Several U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents today filed a lawsuit in Texas against the Obama administration's amnesty program. On June 15, 2012, Obama administration officials at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a memo instructing ICE officers to stop placing certain illegal immigrants into removal proceedings and instead take actions that encourage these illegal immigrants to remain in the U.S. and apply for work permits.
The lawsuit filed today 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.
Representatives Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) and John Carter (R-Texas) joined House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) in condemning the Obama administration's amnesty program and supporting the ICE agents who filed the lawsuit.
Representative Gohmert: "It's a sad day when ICE employees have to sue their own employer over injustices and violation of laws within the Department of Homeland Security. I support this effort to reintroduce the Obama administration to the Constitution and the fact that when Congress passes a law and the President signs it, a future President must follow the law unless it is changed. A President does not get to speak new law into existence that overrides existing law until his coronation as our first king."
Chairman Smith: "The Obama administration's amnesty program not only rewards lawbreakers, it also forces ICE agents to violate federal law. ICE agents should enforce our immigration laws and apprehend illegal immigrants. But the Obama administration makes it impossible for ICE agents to do their jobs. Instead of enforcing the law, the Obama administration requires ICE agents to release illegal immigrants. This policy not only hurts ICE agents but also unemployed American workers who have to compete with illegal immigrants for scarce jobs. The Obama administration regularly puts illegal immigrants ahead of the interests of American workers."
Representative Carter: "It is incredible that we have an Administration that is willfully breaking the immigration laws of this country, and is now threatening sworn law enforcement officers if they refuse to break the law as well. These officers deserve their day in court to air their grievances, without fear of destroying their careers for speaking out against what they believe to be, and have substantial evidence to support, efforts to intimidate officers into violating federal law."