The Corner

Judge Likely to Block Obama Deportation Policy

A federal judge on Wednesday indicated that a court challenge against the Obama administration’s “deferred action” deportation policy is likely to succeed, though he postponed a final ruling on the case until next month.

“The court finds that DHS does not have discretion to refuse to initiate removal proceedings,” against illegal immigrants who meet the federal requirements for deportation, U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor said in a 38-page preliminary decision. O’Connor deferred a final ruling on the case, and asked both parties in the case to file additional arguments by May 6.

A group of U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents is seeking an injunction against a June 2012 policy directive from Homeland Security secretary Janet Napolitano, which granted “deferred action” status to illegal immigrants who meet certain requirements. The plaintiffs claim the policy “commands ICE officers to violate federal law” by releasing illegal immigrants who have been arrested on criminal charges. I wrote about the case last week:

The ICE agents claim that the directive “violates the obligation of the executive branch to faithfully execute the law,” which mandates that if immigration officers find that a detainee is in the country illegally, that individual “shall be detained” for removal proceedings. The Obama administration, however, is arguing that the word “shall,” in this instance, actually means “may.” The resulting enforcement breakdown has led officials to release dangerous criminals without charge. One of the most “shocking” examples of this, notes Kris Kobach, the attorney representing the plaintiffs, is the case of ICE agent Samuel Martin.

On July 17, 2012, an illegal immigrant who had been detained on a domestic-assault charge in El Paso, Texas, allegedly assaulted Martin and a colleague — a federal felony charge — as they tried to place the immigrant in a vehicle. When Martin, who would later require shoulder surgery as a result of the incident, sought to initiate removal proceedings against the immigrant, his ICE supervisors told him to release the detainee without charge. According to the plaintiff’s court filing, the agents protested, but were told that “it was a management decision, based on the President’s new immigration policies.” ICE supervisors, with an eye to possible disciplinary action, subsequently questioned the agents.

“Most of the people turned loose are criminals, people who have been arrested but not yet convicted,” Kobach tells National Review Online. “This is really a dangerous policy that results in hundreds, if not thousands, of illegal aliens [who’ve been] arrested for crimes being turned loose on the streets.”

Since the policy took effect in August 2012, the Obama administration has approved 268,361 applications for “deferred action” status, and denied just 1,377 — an approval rate of 99.5 percent.

Andrew Stiles — Andrew Stiles is a political reporter for National Review Online. He previously worked at the Washington Free Beacon, and was an intern at The Hill newspaper. Stiles is a 2009 ...

Most Popular


The End of Hong Kong as We Know It

The protests in Hong Kong have been going on for more than four months now, and no matter how the current crisis concludes in the coming days or weeks, it will mark the end of Hong Kong as we know it. The protests started in response to an extradition bill that was proposed by the city’s Beijing-backed ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Hillary Ruins the Plan

Editor’s note: Andrew C. McCarthy’s new book is Ball of Collusion: The Plot to Rig an Election and Destroy a Presidency. This is the first in a series of excerpts.  There really was a collusion plot. It really did target our election system. It absolutely sought to usurp our capacity for ... Read More

An Insider’s Guide to Italian Insults

The tragicomic irony of Chris Cuomo’s pugilistic outburst earlier this week — cursing and physically threatening a man for taunting him with a reference to the movie The Godfather — is that the CNN anchor reinforced the usual tropes about Italian Americans. We are all wise-guys, goons, and Mafiosi, just ... Read More

Another Pop-Culture Christian Loses His Faith

It’s happened again. For the second time in three weeks, a prominent (at least in Evangelical circles) Christian has renounced his faith. In July, it was Josh Harris, a pastor and author of the mega-best-selling purity-culture book I Kissed Dating Goodbye. This month, it’s Hillsong United songwriter and ... Read More