegal aliens to remain in the U.S. (earlier post here)

As if we needed another reason to despise lawyers, obama's mouthpiece is trying to convince the Supreme Court that up is down, black is white, and "lawfully" and "legally" mean different things.

Obama Administration Tells Supreme Court 'Lawfully' Doesn't Mean 'Legally'
The Supreme Court heard oral arguments Monday in U.S. v. Texas. This case pits 26 states against the Obama administration on the question of whether the Executive Branch ... can unilaterally declare that more than four million foreign nationals who are illegally in the United States may stay here, work here and acquire eligibility for Social Security, disability and Medicare.

The states suing the administration, (Solicitor General Donald) Verrilli told the court, "are fundamentally wrong to claim the (administration's policy) confers on aliens whose presence Congress has deemed unlawful the right to remain lawfully in the United States."

The solicitor general then argued that the administration was not granting foreign nationals illegally in the United States "lawful status." It was instead granting them "lawful presence."
And the difference is...?
"Aliens with lawful status under the [Immigration and Nationality Act] are here lawfully; their presence therefore is not a basis for removal," said Obama's solicitor in his brief. "By contrast, mere 'lawful presence' occurs when the Executive openly tolerate[s] an undocumented alien's continued presence in the United States ... notwithstanding that the alien lacks lawful status and is present in violation of the law."
Let's stop here for a minute and think about that. An "undocumented alien" who is admittedly "present in violation of the law" can nevertheless have a "lawful presence" here?!?

Is this a great country or what?
In Monday's oral arguments, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito challenged the solicitor's language.

"On Page 16, you quote... 'The individuals covered are lawfully present in the United States,'" Roberts told Verrilli, according to the court's official transcript. "And less than a page later, you say, 'Aliens with deferred action are present in violation of the law.'

'Now that must have been a hard sentence to write," said Roberts. "I mean ... they're lawfully present, and yet, they're present in violation of the law."

Verrilli responded: "I actually had no trouble writing it, Mr. Chief Justice."

At this, according to the transcript, laughter arose in the Supreme Court chamber.
Yeah, I'd laugh too - if I wasn't too busy crying over what lawyers and liberals are doing to our country.
This is when Verrilli explained that these words have a different meaning in the "immigration world."

"The reason I had no problem writing it is because that phrase, 'lawful presence' ... means something different to people in the immigration world. What it means in the immigration world is not that you have a legal right to be in the United States, that your status has changed in any way. That you have any defense to removal. It doesn't mean any of those things, and it never has ..."

Roberts interrupted: "Lawfully present does not mean you're legally present in the United States."

"Right," said Verrilli. "Tolerated—"

Roberts interrupted again: "I'm sorry ... just so I get that right ... Lawfully present does not mean you're legally present."

"Correct," said the solicitor general.

Justice Alito then asked if it was true that those granted this unique status "may lawfully work in the United States."

"That's right," said the solicitor.

"And how is it possible," asked Alito, "to lawfully work in the United States without lawfully being in the United States?"

Millions are doing it, the solicitor general assured the justice.
I can hear my mother saying "Just because millions are doing it doesn't mean it's right."
Alito said, "I just don't understand it. ... [H]ow can it be lawful to work here but not lawful to be here?"
I'm with you, Judge. I don't understand it either. I guess that's because I'm not a sleazy liberal lawyer.

It reminds me of an old joke:

Q:  What's the difference between "unlawful" and illegal"?

A:  "Unlawful" is against the law. "Illegal" is a sick bird.



Randy said...

did you get a load of what sotomayor had to say? we no longer have an unbiased court

CenTexTim said...

So much for 'the rule of law.'