Federal Judge Reed O’Conner ruled on Friday that 10 ICE agents and officers indeed do have standing to challenge in Federal court the so-called Morton Memo on prosecutorial discretion and the DREAM directive on deferred action.
In his 35-page decision, Judge O’Conner found that the ICE agents and officers have standing, but that the State of Mississippi does not. He has not yet ruled, however, on the agents’ motion for a preliminary injunction to halt implementation of the DHS directives.
The primary impetus for the lawsuit came last June, when Secretary Napolitano issued a memo offering deferred action and employment authorization to illegal aliens under age 31 who meet certain criteria similar to those outlined in the DREAM Act, which has failed to pass Congress on three occasions.
Even before that, though, ICE Director John Morton essentially gutted immigration enforcement by issuing a memo on prosecutorial discretion that, in effect, prohibits ICE agents and officers from arresting or removing any but the most violent criminal aliens. Under Morton’s stated policy, most of the 12 million or so illegal aliens that the administration wants to legalize are currently safe from deportation.
This is just one of the reasons that the National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council voted unanimously that they have no confidence in Morton’s ability to lead the agency. Aside from ordering ICE agents to not enforce federal immigration laws, Morton has also gutted worksite enforcement and the 287(g) program, which is a cooperative effort between local law enforcement and federal immigration agents.
The 10 Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents filed a federal lawsuit against the Obama administration seeking an end of President Barack Obama’s new non-deportation policy derided as Obama’s Dream Act Light by opponents of his illegal immigration policies, according to the ICE agents’ union.
The ICE agents filed the lawsuit in federal court in one of the state’s most affected by the Obama policy — Texas. The agents allege that President Obama’s policies have reduced the number of illegal aliens who will be deported back to their country of origin.