Arpaio files suit to block Obama’s amnesty

A motion for a preliminary order to block President Obama’s amnesty-for-millions plan has been filed with U.S. District Court in Washington by FreedomWatch attorney Larry Klayman on behalf of his client, Maricopa, Arizona, County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

“In response to President Obama’s announcement of November 20, 2014, that he on his own authority will grant legal status in the United States to approximately 4.7 million illegal aliens, Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona, and his crime-fighting attorney Larry Klayman, have filed a complaint and preliminary injunction motion with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia seeking to enjoin or stop this illegal action by President Obama,” said a statement released by FreedomWatch Thursday.


Named in the lawsuit are Obama, and Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, Immigration Services chief Leon Rodriquez and Attorney General Eric Holder as defendants in an action that seeks to avoid “irreversible harm” from Obama’s actions because they will “encourage[e] more illegal aliens to enter the country unlawfully.”

Arpaio, who has been consistently at odds with the Obama administration, released a statement at the time.

“This unconstitutional act by the president will have a serious detrimental impact on my carrying out the duties and responsibilities for which I am encharged as sheriff,” he said. “Specifically, it will severely strain our resources, both in manpower and financially, necessary to protect the citizens I was elected to serve. For instance, among the many negative [e]ffects of this executive order, will be the increased release of criminal aliens back onto streets of Maricopa County, Arizona, and the rest of the nation.”

He continued: “I am not seeking to myself enforce the immigration laws as this is the province of the federal government. Rather, I am seeking to have the president and the other defendants obey the U.S. Constitution, which prevents this executive order from having been issued in the first place. This unconstitutional act must be enjoined by a court of law on behalf of not just myself, but all of the American people.”


So now a motion for preliminary injunction has been filed to halt any immediate work on the amnesty.

Klayman explained: “Obama’s form of amnesty violates the U.S. Constitution, plain and simple. The president does not have the authority to rewrite immigration laws as legislation and national policy are enacted by Congress, not by the president.

“The president’s executive responsibilities are to execute – that is implement – the laws enacted by Congress. As Sheriff Arpaio’s attorney and friend, I salute him for being the first to boldly challenge President Obama’s unconstitutional executive order effectively granting amnesty to illegal aliens, some of whom are hardened criminals.”

Klayman continued: “As he stated under oath in his declaration, Sheriff Joe Arpaio attests that he ‘found out that over 4,000 illegal aliens were in our jails over the last 8 months … [and] one third of the 4,000 illegal aliens arrested in Maricopa County had already been arrested previously for having committed different crimes earlier within Maricopa County under Arizona law.’ This must not be tolerated and must be stopped.”

The request for the injunction explains: “Legislation and national policy are enacted by Congress, not by the president. In some limited cases, the Congress delegates quasi-legislative authority to the executive branch. However, the exercise of delegated authority requires compliance with a variety of restrictions and limitations.”


Critics say a waiver of requirements for entire groups of people does not meet the definition of prosecutorial discretion but is more simply an “amnesty.”

When the complaint originally was filed, immediately after Obama’s announcement, it said, “While defendant Obama hijacks the language of previous immigration regulation and law, defendant Obama fundamentally transforms the definition of key terms to create a radically new and different regime of immigration law and regulation.

“DACA and EOA are sweeping changes to immigration law and regulation, operate on a ‘wholesale’ level upon broad categories rather than ‘retail’ as an individualized adjudication of persons one at a time, operate in and modify areas already regulated differently by existing regulations, and are a dramatic departure from prior interpretation and application of existing law and regulations.

“Yet the Obama administration purports to effect the dramatic changes by executive order announced by the president, implemented through his cabinet secretaries,” the complaint explains.

“The president cannot simply announce sweeping new rules and implement them by giving a speech,” the complaint says.

The original complaint noted Obama, in 2013, said: “The problem is that, you know, I am the president of the United States. I am not the emperor of the United States. My job is to execute laws that are passed. And Congress right now has not changed what I consider to be a broken immigration system. And what that means is that we have certain obligations to enforce the laws that are in place even if we think that in many cases the results may be tragic.”


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