A federal judge has a message for President Obama: Stop bypassing Congress on immigration.
Obama issued a directive in June 2012 halting the deportation of many young illegal aliens after Congress refused to pass the DREAM Act, which would have provided conditional permanent residency to young illegals.
A federal judge in Dallas is now threatening to reverse that directive.
U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor said Tuesday that he will likely rule in favor of a lawsuit seeking to overturn the new policy. He has asked both sides to file additional arguments by May 6.
The administration’s policy directs U.S. Immigration and Customs, or ICE, agents to defer deportation for illegal aliens under 30 who entered the country before the age of 16, are in school or have a high school diploma, haven’t been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor or multiple misdemeanors and are not a threat to public safety or national security.
The ICE agent union challenged the policy, arguing that the Obama administration is disciplining agents who enforce federal immigration law.
The president of that union, the National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council, also said the policy is being abused.
In his April 8 testimony, Christopher L. Crane said, “Officers are applying the directive to people detained in jails, not kids in school.”
He told the court, “It is now the story in the jails for aliens to use to avoid arrest and deportation.”
Those aliens appear to be taking advantage of the policy with great success. National Review found, “Since the policy took effect in August 2012, the Obama administration has approved 268,361 applications for ‘deferred action’ status, and denied just 1,377 – an approval rate of 99.5 percent.”
While critics argue the policy is ineffective in securing the border, Judge O’Connor indicated it’s also illegal for the Obama administration to tell immigration agents not to arrest an illegal alien who is a low priority.
“The court finds that DHS (Department of Homeland Security) does not have discretion to refuse to initiate removal proceedings,” Judge O’Connor wrote.
O’Connor issued a court order stating that Congress, not the president, sets priorities for arresting illegal aliens and that the law requires them to face deportation.