House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security Chairman Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.) today sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano requesting that the agency not retaliate against U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents for suing the Administration over its amnesty program. Yesterday, several ICE agents filed a lawsuit in Texas, which argues that the Obama administration's amnesty program commands ICE officers to violate federal law and their oaths to uphold and support federal law. It also asserts that the Administration's directive violates the Administrative Procedure Act, unconstitutionally usurps and encroaches upon the legislative powers of Congress, and violates the obligation of the executive branch to faithfully execute the law.
"On August 23, 2012, ten Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents and officers filed a lawsuit seeking an injunction against further implementation of the June 15, 2012, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) directive entitled, "Exercising Prosecutorial Discretion with Respect to Individuals Who Came to the United States as Children.'
"We write to request that you take steps to ensure that the plaintiffs in this lawsuit, as well as any additional plaintiffs who may subsequently join the suit, do not suffer retaliation - employment-related or otherwise. Such retaliation would have a chilling effect on future lawsuits brought by government employees who witness waste, fraud, abuse, mismanagement, illegality or dangers to health and public safety.
"These agents should be considered "whistleblowers" who came forward to protect the public's interest and maintain integrity in government programs. They deserve protection from DHS efforts to stop this lawsuit and silence their voices.
"Thank you for your attention to this matter."