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

chris crane

Above: ICE Union President Chris Crane, who filed the lawsuit against DHS.

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.

Below see testimony from the brave ICE Union President Chris Crane, who is leading the lawsuit (Crane v. Napolitano et al) about how the Administration has decimated immigration enforcement against illegal aliens – and how they have punished ICE agents for enforcing the laws…


About John Hill

John Hill is the Executive Director of Stand With Arizona, one of the nation's largest organizations opposing illegal immigration and amnesty. SWA's members have been instrumental in passing legislation in states and counties around the U.S., and blocking the DREAM Act in 2010. Join us!

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