Fears that President Barack Obama's unilateral changes to U.S. immigration policy earlier this summer would weaken immigration agents' ability to enforce existing U.S. laws were justified Thursday after 10 immigration agents filed a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).The New York Times reports that the agents are suing the Obama administration over new, election-year policies that prohibit immigration officials from deporting non-criminal illegal immigrants and illegals under the age of 30 who were brought to the U.S. as children and have graduated from high school because the directives are stopping them from being able to do their jobs as outlined by U.S. laws - laws that neither the President nor DHS have the authority to single-handedly change.
In the lawsuit, filed in Federal District Court in Dallas, the agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement said the program prevented them from detaining illegal immigrants who were public safety risks. The suit contends that the program, which started on Aug. 15, violates a law requiring agents to arrest illegal immigrants and infringes on the powers of Congress. The agents said they faced disciplinary action by officials at ICE, as the agency is called, for arrests that conflict with its directives. “They are in the unusual and untenable situation where they are asked to choose between following an order that makes them break federal law or disobeying the order and facing discipline at the hands of superiors,” said Kris Kobach, a lawyer for the agents.
Kobach, who is also the Secretary of State in Kansas, is best known as the co-author of S.B. 1070 - the "Arizona Law" that seeks to give police officers in the state more power and ability to uphold the federal immigration laws that DHS and ICE are refusing to enforce.
The Daily Caller previously reported that immigration officials has been advised to take illegals at their word if questioned that they did in fact complete a high school education, adding yet another loophole to the increasingly confusing and broken immigration system in the United States.
By the time the legal challenge filed Thursday hits federal court, Obama may not even be President anymore, making the lawsuit a moot point. However, if Obama wins re-election the case could very well end up in the nation's highest court, as judges continue to struggle to define the limitations on the power of the executive branch and the President.