Judge seems skeptical of Arpaio’s challenge to Obama immigration plan
Judge seems skeptical of Arpaio’s challenge to Obama immigration plan | US news | The Guardian
Arizona sheriff claims the president violated the constitution as judge indicates that matter may be best left for Congress
>by: The Guardian | Monday 12/22/2014 16.50 EST | RePost: 12/23/2014 11:00:46 AM |
A federal judge on Monday appeared deeply skeptical of an Arizona sheriff’s lawsuit seeking to halt President Barack Obama’s plan to spare nearly 5 million people from deportation.
US District Judge Beryl Howell questioned whether Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio had legal standing to challenge the immigration program announced last month. She suggested the topic is better left for Congress and the Obama administration to sort out.
In the first courtroom battle over Obama’s plan, Arpaio’s lawyer Larry Klayman said the president violated the Constitution by doing an end-run around Congress. He argued that the program would let more illegal immigrants enter the country and commit crimes, burdening law enforcement.
“It’s not policy, he’s creating law and he cannot do that under the US Constitution,” Klayman said of Obama.
But Justice Department lawyer Kathleen Hartnett said Arpaio’s lawsuit seemed to be raising a “political dispute” rather than a legal claim the court could address. The Obama administration has called the case “speculative and unsubstantiated” and has urged the court to dismiss it.
Howell at times seemed exasperated with Klayman, a longtime conservative activist who has filed hundreds of lawsuits against the federal government, including challenges to Obama’s US citizenship. When Klayman said his client has been threatened because of his tough views on Obama’s immigration policy, Howell responded: “That just doesn’t cut it for me.”
Howell also said it did not appear that Arpaio could show a “concrete” injury he has suffered from the new policy, especially since it will take months before the bulk of it actually goes into effect.
“If Congress doesn’t like it, doesn’t Congress have the power to step in?” she asked.
Howell said she would issue a ruling in the case soon.
Arpaio has often clashed with the federal government over the enforcement of immigration laws and he has filed suit to stop new policies announced by Obama. He claims that more than 35% of immigrants living in Maricopa County illegally who wound up in Arpaio’s jails in 2014 were repeat offenders, signifying in the sheriff’s view that federal officials have done a poor job of deporting criminals.
Obama’s plan marks the most sweeping change to the nation’s immigration policies in nearly three decades and set off a fierce fight with Republicans. The changes include work permits and three-year deportation stays for more than four million immigrants here illegally. It mostly applies to those who have been in the country more than five years and have children who are US citizens or legal permanent residents.
Under the program, the Homeland Security Department would prioritize the removal of immigrants who present threats to national security, public safety or border security. DHS officials could deport someone if an Immigration and Customs Enforcement field office director determined that removing the person would serve an important federal interest.
The White House has insisted that Obama is acting under proper legal authority to enforce the nation’s immigration laws.
A federal judge ruled [in May 2014] that the office of America’s self-proclaimed toughest sheriff systematically singled out Latinos in its trademark immigration patrols, marking the first finding by a court that the agency racially profiles people. Joe Arpaio racially profied Latinos in Arizona, judge rules
Just a note:
I just don’t get it, President Barack Obama is a Constitution Lawyer; he studied the constitution and the right-wing still fighting him at every turn. In my opinion, they’re wasting the tax payer’s money in this fight. How are 35% illegal’s that end-up in Arpaio’s jails, according to his calculations, adversely hurting him and his pocket? I would think that he’s benefiting from this… Joe Arpaio is a conservative Republican racist and that’s the real problem with this individual. #DLU_US! What are your thoughts?