A United States federal district judge in Dallas, TX has dismissed a lawsuit against President Obama’s policy to defer deportation for some young illegal Caribbean and other immigrants.
In his ruling, Judge Reed O’Connor dismissed the lawsuit for “lack of subject matter jurisdiction.”
He said he didn’t have jurisdiction to rule on the matter because the issue was a matter between the US government and federal employees.
According to Immigrationlawyersnow.org, a group of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) employees last year filed the civil suit against Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano, alleging the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy violated federal law.
They claimed that the law forced them not to pursue undocumented immigrants, and that they faced disciplinary action for not carrying out their duties.
The suit came on the heels of President Obama’s executive order, which gave qualified young Caribbean and other immigrants the opportunity to apply for legal status.
Immigration agents said they were surprised by the judge’s about-turn since he had issued a preliminary decision in April, agreeing with their claim.
But Judge O’Connor said the suit had been “likely to succeed on the merits of their claim that the Department of Homeland Security has implemented a program contrary to Congressional mandate.”
The case was filed by Chris Crane, an ICE agent who is a proponent of strict border control and lower immigration numbers.
He has often been called by Conservatives to testify in U.S. Congressional committee hearings over immigration issues because of his sharp criticism of President Obama’s immigration enforcement record, the New York Times said.
It said the lawsuit challenged a broader policy of prosecutorial discretion that the Obama administration adopted two years ago in sparing immigrants who do not have serious criminal records from deportation.
President Obama started the deportation reprieves last year. The Times reported that, as of July 10, a total of 400,562 youths had received deferrals, which allow them to work in the U.S. legally.