Ten U.S. immigration agents are suing Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton over a directive that “commands ICE officers to violate federal law.”
“We’re not enforcing law any more,” said Chris Crane, an ICE deportation officer and president of the National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council. “It is pretty much just let everyone go,” he told reporters during a conference call on Thursday.
Crane and nine other ICE agents filed their lawsuit in federal court in Dallas on Thursday.
They are seeking an injunction to block Napolitano’s June 15, 2012 directive, which instructs ICE officers to refrain from deporting most illegal immigrants who came to the United States as children.
"The Directive," says the lawsuit, "commands ICE officers to violate federal law ... commands ICE officers to violate their oaths to uphold and support federal law, violates the Administrative Procedure Act, unconstitutionally usurps and encroaches upon the legislative powers of Congress, as defined in Article I of the United States Constitution, and violates the obligation of the executive branch to faithfully execute the law, as required by Article II, Section 3, of the United States Constitution.”
In the El Paso case, local police arrested an individual for allegedly assaulting a relative and discovered that he was in the U.S. illegally. When ICE attempted to take him into custody, he tried to escape and an agent was injured. But the suspect was not issued an order for immigration processing and no investigation was conducted because of the Obama administration’s directive, Crane told reporters.
In Delaware, agents arrested an illegal alien who was driving the car of another man, described as a “criminal alien.” After the driver was taken into custody, agents found he had ten previous driving violations and no driver’s license. The ICE officer who did not want to follow orders from his superiors to release the man has been threatened with suspension, Crane said.