Obama Deportation Progam Likely to Be Blocked, Judge Says

Andrew Harris, Businessweek, April 23, 2013

A court challenge by federal immigration agents seeking to block President Barack Obama’s deferred-deportation initiative will probably succeed, a judge said.

U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor in Dallas today put off his own decision on whether to grant the request for a preliminary injunction by 10 U.S. Immigration and Customs agents. He asked both sides to file additional arguments no later than May 6.

Announced by Obama and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano last year, the directive gives agents the ability to defer action on people unlawfully in the U.S. if they came to the country under the age of 16, are in school or have obtained a high school diploma, haven’t been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor or multiple misdemeanors, and aren’t a threat to public safety or national security.

“The court finds that DHS does not have discretion to refuse to initiate removal proceedings” when the requirements for deportation under a federal statute are met, O’Connor said today in a 38-page decision, referring to the Department of Homeland Security.

Still, the judge said he can’t decide the case based on the arguments he’s heard so far.

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{snip} Deferral, if conferred, is valid for two years, during which the person may obtain authorization for employment, and can be renewed, according to the ICE website.

The case was filed by attorney Kris Kobach, who also serves as Kansas Secretary of State and is a national Republican Party adviser. Lead plaintiff Christopher L. Crane is president of the National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council, a 7,600- member federal immigration agents’ union.

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