ICE Officers: Deferred Action for DREAMers Unconstitutional

Just as undocumented immigrants across the country celebrated a historic victory granting them temporary relief from deportation, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers, seven of them from Texas, were preparing to challenge that possibility. The ICE employees filed a lawsuit today against Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and ICE Director John Morton claiming the recent Obama policy is forcing them to violate the law.

Their lawyer is Kris Kobach, who was instrumental in drafting Arizona’s SB 1070 and Alabama’s similar HB 56, widely considered some of the harshest anti-immigrant laws in the country.

The lawsuit comes just a few days after the administration released the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival applications, prompting thousands of young immigrants who qualify under the program to apply for relief from deportation and temporary work permits.

The lawsuit is a byproduct of a simmering feud between Chris Crane, president of the National ICE Council, the union that represents approximately 7,000 immigration officers, and the Obama administration. Crane is critical of the administration’s strategy regarding “prosecutorial discretion” which means that ICE agents focus on deporting violent criminals rather than non-violent undocumented immigrants.

Earlier in the year, the union refused to allow its members to attend a half-day training course on prosecutorial discretion, according to the Homeland Security News Wire.

Testifying before the House Judiciary subcommittee last October, Crane accused President Obama of pandering to Latino groups for political gain, according to the Homeland Security News Wire. “Law enforcement and public safety have taken a back seat to attempts to satisfy immigrant advocacy groups,” Crane told the committee.

In a telephone press conference today, Attorney Kobach called the order unconstitutional, saying, “ICE agents are … being ordered by their superiors to break federal law, or if they don’t break federal law according to their orders, they will be disciplined.” … FULL STORY