DHS Sued to Stop Deportations

By Aura Bogado Nov 13, 2014

The National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON) is suing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to put an end to deportations.

NDLON submitted a rulemaking petition to DHS in February, urging the Obama administration to expand DHS’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which provides temporary relief from deportation as well as work permits to undocumented youth, to "a much larger class of individuals." DHS is legally bound to respond to the petition within a reasonabe amount of time–but has failed to do so for more than nine months.

In its lawsuit, NDLON claims electoral hopes–and not a genuine need for more time–have caused the Obama administration to delay its response. It also outlines how people are placed at risk as a result:

Thus, while DHS has failed to respond to Plaintiff’s Petition, it has continued to aggressively deport and criminalize immigrants, mainly through operations of one of its constituent agencies, Immigration and Customs Enforcement ("ICE"). An entire population that would benefit from the President’s promised action continues to face the daily risk of deportation because of electoral political calculations. ICE has acted arbitrarily and, in the most egregious of cases, has even retaliated against people who dared organize and protest its abuses.

Plaintiffs, along with their lawyers, are holding a mock trial today in front of Washington, D.C.’s ICE office today.

The lawsuit follows renewed promises by President Obama that he’ll soon take executive action to expand deferred action. It remains unclear when the president will follow through and how many people may obtain temporary relief from deportation as a result.