10 ICE agents file lawsuit against DHS and ICE for executive order amnesty
Today 10 Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents filed a federal lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security’s new deferred action program that President Obama authored to stop deportation proceedings for the so-called DREAMers, or illegal aliens under 30-years old.
The amnesty by executive order reached a fever pitch last week when California moved to give driver’s licenses to the group and Arizona’s governor wrote a state executive order that directly challenges President Obama new decree.
The lawsuit’s plaintiffs include ICE Agents Union President Chris Crane who contends DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano and ICE Director John Morton’s issuance of the Prosecutorial Discretion Memorandum, that prevents agents and employees from fulfilling their sworn oath to uphold the law and defend the US Constitution.
“The Directive and the earlier memorandum instruct ICE officers to refrain from placing certain aliens who are unlawfully present in the United States into removal proceedings,” according to a press release. “The Directive further instructs officers to take actions to facilitate the granting of deferred action to aliens who are unlawfully present in the United States. The Directive, entitled ‘Exercising Prosecutorial Discretion with Respect to Individuals Who Came to the United States as Children,’ also directs DHS personnel to grant employment authorization to certain beneficiaries of the Directive.”
Many agents are clearly frustrated with the administration’s tinkering of immigration law and say the new amnesty by executive order will put more lives in danger because the program requirements are too lenient.
“Both the Directive and memorandum command our agents to violate federal law and our oaths to uphold federal law. We are federal law enforcement officers who are being ordered to break the law. This directive puts ICE agents and officers in a horrible position,” said Chris Crane, veteran ICE agent and President of the National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council.
The Prosecutorial Discretion Memorandum mirrors portions of the DREAM Act that has repeatedly failed to pass through Congress.
“The Directive is an extension of the DREAM Act, which was rejected by Congress, and aims to grant an amnesty to 1.7 million illegal aliens,” said Kris Kobach, the attorney for the plaintiffs. “It violates federal immigration laws that require certain aliens to be placed in removal proceedings, it violates the Administrative Procedure Act, and it encroaches upon the legislative powers of Congress as defined in Article I of the United States Constitution.”
Kobach says the directive circumvents Congress and makes a mockery of the Constitution. Anti-amnesty activists believe the Prosecutorial Discretion Memorandum comes with other consequences.
“Any threat of harm to our nation’s immigration officers for enforcing the law is a threat against the livelihoods of average American workers,” said Roy Beck of NumbersUSA, the organization that is underwriting the suit. “Congress passes laws to determine how many and which citizens of other countries are allowed to enter U.S. job markets to compete with American workers. Fortunately during this long period of high unemployment, Congress has refused to add further competition through amnesties that would give millions of illegal aliens access to the legal U.S. job market. The Napolitano amnesty directive does the opposite. If immigration agents are not allowed to enforce the laws as decided by Congress, the wages and jobs of American workers are at risk.”
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