Today, in a 38 page decision, a federal Judge found that “DHS does not have discretion to refuse to initiate removal proceedings” when the law requires it.
O’Connor asked DHS and the ICE union to offer additional arguments before he makes a final ruling on the legality of President Obama’s “deferred action on childhood arrivals” program, which invoked prosecutorial discretion as a means of allowing people to stay in the country if they would have qualified for amnesty under the Dream Act, which never passed Congress.
They have until May 6th to file their additional arguments.
At yesterday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing with Napolitano, Jeff Sessions brought up Chris Crane’s testimony that agents are prohibited from enforcing the law and noted that indeed, the ICE officers had filed a lawsuit.
“I started out as a federal prosecutor in the Department of Justice in 1975,” Sessions said. “I have never heard of a situation in which a group of law officers sued their supervisor and you for blocking them from following the law. They weren’t complaining about pay, benefits, working conditions. They were saying their very oath they took, to enforce the law, is being blocked by rules and regulations and policies established from on high and that this is undermining their ability to do what they’re sworn to do.”
In her response to those remarks from Sessions, Napolitano said she believes she and other political officials have the authority to tell law enforcement agents which laws to enforce and which ones to ignore.
“There are tensions with union leadership, unfortunately, but here’s what I expect as a former federal prosecutor and attorney general, and that is that law enforcement agents will enforce the law in accord with the guidance they’re given from their superiors,” Napolitano said. “That’s what we ask of ICE, that’s what we ask of Border Patrol, that’s what we ask throughout the Department and I believe that would be consistent with all law enforcement. Agents don’t set the enforcement priorities. Those are set by their superiors and they are asked then to obey that guidance in accord with the law.”
Well the law has just spoken. DHS is supposed to deport illegal immigrants according to the law – not the whims of the Obama administration.