Ten U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials have filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration’s new deferred action policy. Janet Napolitano, the secretary of homeland security, and John Morton, director of ICE, are the targets of the suit that is led by ICE agent and union president Chris Crane.
ICE officials claim that the program prevents them from doing their job, which includes arresting illegal immigrants for their unlawful status in the United States.
“This policy not only hurts ICE agents but also unemployed American workers who have to compete with illegal immigrants for scarce jobs,” said Lamar Smith, house judiciary chairman of San Antonio. “The Obama administration regularly puts illegal immigrants ahead of the interests of American workers.”
The lawsuit accuses the program, and last year’s directives requiring ICE officers to use a broader discretion in immigration cases, of violating a 1996 federal law that required federal agents to arrest illegal immigrants and place them in deportation proceedings, reported the Los Angeles Times.
“One obvious weakness of the case is that it alleges that the Department of Homeland Security is granting relief wholesale, to a large group, when in fact the deferred action for childhood arrivals process is a one-by-one, case-by-case determination, individualized,” said Dan Kowalski, an immigration expert. “A lot of individuals, to be sure, but still one-by-one, each one judged on the merits.”
Despite the criticism from the Department of Homeland Security and ICE officials, DACA does indeed follow prosecutorial discretion that pursues certain criminals who are in the country illegally. The current policies target illegal immigrants who pose a threat to public safety or national security and make a shift away from random deportations.
This article is brought to you by Immigration Direct, a trusted resource for matters related to the government’s deferred action program. Take the Free Deferred Action Eligibility Quiz online today.