The Obama administration’s new immigration policy, deferred action, which went into effect last week, is being challenged in court.
A lawsuit was filed on Thursday in federal court in Dallas, Texas, on behalf of 10 officers and agents who work for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE). The suit argues that granting two-year deportation deferral and employment authorization to qualified young undocumented immigrants requires ICE officers to violate federal law.
The suit was filed by Kris Kobach, the Kansas Secretary of State, who had also advised Mitt Romney on immigration policy on behalf of the agents, including Chris Crane, president of the ICE agents and officers union. He previously opposed the administration’s policy that allowed some undocumented immigrants with clean records and strong ties to the county to avoid deportation.
"It places ICE agents in an untenable position where their political superiors are ordering them to violate federal law," Kobach said. "If they follow federal law, they will be disciplined by their superiors."
The defendants are Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and John Morton, director of ICE.
Matt Chandler, a DHS spokesman, said the department uses prosecutorial discretion to focus its efforts on arresting and deporting criminal immigrants, and the newest policy is in line with that effort.