Seventeen States Sue Over Obama Immigration Action

Texas is leading the charge in a lawsuit filed on behalf of 17 states over President Obama's immigration action. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott filed the lawsuit Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Texas.

According to Attorney General Abbott (Governor-Elect), President Obama's recent executive action on immigration directly violates the Constitution. Abbott states although the U.S. immigration system is broken, the President does not have the power to rewrite immigration laws and has a duty to enforce the laws already in existence.

"The President is abdicating his responsibility to faithfully enforce laws that were duly enacted by Congress and attempting to rewrite immigration laws, which he has no authority to do -- something the President himself has previously admitted. President Obama's actions violate the Take Care Clause of the U.S. Constitution and the Administrative Procedure Act, which were intended to protect against this sort of executive disregard of the separation of powers."
The legal challenges outlined in the lawsuit against the administration include President Obama's immigration action conflicts with his duty to uphold and enforce Congress's laws; the administration failed to comply with the Administrative Procedure Act, which requires notice and comment rule making process before providing legal benefits like federal work permits, Medicare, and Social Security to people who are openly violating U.S. immigration laws; and Obama's executive action on immigration will serve to "exacerbate the humanitarian crisis along the southern border, which will affect increased state investment in law enforcement, health care and education."

In addition to Texas, states listed in the lawsuit against the Obama administration include Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Montana, Nebraska, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Mississippi, Maine, and North Carolina.

Defendants listed in the lawsuit are the heads of top immigration enforcement agencies within the Obama administration.

  • Jeh Johnson, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security
  • Gil Kerlikowske, Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection
  • Ronald D. Vitiello, Deputy Chief of U.S. Border Patrol, U.S. Customs and Border Protection
  • Thomas S. Winkowski, Acting Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
  • Leon Rodriguez, Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
President Obama's immigration action allows approximately five million people living in the United States illegally to remain in the country temporarily, without the threat of deportation.

Attorney General Abbott is set to meet this Friday with President Obama and other newly elected governors in order to discuss ways in which the administration and states can work together on the economy.

[Image via Flickr]