Obama administration throws in towel on pressing for de facto immigration amnesty

The election of Donald Trump has prompted the Obama administration to throw in the towel and seek a delay until after the inauguration of a court case challenging Obama’s executive fiat effectively granting amnesty and benefits to millions of illegal immigrants.

A Texas judge ruled in February 2015 that Obama’s executive order exceeded his powers under the law, but the case was being appealed. The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals twice upheld the injunction and a deadlocked 4-4 Supreme Court left the injunction in place.

The Washington Times is reporting that the Justice Department and the states fighting the amnesty order, which includes Nevada and 25 other states, filed a joint request with federal Judge Andrew S. Hanen saying, “Given the change in Administration, the parties jointly submit that a brief stay of any further litigation in this Court before beginning any further proceedings would serve judicial efficiency and economy so that the parties have a better understanding of how they might choose to move forward.”

In his ruling, Judge Andrew Hanen stated that “ the states cannot protect themselves from the costs inflicted by the Government when 4.3 million individuals are granted legal presence with the resulting ability to compel state action. The irony of this position cannot be fully appreciated unless it is contrasted with the DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents) Directive. The DAPA Directive unilaterally allows individuals removable by law to legally remain in the United States based upon a classification that is not established by any federal law. It is this very lack of law about which the States complain. The Government claims that it can act without a supporting law, but the States cannot.”

The judge said if the government were allowed to start issuing benefits but the executive is later overturned or legislatively countermanded there would be irreparable harm to both the states and the immigrants. 

At the time of the ruling Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt called the injunction a victory for the rule of law.

Obama has created amnesty with a stroke of his pen

Border apprehension (Photo by Caroline May via Brietbart)

“They define a republic to be a government of laws, and not of men.” — John Adams

According to laws passed by Congress, those who enter this country without proper authorization have broken the law and are to be deported. Congress has in the past granted amnesty to such people, during the Reagan administration, for example. Congress has debated for years doing so again, but has passed no such law.

But the only people being deported as illegal immigrants in this second Obama administration are criminals, and not many of them. Fox News reports that of the 69,478 deported from the interior — not turned back at the border, which counts as deportation in this administration — 91 percent were previously convicted of a crime. Thus the chance of being deported for merely being in the country illegally is half a percent.

“You have the resources to do it, those resources should be dedicated to not just removing criminal aliens but anyone else,” Claude Arnold, a former Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent for 27 years. “The fact is, someone doesn’t want those laws enforced and it’s plain to see.”

In fact, even criminal illegals are being turned loose. As many as 19,723 were released as of April 2015, about the same as the previous year. Approximately 32 percent of federal prisoners are illegal aliens.

A Border Patrol agent recently testified before Congress that they are not stopping people from crossing the border illegally but are engaged in catch and release.

“We’re releasing basically everybody as long as you’re not from the country of Mexico. And even if you’re from the country of Mexico and you claim that you have a credible fear and you’re asking for asylum for one reason or another — we’re still releasing those individuals,” Brandon Judd, the president of the National Border Patrol Council, testified.

He added, “If I were to guess, I would say that at least 80 percent of the individuals that the United States Border Patrol arrests at the border qualify for this catch and release program and in essence we are just letting them come into the United States.”

Fully 85 percent of those given notices to appear for a hearing never show, and the 15 percent who do are released for further hearings in the future or are given asylum.

Texas Federal Judge Andrew Hanen, who is presiding over a case brought by 26 states over Obama’s de facto amnesty executive orders, recently ordered attorneys for the Justice Department to undergo ethics training after they lied to him.

Hanen wrote:

“The United States Department of Justice (“DOJ” or “Justice Department”) has now admitted making statements that clearly did not match the facts. It has admitted that the lawyers who made these statements had knowledge of the truth when they made these misstatements. The DOJ’s only explanation has been that its lawyers either ‘lost focus’ or that the ‘fact[s] receded in memory or awareness.’ … These misrepresentations were made on multiple occasions starting with the very first hearing this Court held. This Court would be remiss if it left such unseemly and unprofessional conduct unaddressed.”

A government of laws?

 

Editorial: Laxalt proven correct in joining lawsuit challenging Obama executive order

When Nevada’s new Republican attorney general, Adam Laxalt, joined in the lawsuit with 25 other states challenging President Obama’s executive fiat granting amnesty from deportation and granting green cards and Social Security cards to millions of illegal immigrants, Democrats like Sen. Harry Reid were critical of his action and even Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval said the matter should be handled legislatively rather than in the courts.

A ruling by a Texas federal judge granting an injunction blocking the administration from carrying out its intentions appears to vindicate Laxalt and his reasons for joining the suit. At the time he joined the other states, Laxalt stated his rationale for doing so was because the president’s action disregarded the U.S. Constitution, undermined the rule of law and was injurious to millions of Americans, including Nevadans.

In his ruling, Judge Andrew Hanen states that “ the states cannot protect themselves from the costs inflicted by the Government when 4.3 million individuals are granted legal presence with the resulting ability to compel state action. The irony of this position cannot be fully appreciated unless it is contrasted with the DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents) Directive. The DAPA Directive unilaterally allows individuals removable by law to legally remain in the United States based upon a classification that is not established by any federal law. It is this very lack of law about which the States complain. The Government claims that it can act without a supporting law, but the States cannot.”

Hanen’s ruling also halts the expansion of Obama’s executive order allowing children brought into the country illegally to remain.

The judge said if the government were allowed to start issuing benefits but the executive is later overturned or legislatively countermanded there would be irreparable harm to both the states and the immigrants. “This genie would be impossible to put back in the bottle,” he said.

As for the argument that Obama and his Department of Homeland Security are merely exercising prosecutorial discretion in determining who will be deported, the judge noted, “The DHS was not given any ‘discretion by law’ to give 4.3 million removable aliens what the DHS itself labels as ‘legal presence.’ In fact, the law mandates that these illegally-present individuals be removed. The DHS has adopted a new rule that substantially changes both the status and employability of millions. These changes go beyond mere enforcement or even non-enforcement of this nation’s immigration scheme.”

The day after the Texas judge’s injunction was issued, Laxalt commented, “Yesterday’s carefully considered, 123-page decision represents a great initial victory for the rule of law and our constitutional system. I am encouraged by the federal court’s thorough analysis of this executive action. This injunction will halt the executive action and allow for the judiciary to carefully evaluate the legality of President Obama’s unilateral act. As I’ve always insisted, this lawsuit is ultimately about the rule of law, not immigration, and the need for all branches of our government, including the president, to faithfully follow the law.”

The ruling does not mean that anyone will be deported anytime soon, given the administration’s lax enforcement.

The case is likely going to be heard by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeal and possibly by the U.S. Supreme Court.

We applaud the attorney general for standing up for the rule of law.

A version of this editorial appears this week in the Battle Born Media newspapers — The Ely Times, the Mesquite Local News, the Mineral County Independent-News, the Eureka Sentinel and the Lincoln County Record.

Separation of powers? What powers?

So a Texas federal judge has issued a preliminary injunction blocking Obama’s executive fiats granting amnesty and work permits to millions of illegal alien children and their parents.

Even the federal judge issuing the order said there is no reason to believe that any of the illegals will deported or prosecuted. (Page 120 of the 123-page ruling.)

The question is whether Obama — who has ignored court orders in the past, such as the moratorium on drilling in the Gulf — will go ahead with handing our green cards and Social Security cards to illegals.

“The court agrees that, without a preliminary injunction, any subsequent ruling that finds DAPA unlawful after it is implemented would result in the States facing the substantially difficult–if not impossible – task of retracting any benefits licenses already provided to DAPA beneficiaries,” Judge Andrew Hanen wrote, explaining why the injunction was necessary. “This genie would be impossible to put back in the bottle.”

Nevada’s Attorney General Adam Laxalt joined the suit a day after the hearing on the case before Judge Hanen. Nevada became the 26th state as plaintiffs.

In his press release announcing the state’s joining the list of plaintiffs, Laxalt also stated: “Our immigration system is broken and clearly needs to be fixed. But just as clearly, the solution is not for the president to act unilaterally disregarding the U.S. Constitution and laws. The solution must be a permanent, legal result that includes, not ignores, the other branches of government and their constitutional roles. Anything less is a false hope undermining the rule of law that injures millions of people in America, including many in Nevada.”

The administration is expected to appeal. The question is: What will happen in the meantime?

Editorial: Laxalt right to join in lawsuit over Obama executive order on immigration

The primary thrust of Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt’s decision to join 25 other states in suing over the president’s executive orders blocking deportation of millions of illegal immigrants is strictly about the rule of law and the limited powers granted by the Constitution.

The lawsuit spearheaded by the state of Texas and filed in federal court in Brownsville states clearly in its second paragraph: “This lawsuit is not about immigration. It is about the rule of law, presidential power, and the structural limits of the U.S. Constitution.”

In his press release announcing the state’s joining the list of plaintiffs, Laxalt also stated: “Our immigration system is broken and clearly needs to be fixed. But just as clearly, the solution is not for the president to act unilaterally disregarding the U.S. Constitution and laws. The solution must be a permanent, legal result that includes, not ignores, the other branches of government and their constitutional roles. Anything less is a false hope undermining the rule of law that injures millions of people in America, including many in Nevada.”

Nevada joined the suit the day after federal Judge Andrew Hanen heard arguments in the case. Judge Hanen repeatedly pressed the Justice Department attorney to explain by what legal authority President Obama could take such action.

Hanen is the judge who two years ago basically accused the Department of Homeland Security of aiding and abetting child smuggling when it stopped a smuggler bringing a 10-year-old El Salvadoran girl into the U.S., but then delivered the girl to her mother who had paid $8,500 to the smuggler.

The judge noted that the DHS failed to arrest the mother for instigating the conspiracy to violate our border security laws, but instead delivered the child to her — “thus successfully completing the mission of the criminal conspiracy. It did not arrest her. It did not prosecute her. It did not even initiate deportation proceedings for her. The DHS policy is a dangerous course of action. …”

The federal lawsuit joined by Laxalt points out that the DREAM Act that would have allowed children brought into this country illegally to stay was introduced in March 2009. After that Obama said on at least eight occasions he could not himself impose such amnesty.

“I am president, I am not king. I can’t do these things just by myself. …” he said. “I can’t just make the laws up by myself.”

In June 2012, Obama did just that, announcing the sweeping Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), even though his own Justice Department advised that immigration officials should be required “to evaluate each application for deferred action on a case-by-case basis, rather than granting deferred action automatically to all applicants …”

The acceptance rate for DACA applicants is more than 99.5 percent. Sounds automatic.
After that there was a clamor to not break up families and let the parents of those children remain in this country, too. To which Obama said on at least nine occasions, according to the lawsuit, that he did not have that power: “I’m not a king. I am the head of the executive branch of government. I’m required to follow the law.”

In November, Obama unilaterally waived deportations for the parents, candidly admitting, “I just took an action to change the law,” even though his own Justice Department advised “the proposed deferred action program for parents of DACA recipients would not be permissible.”

The lawsuit also points out the president’s action is costly to the states, because they are the ones who must pay for the health care, education and law enforcement related to those immigrants who have been given an incentive to come here and now accommodated to stay here.

Though the president has argued his actions amount to prosecutorial discretion, the suit notes he went far beyond that discretion, allowing them to be employed and benefit from Social Security and Medicaid.
All of these actions are the purview of Congress. The president is required by the Constitution to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.”

We applaud the attorney general in joining in this quest to restore the rule of law.

A version of this editorial appears this week in the Battle Born Media newspapers — The Ely Times, the Mesquite Local News, the Mineral County Independent-News, the Eureka Sentinel and the Lincoln County Record.

Branco cartoon