Does the President have authority over immigration? That question cannot be answered by quoting a particular article, section, and clause. The Constitution must be applied.
First, we must consider whether immigration involves a power delegated to the federal government. The answer to that question is yes and no. The authority to create “a uniform Rule of Naturalization” is vested in the federal government. However, not everything our federal government currently considers as immigration falls under this delegation.
The power over foreign immigration is delegated through Article 1 section 8 clause 4; “To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization.” Because it is delegated under Article 1, we know this power is specifically vested in Congress. Separation of powers dictates that since the power to establish this Rule rests with Congress, it cannot be exercised by any other branch. But if the executive branch may not ESTABLISH the Rule of Naturalization, what authority does the President have over the naturalization process?
Article 2, section 1, clause 8 tells us the Oath each President must take before he enters into office. This oath lays the foundation for all executive power:
“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
The President’s primary responsibility is to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” To fulfill this obligation, the President must exercise the powers delegated to the executive branch, but he also must refuse to exercise any power...