Fully half the states in the union are now part of a lawsuit challenging President Obama’s executive amnesty for illegal immigrants.
Less than a month after Barack Obama visited Tennessee to announce his action, Attorney General Herbert Slatery announced that the Volunteer State would be the 25th state to join the legal challenge, saying that doing so “is in the best interest of the state.”
Slatery explained that while the executive actions were about immigration, the lawsuit is largely about the rule of law, Constitution and separations of powers.
“The executive directives issued by the White House and Homeland Security conflict with existing federal law,” Slatery said Monday. “They replace prosecutorial discretion, normally determined on a case by case basis, with a unilateral nonenforcement policy protecting over 4 million people. The directives also are rules that have been issued without complying with the Administrative Procedures Act.”
The Tennessee attorney general reiterated that lawmaking is a job for Congress, not the executive branch.
“Congress can resolve all of the issues raised by this lawsuit, and the executive directives for that matter, by timely enacting legislation,” he said. “But in the meantime the state cannot sit on the sidelines of this case, when unlawful directives of this magnitude grant lawful presence and other rights like work permits to such a large number.”
“Asking a court to review this issue is the prudent choice, especially when state resources will be taxed under the directives to provide benefits like unemployment compensation and health care,” he added.
Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) cheered Slatery’s decision to join the suit shortly after his announcement.
“The President has overstepped his authority to put the interests of those who break our laws over those who come here legally and over the 200,000 Tennesseans who remain out of work,” Black said. “This action cannot stand and we must fight this on every front – whether through the courts or Congress.”
The state’s Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey added his applause Monday as well calling Obama’s actions “unconstitutional.”
“Barack Obama tossed aside not just public opinion but key tenets of our constitutional democracy when he bypassed Congress to grant illegal immigrants defacto amnesty,” he said. “I’m proud that Tennessee will be among the states standing up to this truly shocking display of executive arrogance.”
Tennessee will be joining Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin, in the the legal challenge to Obama’s executive actions.