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    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    Immigration lawsuit thrown out

    By Josh Gerstein
    12/23/14 9:22 PM EST
    Updated 12/23/14 9:49 PM EST

    President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration survived their first major court test Tuesday, when a federal judge tossed out a lawsuit claiming the president exceeded his constitutional power.

    U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell dismissed a challenge brought by Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio and backed by conservative legal activist Larry Klayman. Howell ruled that Arpaio had not shown the direct harm from Obama’s actions needed to institute a lawsuit in the federal courts.

    “The role of the Judiciary is to resolve cases and controversies properly brought by parties with a concrete and particularized injury— not to engage in policymaking better left to the political branches,” Howell wrote in an opinion filed Tuesday night. “The plaintiff’s case raises important questions regarding the impact of illegal immigration on this Nation, but the questions amount to generalized grievances which are not proper for the Judiciary to address.”

    The ruling came just one day after Klayman, Arpaio’s lawyer, presented a colorful argument laced with political barbs at a hearing that extended to more than an hour. During the sessions, Howell — an Obama appointee — shot several quizzical looks at the well-known lawyer and made a serious of pointed remarks suggesting she was highly skeptical of his arguments.

    The lawsuit challenged a policy Obama implemented in 2012 deferring deportation of individuals brought to the U.S. illegally as children, as well as two moves the administration announced last month: expanding that program and instituting a broader deferred deportation program for illegal-immigrant parents of U.S. citizens. Both programs will soon carry the possibility of three-year reprieves from deportation, along with work permits.

    Arpaio and Klayman immediately appealed the ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

    However, the Obama administration is facing a potentially more serious lawsuit in federal court in Brownsville, Texas, where 24 states are pursuing a similar legal challenge. That case is in front of a judge who is a George W. Bush appointee who has expressed criticism of what he argued was lax immigration enforcement under the Obama administration.

    In her 33-page ruling Tuesday, Howell concluded that Arpaio’s suit failed on several different grounds, including showing a “particularized” harm and demonstrating that the judge had the power to redress whatever problems Obama’s policy changes were creating for the sheriff.

    Howell said Arpaio’s central argument — that his county was incurring greater costs due to the Obama immigration actions — might well be flawed.

    “Contrary to the plaintiff’s assertion that a consequence of the challenged programs will be an increase in illegal conduct by undocumented immigrants and an increase in costs to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s office, these programs may have the opposite effect,” the judge wrote.

    “The deferred action programs are designed to incorporate DHS’s enforcement priorities and better focus federal enforcement on removing undocumented immigrants committing felonies and serious misdemeanor crimes. Since the undocumented immigrants engaging in criminal activity are the cause of the injuries complained about by the plaintiff, the more focused federal effort to remove these individuals may end up helping, rather than exacerbating the harm to, the plaintiff.”

    Howell also said it was difficult to predict the actions of immigrants and to establish the connection between those actions and Obama’s immigration policy changes.

    “The motivation for any individual to come to the United States (or, once present here, to commit a crime in Maricopa County), does not rest solely upon the challenged deferred action programs. Such decisions are complicated and multi-faceted, involving both national and international factors,” the judge wrote.

    One federal judge in Pennsylvania already ruled Obama’s latest immigration moves unconstitutional. But he acted in an individual criminal case, so the decision has no direct impact beyond that defendant, an illegal immigrant who pleaded guilty to an illegal re-entry charge.

    Howell said she appreciated that judge’s concern for a defendant who’d been present in the U.S. for many years and was facing possible deportation, but she disagreed with the judge’s legal rationale.

    “While fully respectful of the concern animating this decision, which focused on the fairness of the prosecution and guilty plea of the defendant for the crime of illegal re-entry, this Court does not find the reasoning persuasive,” Howell wrote.

    http://www.politico.com/story/2014/1...an-113795.html
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  2. #2
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    Glad to see Sheriff Joe and Klayman fighting. We know these men are true to their cause and doing the best they can up against a wall of politically appointed judges!

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