Washington, DC - August 2, 2011) A lawsuit filed yesterday by the U.S. Department of Justice seeking to block implementation of an Alabama law designed to discourage illegal immigration is a blatant attempt by the Obama administration to prevent most U.S. immigration laws from being enforced, charged the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). The law, which is scheduled to go into effect on September 1, empowers Alabama law enforcement to act when they reasonably suspect individuals are violating federal immigration laws.
In announcing the suit, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder stated, “Today’s action makes clear that setting immigration policy and enforcing immigration laws is a national responsibility.” However, a policy memo issued by John Morton, Director of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE), on June 17 states explicitly that the Department of Homeland Security would refuse to enforce laws against broad categories of immigration law violators, under the guise of “prosecutorial discretion.”
“The lawsuit filed against Alabama, like the suit brought against Arizona last year, is not about who will enforce U.S. immigration laws. It is about making sure that no one enforces immigration laws the administration does not like,” charged Dan Stein, president of FAIR. “The Obama administration has made it clear both in deed, and now in an unambiguous policy directive, that their objective is non-enforcement of immigration laws except against violent felons. They have shown once again that they are prepared to use the full weight of the federal government to prevent state and local governments from enforcing those immigration laws, even when the citizens, legislatures and governors have determined that public interests and public safety are at stake.”
The lawsuit filed against Alabama’s law stands in sharp contrast to lack of a response by the federal government to laws enacted in March by Utah which trample on the federal government’s authority over immigration policy. Unlike Alabama and Arizona, two of Utah’s laws benefit illegal aliens and support the administration’s political objective of amnesty for illegal aliens.
“The administration understands that there is no chance of enacting broad amnesty legislation that would grant legal status to millions of illegal aliens. So, instead, they will use and abuse every resource and every discretionary power available to allow illegal aliens to continue living and working in this country by making sure that no one enforces laws against them,” Stein said.
“Let there be no doubt about it: This suit is not about protecting federal authority over immigration policy. It is not about setting priorities or husbanding limited resources,” Stein continued. “This lawsuit is about raw, brass knuckles, intimidation of any state or local entity that attempts to get in the way of the Obama administration’s political agenda. The federal government will not fight illegal immigration, but it will not hesitate to use taxpayer money to fight any effort to protect the interests of the American people against mass illegal immigration.”