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Sheriff Arpaio aims to halt Obama immigration order

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has filed suit against President Obama challenging his authority to implement changes in immigration policy and allow about 5 million individuals now here illegally to remain.  (Capitol Media Services file photo by Howard Fischer)

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has filed suit against President Obama challenging his authority to implement changes in immigration policy and allow about 5 million individuals now here illegally to remain. (Capitol Media Services file photo by Howard Fischer)

A gadfly attorney and an Arizona county sheriff want to halt President Barack Obama’s immigration order in the first courtroom battle over an initiative designed to spare nearly 5 million people from deportation.

On Monday, lawyer Larry Klayman will try to convince a judge nominated by Obama that the immigration system isn’t really broken ai??i?? contrary to what the president says.

Klayman and his client, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, say the president violated the Constitution by doing an end-run around Congress and say drastic changes in immigration programs should be stopped.

“President Obama and others recite that the immigration system of the United States is broken,” Klayman wrote in a court filing. “It is unmistakable that the only thing that is broken about the nation’s immigration laws is that the defendants are determined to break those laws.”

The case is being handled by U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell, former general counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee and an Obama nominee.

Klayman is a conservative who has previously targeted the president, alleging that Obama falsely claimed U.S. citizenship. In October, Klayman petitioned the Homeland Security Department to start deportation proceedings against Obama.

Under the immigration program, the Homeland Security Department would prioritize the removal of immigrants who present threats to national security, public safety or border security. DHS officials could deport someone if an Immigration and Customs Enforcement field office director determined that removing the person would serve an important federal interest.

In the lawsuit, Klayman and Arpaio portray the administration’s policy change as a way for more people to enter the country illegally and commit crimes, adding to the burden of law enforcement.

“This theory is speculative and unsubstantiated,” the Justice Department argued in its own court filing. Obama’s program places greater emphasis on removing criminal aliens and recent border crossers, the government countered.

Among the evidence in the case is a set of Arpaio press releases and letters to Homeland Security officials that say more than 35 percent of immigrants living in Maricopa County illegally who wound up in Arpaio’s jails in 2014 were repeat offenders, signifying in the sheriff’s view that DHS has done a poor job of deporting criminals.

Jennifer D. Elzea, a spokesperson for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, says that as a matter of policy, ICE does not comment on pending litigation.

ICE, a DHS agency, can and does release immigrants who have been arrested on criminal charges, including those who have yet to be convicted, for a variety of reasons. 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One comment

  1. Pandering to people who aren’t even allowed to be here and aren’t even citizens makes zero sense.

    What has our country come to? Enforce our laws and this won’t be an issue.

    Why are we obligated to please these ILLEGAL people?

    Good grief! Americans like myself are struggling. I’m employed (temp work) but can’t afford health insurance. I don’t drive much either cause I can’t afford gas. My auto insurance, which the government has yet to ruin, is thankfully only $25/month (from Insurance Panda) and my homeowners is only $65/month from Accenture (thank god). Please, Obama! Don’t try to socialize those too! I also cut cable and internet and I haven’t been out to eat or to the movies in god knows how long.

    It infuriates me that these people who don’t even belong here are getting more freebies than tax paying, law abiding citizens like myself!

    Illegal aliens show up and all of sudden the government bends over backwards for them… while throwing good, law-abiding citizens to the wayside.

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