Sunday, May 5, 2013

Judge Sides With ICE Agents: Says Obama Admin. Can’t Refuse to Deport Illegal Aliens

In a stunning order, a federal judge Wednesday said that the Obama administration is likely violating the law by telling immigration agents and officers not to arrest illegal aliens they deem “low priority”, in a lawsuit brought by ICE agents that could derail Obama’s plan to undermine immigration enforcement nationwide.

Federal Judge Reed O’Connor said in a court order Tuesday that Congress, not the president, sets priority for arresting illegal immigrants, and said the law requires them to be put in deportation proceedings.

“The court finds that DHS does not have discretion to refuse to initiate removal proceedings,” Judge O’Connor wrote in a stunning order few had expected.

Though not a final order, the judge shut the door on the Obama Administration’s effort to throw out this lawsuit, and guarantees a major battle ahead which could overturn Obama’s “virtual amnesty” for millions of illegals.

As we have reported, for the last several years the administration has conducted an arrogant, multi-pronged attack on the rule of law – first via the 2011 memorandums from the ICE Director and DHS Secretary, to an amnesty decree from Obama last year – in total outrageously shielding between 3 million and 5 million illegal aliens from arrest or deportation.

The Homeland Security department claimed it was using “prosecutorial discretion, and ordered agents to comply and refuse to enforce the immigration laws.

ICE immigration agents and officers sued (you can donate at this link), saying federal law requires them to make the arrests, but the Obama administration would discipline them if they complied with the law.

The judge said if Homeland Security officials want to set priorities for who they deport, they can do that later — but they cannot control who agents arrest.

The order is not a final ruling. Judge O’Connor said he still needs more information from both the administration and the immigration agents about whether the agents had another avenue to protest the policy rather than to go to court. He asked both sides to submit more information by May 6.

Still, Tuesday’s order makes clear that the judge rejects the central part of Mr. Obama’s claim that he can use discretion to decide not to arrest some illegal immigrants.

The case was brought by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Council, the labor union that represents ICE agents and officers.


Memo To Senate: Mandate The Border Fence Be Built Or Kill The Bill

The effort to secure the borders and reform immigration law is about to enter a crucial month at the end of which the fate of the bill will almost certainly be known.

The bill as it emerged from the Gang of 8 can probably not pass the Senate and certainly wouldn’t pass the House, nor should it.

But the Gang of 8 draft was only, as Senator Marco Rubio has said repeatedly said, “a starting point.”

A policy and political disaster awaits if a bill emerges from the Senate that cannot generate enough momentum to get even an amended version through the House and into a conference committee. The House will not be able to salvage a badly disfigured bill coming out of the Senate, so key amendments must be made in the Senate or Republicans in the Senate should say no to the effort and do so quickly.

The three key areas for amendment are (1) the border fence; (2) E-Verify; and (3) provisions to study and implement biometric screening and recording of people entering or leaving the United States.

The first fix is the easiest. As Charles Krauthammer told me on my radio show Friday (transcript here), we need “a fence from left to right, from east to west, except obviously the mountainous areas.”

Almost everyone from the center-right knows the truth of what Krauthammer says, and given that he is probably the single most influential commentator on the center-right, it is pure stubbornness for the Senate GOP to refuse to listen to him and scores of others saying the same thing: Build the fence.

Don’t “study” where it should go. Mandate where it should be built, and how it should be built, and when it should be built if any temporary residence permits are to be issued.

If the Senate’s bill does not mandate the construction of a thousand miles or more of double-fencing with an access road –with specified construction design and schedule, with appropriated money and with “notwithstanding any other law” authority to override the various laws like the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act, NEPA etc.—it isn’t serious.


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