Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant wants to take President Obama to court. And he’s going to do it in conjunction with the help of noted anti-immigrant policy architect and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach. Bryant announced today that he, on behalf of his state, is joining Immigration and Customs Enforcement employees who are challenging the Obama administration’s a two-year deportation protection for DREAMers.
“States must protect their borders while the federal government continues to ignore this growing problem,” Gov. Bryant said in a statement. “I believe this action by the Obama administration is unconstitutional and circumvents Congress’s authority.”
The initial lawsuit, filed in federal court by ten ICE officers who are represented by Kobach, alleges that the directive issued by Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano forces the agents to break the law by prohibiting them from carrying out an oath to uphold federal immigration laws. At the heart of the lawsuit is a claim that the directive President Obama announced August 15, which allows undocumented youth who clear a host of hurdles to apply for a two-year protection from deportation as well as work eligibility, violates the Constitution.
In the first months of the program’s enactment, the Obama administration received some 72,000 applications, from which just several dozen were approved. The program itself has been widely seen as a political maneuver to shore up the Latino vote. President Obama, like any serious presidential candidate these days, sorely needs the Latino vote to win come November, and he’d been facing bitter criticism for overseeing a record-breaking deportation spree while failing to deliver the comprehensive immigration reform he promised before he was elected.
Anti-immigrant advocates, in the meantime, have wasted no time challenging the small reforms and narrow pro-immigrant initiatives the Obama administration has managed to institute.