ICE Agents Sue President For Failing To Enforce Immigration Laws

August 27th, 2012

How is this case possibly justiciable?

Saying they are fed up with being told that they can’t do their jobs, 10 immigration agents on Thursday sued the Obama administration to try to overturn the president’s new non-deportation policy.

The lawsuit, filed in a federal court in Texas, adds a legal controversy to the political fight that has been brewing over President Obama’s immigration policies, which have steadily narrowed the range of immigrants whom the government is targeting for deportation.

The 10 U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents and deportation officers said Mr. Obama’s policies force them to choose between enforcing the law and being reprimanded by superiors, or listening to superiors and violating their own oaths of office and a 1996 law that requires them to put those who entered the country illegally into deportation proceedings. . . .

In their 22-page complaint, the agents say they have been told in broad terms to stop taking action on a whole class of illegal immigrants. They said they have been instructed not to bother asking for proof, either, but to take an immigrant’s word about qualifying for the president’s policy . .  .

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in the Northern District of Texas, argues that the administration policies fail to pass muster on three grounds: They infringe on Congress’ right to set immigration policy, they force ICE agents to disregard the 1996 law, and the Homeland Security Department didn’t follow the federal Administrative Procedure Act, which requires agencies to write regulations and put them out for public comment before taking big steps.

This is somewhat reminiscent of birther suits filed by members of the military who claimed they could not take orders from an illegitimate commander in chief. Though, based on his dissent read from the bench in Arizona v. United States, they might have Justice Scalia’s vote.