- GOP hopes taking shutdown off the table with budget deal will pay dividends
- Chinese Death Star: The moon cited as the perfect launch pad for ballistic missiles
- Help wanted: Homeland Security plagued by vacancies at the top
- We are not amused: Queen’s protection officers warned to keep ‘sticky fingers’ off the royal cashews
- Unleash the crossbows: Gov. Scott Walker creates new hunting season
- Bubonic plague kills 20 in Madagascar
- G-20 diplomats fell for hacker attack promising nude photos of former French first lady Carla Bruni
- Minnesota guardsman charged with stealing private soldier data for fake IDs
- Florida appeals court rules universities can’t regulate guns
- Vladimir Putin defends Russian conservative values
Miss. governor joins suit on deportations, says Obama’s policy costs his state millions
Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant wants a judge to halt President Obama’s new nondeportation policy, arguing that failing to send illegal immigrants back home is costing his state tens of millions of dollars a year.
Mr. Bryant, a Republican, on Wednesday joined a lawsuit filed over the summer by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents who said they are being forced to violate federal law by releasing illegal immigrants they know are eligible to be deported.
“I believe this action by the Obama administration is unconstitutional and circumvents Congress’s authority,” said Mr. Bryant, adding that illegal immigration hurts his state. “As governor, I cannot turn a blind eye to the problem of illegal immigration and its costs to Mississippi.”
Mr. Obama’s nondeportation policy, announced in June and implemented Aug. 15, applies to illegal immigrants 30 years old and younger who have avoided major criminal records.
Under the new policy, those illegal immigrants will be given papers saying they have been cleared from the threat of deportation — known as “deferred action” — and they will be given work permits. But the administration says they are still considered to be illegal aliens.
The policy has become a hot issue both politically and procedurally.
States are grappling with how to treat those granted deferred action. California Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, has signed a law allowing them to get driver’s licenses, while Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, a Republican, has issued guidance saying that because the government still considers them illegal immigrants, they are not entitled to licenses in her state.
By joining the ICE agents’ lawsuit, Mr. Bryant broadens the case and gives a judge more reason to hear it, said Kris W. Kobach, Kansas’s secretary of state and the architect of many of the state laws cracking down on illegal immigration.
Mr. Kobach said the lawsuit now names both ICE, whose agents are responsible for immigration enforcement in the interior of the country, and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the agency that is adjudicating the deferred action applications.
GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney has struggled with how to respond to the policy. For months, he refused to say whether he would cancel it if he won the White House, but last week he told The Denver Post he would respect any deportation stays issued by the Obama administration, though his administration wouldn’t approve any new ones.
Mr. Kobach, who had advised the Romney campaign on immigration, said he’s still not certain how Mr. Romney’s policy would play out, but he hopes a judge will have overturned the policy by January anyway and the issue would be moot for Mr. Romney.
For his part, Mr. Obama is running a new campaign ad saying he is inspired by illegal immigrant “Dreamers” — the nickname given to youths applying for his nondeportation policy. Mr. Obama narrates the entire ad himself in Spanish, saying the Dreamers’ goal is to contribute to their adopted country.
The Homeland Security Department, which oversees ICE and Citizenship and Immigration Services, has defended the nondeportation policy, arguing that it does not have the resources to deport all 11 million illegal immigrants and has to set priorities.
Even with the new policy, ICE was on track to remove about 400,000 illegal immigrants, which is about the same number as the past three years. Critics, though, say the numbers are being boosted artificially by including some immigrants caught at the border by the U.S. Border Patrol.
Before winning the governorship, Mr. Bryant was state auditor and he conducted a study in 2006 calculating that illegal immigration cost Mississippi more than $25 million a year more in benefits and services paid out than in taxes paid in.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Stephen Dinan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Federal deficit shrinks 20 percent in fiscal 2014
- Wind farms: Interior Department sacrifices eagle protection for alternative energy
- Activists urge Obama to go rogue, sidestep Congress
- Bipartisan House votes against 'patent trolls' who file lawsuits against innovators
- Bipartisan House votes to stop patent 'trolls'
Latest Blog Entries
By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Memories of a long brotherhood tempered in common struggle
- House votes for bargain to end budget drama
- Obama's Afghanistan experts stumped on U.S. death toll, war costs during hearing
- NAPOLITANO: A conspiracy so vast
- Inside China: Ukraine gets nuke umbrella
- Echoes of Cold War in Ukraine as Russia battles Western influence
- Somber duty: U.S. presidents in hot demand at Mandela's memorial
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- North Korean dictator stuns world with uncle's execution
- 80 people publicly executed across North Korea for films, Bibles
- Atheists smug as Hindus join Satanists to demand display at Oklahoma Statehouse
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Consummate traveler Todd DeFeo explores the unique stories that make destinations worth going to.
Covering the world of soccer, including the World Cup, Major League Soccer, D.C. United and the English Premier League and other interesting sporting events.
Born in 1930 in rural Missouri, Charles Vandegriffe, Sr., brings his time and place to the Communities.
Columns from Voices around the World talking about the events, people, politics and social issues that concern us wherever, and whoever, we are.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow