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Weekly Updates from Attorney General Ken Paxton: January 27, 2017

Friday, January 27, 2017 – Austin



When President Obama gave his first inaugural address, it was an emotional moment in American history. There stood the country’s first African-American president, a man who overcame the struggles of the past, yet who promised a united future, free from embitterment. He was a candidate elected on the wings of hope and change. Eight years later, I can attest that the president’s campaign pledge was at best a hollow victory.

The great deception of President Obama’s first campaign was persuading the American people that “change” was invariably good. The word “change” is in and of itself morally neutral. It can herald in a new age prosperity and growth, but it can also lead the country away from the tried and true principles that built its initial success. President Obama’s tenure in office falls into the latter category.

President Obama refused to respect the limits of his office. He often acted in spite of Congress and without a constitutional tether with which to hook his political agenda. More than that, the president made it a habit to intentionally ignore his obligation to faithfully execute federal law when it clashed with his personal preferences.

Never was this more clearly shown than with respect to immigration, where the president in equal measure legislated new policy as well as refused to enforce the rules Congress had already enacted. The president’s willful negligence was not without consequences for Texas. As I explained to Greta Van Susteren on MSNBC, illegal immigration has cost the state about $12 billion annually, much of which falls on local municipalities, stressing their resources.

To my delight, the era of Obama’s lawlessness has ended. America welcomed a new president last Friday, who also offered to change the status quo. Only this time the promised change was not a vague nod towards “progress” but a concrete vow to transfer power from Washington, D.C. back to the American people. It was a promise to return to the U.S. Constitution and to fulfill all the obligations the presidency demands.

Time will tell how faithfully President Donald Trump will carry out that pledge, but the early signs are encouraging. In his first week alone, President Trump signed two executive orders, which righted many of the omissions President Obama made on immigration. There is still more to be done, but the welfare and security of Texans will only benefit from the additional resources the president has committed to immigration enforcement.

My office, as always, stands ready to defend Texas and the U.S. Constitution, regardless of party. For that reason, I suspect that this administration and I might occasionally butt heads. But so long as President Trump governs as he campaigned, with an eye towards the law, then his office and mine can herald in together a real moment of change—one that returns the government back to the principles of its founding.

Very Truly Yours,

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Ken Paxton