Anti-immigrant groups are trying to stop President Obama’s Deferred Action Program, which temporarily suspends the deportation of eligible young undocumented immigrants.
Ten Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents in Texas yesterday filed a lawsuit against Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano and ICE Director John Morton.
The complaint argues that Deferred Action disrupts the agents’ enforcement work by preventing the deportation of certain undocumented immigrants and that it “unconstitutionally usurps” the legislative functions of Congress.
Let’s be clear about who is behind this lawsuit.
The plaintiffs are represented by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a staunch critic of illegal immigration and one of the masterminds of Arizona’s SB1070? anti-immigrant law. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), one of the hardlined voices against any productive immigration reforms, also appears to be behind this maneuver.
Kobach informally advises Mitt Romney, the presumed GOP presidential candidate, on immigration issues.
Romney opposes comprehensive immigration reform, including the Dream Act. Instead he supports the Arizona law and the notion of self-deportation.
In a speech to NALEO (the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials) several weeks ago, Romney conveniently said that if elected, he would “replace” Obama’s Deferred Action with “something better” but offered no specifics.
What is clear is that his party’s attempt to derail Deferred Action comes accross as the latest example of the antiimmigrant -and anti-Latino- sentiment that prevails in the GOP.
With the Republican Convention only days away, Romney has the opportunity to either back the lawsuit or spell out “something better.” Latino vortes who are neighbors, friends and relatives of undocumentes youth are all ears.