Chalk up one for justice and the Constitution! A federal Judge in Texas told the Obama administration that they did NOT have the discretion to pick and choose which laws to enforce. They must deport illegal immigrants … er … criminally trespassing aliens. The lawsuit was brought by Ice agents who felt their lives were being put in danger because they were not being allowed to do their jobs.
This was not a final decision. The Judge ruled that the court challenge by federal immigration agents seeking to block President Barack Obama’s deferred-deportation initiative will probably succeed.
The deferred-deportation program was the president’s attempt to create a “dream act” by executive fiat after it was rejected by Congress.
Judge Reed O’Connor in Dallas put off his own decision on whether to grant the request for a preliminary injunction by 10 U.S. Immigration and Customs agents because he requited additional information.
Announced by Obama and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano last year, the directive gives agents the ability to defer action on people unlawfully in the U.S. if they came to the country under the age of 16, are in school or have obtained a high school diploma, haven’t been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor or multiple misdemeanors, and aren’t a threat to public safety or national security.
“The court finds that DHS does not have discretion to refuse to initiate removal proceedings” when the requirements for deportation under a federal statute are met, O’Connor said today in a 38-page decision, referring to the Department of Homeland Security.
Still, the judge said he can’t decide the case based on the arguments he’s heard so far.
“Accordingly, the court hereby defers ruling on the plaintiffs’ application for preliminary injunction until the parties have submitted additional briefing,” O’Connor said.
According to the president’s attorney, this was nothing but a dispute between employers and employees.
Adam Kirschner, a lawyer for the Justice Department, told O’Connor at the hearing the case was, in reality, an employment dispute and that the agents can’t demonstrate they’ve been harmed. “These agents do not like the way the agency has prioritized the use of its resources,” he said.
“The executive cannot remove 11 million people,” Kirchner said of the branch of the U.S. government led by Obama. “The executive has authority to exercise its discretion.”
If Mr. Kirchner had read the Constitution lately perhaps he would understand that the Congress passes laws and the executive is supposed to implement them. It is not within the president’s purview to decide which laws to implement and which to ignore. Just as it is not within the powers of the citizens to decide which laws to follow and which to break.