District Court

Congressmen Bat Down MALDEF

WASHINGTON – Last Friday, three Congressmen � Congressman Steve King of IIowa, and Congressmen Andy Biggs and Paul A. Gosar, both of Arizona – filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, which is hearing a case brought by Texas and seven other states and two governors to have the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program declared unconstitutional. The Congressmen are represented in this effort by the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI), which drafted the brief.

At issue is a motion to dismiss the case made by a group of Mexican nationals and others represented by the Mexican-American Education & Legal Defense Fund (MALDEF), an open-borders activist group. MALDEF’s clients were allowed to intervene in the case because the defendants, the United States and federal officials, agree with the plaintiffs that DACA is unconstitutional.

Now MALDEF claims the case should not go forward at all. Its main argument is that federal district courts in other parts of the country have blocked the Trump Administration’s rescission of DACA, and thus DACA cannot be struck down by the court in this case. As IRLI points out in its brief, however, whether DACA can be rescinded is a separate question from whether it was unconstitutional to begin with.  If it were unconstitutional to begin with, blocking its rescission would not reinstate it, but rather reinstate the last lawful state of affairs � that is, the situation pre-DACA.>

“It’s clear why MALDEF, with its open-borders agenda, wants this suit to go away,” commented Dale L. Wilcox, executive director and general counsel of IRLI. “A victory here for Texas probably would be upheld by the Supreme Court, and DACA would be no more, rescission or no rescission. To try to stop that they’ll make any argument, even the mind-bending claim that, because a ruling by this court that DACA has never been lawful would change the effect of other courts’ rescission rulings, this court can’t take that step.”

The case is being heard by U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen. In 2015, Judge Hanen struck down the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (“DAPA”) program, which would have granted amnesty to 4 million illegal aliens and included an expanded version of DACA. Both the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and (in a 4-4 ruling) the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Judge Hanen’s DAPA decision.

The case is Texas v. United States, No. 1:18-cv-0068 (S.D. Tex.).

For additional information, contact: Brian Lonergan � 202-232-5590 � blonergan@irli.org

The appalling hypocrisy, ignorance of courts on immigration and states' rights

One of the most absurd aspects of this immigration lawsuit pending in the Ninth Circuit is the notion that a state can have standing to sue the federal government in order to bring in more immigrants, visitors, and refugees. It would be akin to a state suing the president because it doesn’t like his foreign policy or if a state felt that the military deployments are hurting and disrupting the lives of residents of their states. Those assertions may or may not be valid, but they are political, not legal questions.

Moreover, the courts have demonstrated an appalling level of hypocrisy and ignorance of the entire purpose of federal control over immigration by simultaneously ruling against states that wish to clamp down on undesirable immigration and protect their own sovereignty.

Federal immigration power is all about protecting national sovereignty

As we’ve observed in previous columns, immigration laws — generally speaking — provide the president with broad latitude to ratchet down immigration but not the authority to increase immigration. It’s rooted in the concept of national sovereignty and consent-based immigration. A decision to bring in more people must be done judiciously with a transparent debate of all the people’s representatives. A decision to keep out people, on the other hand, is often needed to protect national sovereignty and security at a moment’s notice.

As James Madison wrote in 1835, “[I]n the case of naturalization a new member is added to the Social compact …by a majority of the governing body deriving its powers from a majority of the individual parties to the social compact.” This is why our Constitution vested Congress with plenary power over immigration policy, and why the courts — before they became autocratic in recent years — conceded that they have absolutely no jurisdiction to second-guess the legislature or executive officials on any immigration decision not involving U.S. citizens.

The same principle of national sovereignty is behind the underlying premise of why the Constitution transferred authority over immigration from the states to the national government. The power was transferred to the federal government not for the purpose of violating the sovereignty of the states and forcibly flooding their jurisdictions with endless flows of third world immigrants. It was quite the opposite — to prevent individual states from bringing in too many dangerous or costly immigrants in order to bolster their representation in Congress and thereby negatively affect the entire union.

Commenting on the power of Congress (as opposed to states) over immigration, the inimitable Justice Joseph Story explained, “If aliens might be admitted indiscriminately to enjoy all the rights of citizens at the will of a single state, the Union might itself be endangered by an influx of foreigners, hostile to its institutions, ignorant of its powers, and incapable of a due estimate of its privileges.” While this was written in 1833, every word is speaking to liberals today in states like Washington who want to endanger the nation with unlimited numbers of Sharia-adherent immigrants and refugees during a time of global Islamic uprisings.  

Roger Sherman, among the greatest of all the Founders, noted during the House debate on the Naturalization Act of 1790 that “it was intended by the Convention, who framed the Constitution, that Congress should have the power of naturalization, in order to prevent particular States receiving citizens, and forcing them upon others who would not have received them in any other manner.” (emphasis added) Sherman was emphatic that federal control was designed to “guard against an improper mode of naturalization,” and prevent individual states from flooding the country with immigrants based on “easier terms.”

Thus, the federal plenary power over immigration was not to be used as a hammer to crush state sovereignty with boundless immigration, but rather as a shield to protect states and the entire federal union from irresponsible immigration policies of insidious state officials.  

States have power to enforce the law on behalf of their sovereignty, not to violate national sovereignty

Yet, as the courts have done with every aspect of the Constitution, they have flipped the entire structure and purpose of federal power over immigration on its head — upside down, inside out. When states want to protect their sovereignty from a president that blatantly violates statute and the Constitution to harm national and state sovereignty, the courts tell those states to get lost. In some cases, the courts even prevent those states from passing laws to protect their citizens. Yet, when states complain about a president using 100% existing law to protect sovereignty, the courts give the states a forum to codify their political desires for more immigrants into laws that say the exact opposite.

This perversion of the letter and spirit of the Constitution played out in numerous cases. For example, when states sued President Obama for flooding their jurisdictions with refugees without notifying them even after the fact, much less giving them “advanced consultation” — as required by statute — the courts threw out the lawsuit. Now states can demand more refugees when they have no such right!

The courts prevented the Arizona government and Sheriff Arpaio from enforcing existing federal immigration law, yet they have green lighted sanctuary cities.

The courts have blocked Texas from preventing illegal aliens from obtaining birth certificates, thereby disenfranchising and stealing the sovereignty of American citizens. Yet, they have allowed Chicago to ignore ICE detainers.

The court’s called Mississippi’s grievances against Obama’s illegal DACA amnesty “speculative,” but have readily welcomed Washington State’s illegitimate grievances demanding more immigrants.      

As Justice Scalia made clear in his masterful dissent in Arizona v. United States (2012), a state’s “power to exclude from the sovereign’s territory people who have no right to be there” is “the defining characteristic of sovereignty” and that the “Constitution did not strip the States of that authority.” “To the contrary,” wrote Scalia, “two of the Constitu­tion’s provisions were designed to enable the States to prevent “the intrusion of obnoxious aliens through other States.” Letter from James Madison to Edmund Randolph (Aug. 27, 1782).”

Even a broken clock is right twice a day, but that is not true of the contemporary federal courts. They are wrong all the time and flip the Constitution upside down.

The gospel of liberal jurisprudence comes from the misunderstood Marbury case, in which John Marshall declared, “it is emphatically the province and duty of the Judicial Department to say what the law is. Now we are seeing that the courts have made it their job, with devastating perverse consistency and deleterious consequences, to say what the law isn’t.

- See more at: https://www.conservativereview.com/commentary/2017/02/appalling-hypocrisy-ignorance-of-courts-on-immigration-and-states-

Update: GOOD NEWS! Lawsuit to overturn Measure 88 dismissed

Alert date: 
2016-06-17
Alert body: 

Over six months ago, in an effort to overturn the resounding defeat of Measure 88 in the 2014 general election, a merit less and frivolous lawsuit was filed by five alleged illegal aliens, identified only by their initials and two small illegal alien special interest groups.

The US District Court in Eugene, where the lawsuit was filed, announced yesterday the case was dismissed.

UPDATE:  The five unnamed alleged illegal aliens that filed the lawsuit, that was ultimately dismissed, to overturn the defeat of Measure 88, have now filed an appeal.  OFIR will keep you posted.

Court dismisses lawsuit against Oregon Measure 88!

Over 6 months ago, 5 alleged illegal aliens, identified only by their initials and two illegal alien special interest groups, filed a lawsuit in Federal District Court in Eugene to overturn the defeat of Measure 88 and to restore SB 833 - providing state-issued photo ID in the form of driver cards to those who could not prove they are legally present in the U.S.
 
In the general election of 2014 nearly a million Oregon voters said NO, 35 of 36 counties voted NO, and all 5 congressional districts voted NO on giving state issued photo ID to illegal aliens. But, on the one year anniversary of the overwhelming defeat of driver cards, 5 alleged illegal aliens filed a lawsuit to overturn that resounding NO vote.
 
Today, the court has DISMISSED the meritless and frivolous case. The vote of Oregon citizens stands.
 
From the judges’ published opinion:
 
Under the Oregon Constitution, Oregon voters retain the right of referendum to approve or reject legislation enacted by the Oregon legislature. Or. Const. art. IV,§ 1(3)(a) ("The people reserve to themselves the referendum power, which is to approve or reject at an election any Act, or pati thereof, of the Legislative Assembly that does not become effective earlier than 90 days after the end of the session at which the Act is passed."). "When a referendum is invoked, the act of the legislature then becomes merely a measure to be voted on by the people, and, if the people vote in the affirmative, the measure becomes an act; if they vote in the negative, the measure fails."
 
Nearly a million voters said NO - and now the Court is standing with us. NO driver cards for those who can't prove they are legally present in the country.
 

 

Related news release
 
Victory in Oregon!
 
 
Immigration Reform Law Institute
25 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Suite 335
Washington, DC 2001
 
 
Protecting the right of Americans to govern themselves 
 
May 16, 2016
 
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, a federal judge in Oregon dismissed a lawsuit (opinion attached here) brought by five admitted illegal aliens and two illegal alien special interest groups that requested the court force the State of Oregon to grant driving privileges to illegal aliens. In January, the Immigration Reform Law Institute (“IRLI”), along with Jill Gibson of the Gibson Law Firm, LLC, filed a motion to intervene in the suit and a motion to dismiss the case as lacking merit on behalf of their client Oregonians for Immigration Reform (“OFIR”).
 
Specifically, the lawsuit sought to overturn as unconstitutional the outcome of the November 2014 general election in Oregon, when, through the Oregon Constitution’s referendum veto process, Oregon voters overwhelmingly rejected (by more than 66% of voters) a bill passed by the legislature and signed by the governor that would have extended eligibility for driving privileges to unlawfully present persons. OFIR was the driving force behind the referendum veto that collected the requisite number of signatures to get the issue placed on the ballot.
 
Today, the Oregon U.S. District Court ruled that it could “not order the State to comply with legislation that could not and would not become effective, and no ruling would redress plaintiffs’ alleged injury.” Moreover, the court stated that it had “no authority to substitute the voter approval required by the Oregon Constitution” and “principles of federalism underlying the Tenth and Eleventh Amendments forbid th[e] Court from directing the State to enact or enforce state laws.”
 
Dale L. Wilcox, IRLI’s Executive Director commented, “We are happy with the outcome of this case. This case had no merit whatsoever and was a waste of the court’s time and precious resources.” Wilcox continued, “As I stated previously, this case was about sour grapes as the overwhelming majority of Oregonians had spoken and rejected at the ballot box taxpayer-funded giveaways to those who have no legal right to be here.”
 
Read the full Court opinion.
 

 

Learn more
 

 

Judge Keeps Injunction on Obama’s Immigration Plan

AUSTIN, Texas—A Texas federal judge late Tuesday night declined to lift his injunction blocking the Obama administration’s immigration action to defer deportations for more than four million people in the country illegally.

U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen declined a request by the administration to lift his Feb. 16 ruling temporarily blocking the administration from proceeding with the immigration plans, announced by President Barack Obama in November.

Texas and officials from 25 other largely Republican states sued to stop Mr. Obama’s action, arguing that it was an unconstitutional overreach of presidential power.

The Justice Department has already appealed the matter to the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which is set to hear oral arguments in the case on April 17...

Judge Hanen also issued a separate ruling Tuesday night allowing the states to conduct discovery into their separate claim that the administration, beginning late last year, improperly implemented part of its immigration program, even though it had allegedly represented to Judge Hanen that it wouldn’t do so until February.

Texas made the complaint after the federal government revealed in a court filing that it had granted some immigrants deferred deportation under the DACA program for three years, the new terms called for in the November executive action, rather than the prior two-year deferral...

Judge Hanen found that the administration has made multiple “misleading” statements about the implementation of its immigration program. He ordered the administration to produce a range of documents and information by April 21 related to its representations to the court about the rollout of the program.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who is leading the suit by the states, said in a statement that Judge Hanen’s ruling affirms that “once put into effect, President Obama’s executive amnesty program will be virtually impossible to reverse.” He added: “Any premature implementation could have serious consequences, inflicting irreparable harm on our state.”
 

Judge delays ruling on unblocking Obama immigration executive actions

A federal judge signaled Monday that he has no plans to act soon on the Obama Administration's request to stay an order blocking President Barack Obama's latest round of executive actions on immigration.

U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Hanen said in an order issued Monday afternoon that he views as serious claims that federal government lawyers may have misled the court about the implementation of new immigration policies the president ordered in November.

Last week, the Justice Department advised Hanen that the federal government issued new 3-year "deferred action" grants and work permits to 100,000 people between November 24 and when Hanen blocked the Obama moves on February 16.

The group of 26 states whose lawsuit persuaded Hanen to block the Obama immigration actions recently filed a motion calling the federal disclosure "surprising" and asserting that Justice Department lawyers had assured the court that no action would be taken to implement Obama's new policies until mid-February.

Obama's moves announced in November expanded eligibility for the "Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals" program and initiated a new program for illegal immigrants who are parents of U.S. citizens or permanent residents. However, there was a third part to Obama's new actions: he extended the "deferred action" period protecting certain immigrants from deportation from two years to three, and authorized the issuance of three-year work permits as well.

Hanen, who sits in Brownsville, Texas, said Monday that he wants a more complete explanation of what happened.

"Due to the seriousness of the matters discussed therein, the Court will not rule on any other pending motions until it is clear that these matters, if true, do not impact the pending matters or any rulings previously made by this Court," Hanen wrote. He set a hearing on the matter for March 19 and ordered that Justice Department lawyers "be prepared to fully explain to this Court all of the matters addressed in and circumstances surrounding" the notice the feds sent the judge last week.

A Justice official who asked not to be named said Hanen's ruling was being reviewed.

Hanen's decision appears to indicate that he won't be meeting a deadline of sorts the Justice Department set last week, warning it could move to an appeals court to block Hanen's original injunction if he didn't act on a stay request by the close of business Monday.

A few weeks ago, federal government lawyers set a similar timing target for Hanen, but did not move to the 5th Circuit after he failed to rule by that time

Richard LaMountain protests U.S. District Judge Janice Stewart's ICE ruling

“Preventing millions of foreigners each year from violating our nation’s immigration laws with impunity,” commentator Michael Lind has written, “is the central law-and-order issue of our time.” How ironic, then, when the people charged with safeguarding that law and order — America’s judges — aid and abet the immigration lawbreakers.

ICE detainers are a critical component in removing illegal aliens from our state. Read Rick LaMountain's letter and reaction to the ruling by U.S. District Judge Janice Stewart.
 

Federal ruling sparks policy change for jailed immigrants facing deportation in metro area

Undocumented immigrants in the metro area will no longer be held in county lockups for the sole purpose of deportation, a change that has implications statewide. 
 
Wednesday’s announcement by sheriff’s agencies in Washington, Multnomah and Clackamas counties follows a federal judge’s ruling that Clackamas County violated one woman’s Fourth Amendment rights by holding her for immigration authorities without probable cause. 
 
Maria Miranda-Olivares was held 19 hours after completing a two-day sentence in Clackamas County Jail while U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials investigated her residency status. She had been arrested March 14, 2012, on a domestic violence charge. 
 
Under the Secure Communities program, used to identify deportable immigrants in U.S. jails, ICE asks local authorities to hold certain inmates for up to two business days until they can be taken into federal custody. 
 
To read the rest of this article, please visit: http://www.oregonlive.com/washingtoncounty/index.ssf/2014/04/federal_rul...
 
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