23 August 2012
ICE AGENTS SUE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
The 10 ICE agents suing Napolitano and ICE Director John Morton claim that recent directives of deferred enforcement violate the Constitution and federal immigration law.
A group of ten Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agents filed a lawsuit against Department of Homeland Security, naming Secretary Janet Napolitano, claiming that the Obama administration is not letting them fully identify and deport illegal immigrants.
Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano says that her department has neither the money nor manpower to deport the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the USA, resulting in last year’s memorandum directing immigration officials to focus their efforts on dangerous illegal immigrants. Then last June, Obama announced a program that will allow up to 1.7 million illegal immigrants brought to the USA as children to have deportations deferred for at least two years, during which time they will be given permission t0 work.
The ICE agents suing Napolitano and ICE Director John Morton say those directives violate the Constitution and federal immigration law by essentially not permitting them to initiate the removal or non-criminal, non-priority illegal aliens. Although ICE spokesman Ross Feinstein did not comment on the case, he did point out that more than 50% of the nearly 400,000 illegal immigrants removed from the USA in 2011 had been convicted of crimes, the largest number in the agency’s history. He said that shows the decision to focus on the most dangerous illegal immigrants is a policy that works, and June’s decision to defer deportation for young non-criminal illegal immigrants is a more effective and efficient use of limited resources.
The lawsuit, filed Thursday in a Dallas federal court, requests that a judge strike down the two directives and protect the agents from any retribution for their lawsuit.
“These agent’s mission is to keep our borders secure, but the head of their agency is directing them otherwise, telling them to undermine their missions and contradict immigration law,” Sen. David Vitter, R-La.
Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., said the program actually helps ICE officials by allowing them to focus on the most dangerous illegal immigrants. “Deferred action is a major boost to law enforcement who do not have to waste time on honor students and can do the harder work of actually tracking down and deporting criminals,” he said.