A number of U.S. Senators and Representatives have shown support for the 10 ICE agents who have filed a lawsuit against DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano and ICE Director John Morton. In the suit, the agents charge that a department policy issued by Dir. Morton in August 2011 and the DREAM Directive issued by Sec. Napolitano on June 15, 2012 require ICE agents to violate immigration laws or face adverse employment action.
Here is a list of the Members of Congress who have shown their support (Updated 9/6/2012. 08:45 a.m.):
REPS. LAMAR SMITH (R-TEXAS), LOUIE GOHMERT (R-TEXAS), and JOHN CARTER (R-TEXAS) ISSUED A JOINT STATEMENT:
The Obama administration’s amnesty program not only rewards lawbreakers, it also forces ICE agents to violate federal law. ICE agents should enforce our immigration laws and apprehend illegal immigrants. But the Obama administration makes it impossible for ICE agents to do their jobs. Instead of enforcing the law, the Obama administration requires ICE agents to release illegal immigrants. This policy not only hurts ICE agents but also unemployed American workers who have to compete with illegal immigrants for scarce jobs. The Obama administration regularly puts illegal immigrants ahead of the interests of American workers. -- Chairman Smith
Rep. Lamar Smith
It is incredible that we have an Administration that is willfully breaking the immigration laws of this country, and is now threatening sworn law enforcement officers if they refuse to break the law as well. These officers deserve their day in court to air their grievances, without fear of destroying their careers for speaking out against what they believe to be, and have substantial evidence to support, efforts to intimidate officers into violating federal law. -- Rep. Carter
Rep. John Carter
Congress Gohmert Comments on Lawsuit on Fox News
It’s a sad day when ICE employees have to sue their own employer over injustices and violation of laws within the Department of Homeland Security. I support this effort to reintroduce the Obama administration to the Constitution and the fact that when Congress passes a law and the President signs it, a future President must follow the law unless it is changed. A President does not get to speak new law into existence that overrides existing law until his coronation as our first king. -- Rep. Gohmert
Rep. Louie Gohmert
It is a sad day when our nation's law enforcement officers are left with no recourse but to file suit against the Administration and its political appointees. America was poised to make great progress on immigration enforcement--after Congress was forced into action by the American public--but the President's unilateral pursuit of far-reaching amnesty has not only undermined this progress but reversed it. The men and women who swore an oath to uphold the law and protect the public safety are now forced to ignore the law if they are to remain secure in their jobs. We already know of one officer who faces suspension for arresting a 35-year old illegal alien with multiple misdemeanor violations and apparent ties to a fugitive. Understandably, we are told agent morale has never been worse. -- Sen. Sessions
Sen. Jeff Sessions
SENATOR DAVID VITTER (R-La.):
These border security agents’ mission is to keep our borders secure, but the head of their agency is directing them otherwise, telling them to undermine their missions and contradict immigration law. I’m fully supportive of their efforts today. They just want to do their job, keeping our borders secure. It’s not necessary to rewrite the law on this one; it’s a matter of the administration upholding the current immigration laws. -- Sen. Vitter
Sen. David Vitter
SENATOR JOHN BOOZMAN (R-Ark.):
The Administration’s directive is a clear violation of the law, circumventing the authority of Congress for the sake of political posturing while weakening our system of checks and balances. Not only did President Obama bypass Congress in approving this policy but Secretary Napolitano has failed to adequately provide guidance and direction to agents in the field as to how they are to comply with this misguided order. We must hold those who are breaking the law accountable and allow law enforcement the ability to do their job. Instead, this is a backdoor path to amnesty. We are a nation of laws but the President is stepping beyond his authority by determining what laws must be enforced. Americans deserve immigration reform, secure borders and improved workplace verification to hold employers accountable for hiring illegal workers. This requires Congressional approval and I am committed to formulating comprehensive immigration reform without rewarding lawbreakers. -- Sen. Boozman
SENATOR CHUCK GRASSLEY (R-IOWA):
President Obama’s unilateral decision to halt deportations and allow people in the country illegally is having a very negative effect on our immigration law enforcement officers’ ability to secure America’s border and defend the rule of law. The Obama directive is without legal authority; it condones breaking the law and jeopardizes the hard work of those who enforce the law. The Obama administration’s practice of ruling by fiat must stop. These agents are to be commended for putting their careers at risk for trying to hold this administration accountable for its actions. -- Sen. Grassley
Sen. Chuck Grassley
JOINT LETTER TO DHS FROM REP. LAMAR SMITH (R-TEXAS) and REP. ROBERT ALDERHOLT (R-ALA.):
On August 23, 2012, ten Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents and officers filed a lawsuit seeking an injunction against further implementation of the June 15, 2012, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) directive entitled, 'Exercising Prosecutorial Discretion with Respect to Individuals Who Came to the United States as Children.'
We write to request that you take steps to ensure that the plaintiffs in this lawsuit, as well as any additional plaintiffs who may subsequently join the suit, do not suffer retaliation - employment-related or otherwise. Such retaliation would have a chilling effect on future lawsuits brought by government employees who witness waste, fraud, abuse, mismanagement, illegality or dangers to health and public safety.
These agents should be considered "whistleblowers" who came forward to protect the public's interest and maintain integrity in government programs. They deserve protection from DHS efforts to stop this lawsuit and silence their voices.
Thank you for your attention to this matter. -- Reps. Smith and Alderholt
Rep. Robert Alderholt
HOUSE IMMIGRATION SUBCOMMITTEE VICE CHAIR STEVE KING:
President Obama's actions are yet another example of astonishing executive overreach, an unconstitutional assertion of executive power at the expense of Congress and the Rule of Law. There have been multiple votes in Congress on the DREAM Act and the will of the Congress is clear as the proposal has been repeatedly rejected.
Obama has knowingly and willfully violated the Constitution: In 2011 he told an audience that "(w)ith respect to the notion that I can just suspend deportations through executive order, that's just not the case, because there are laws on the books that Congress has passed...Congress passes the law. The executive branch's job is to enforce and implement those laws. And then the judiciary has to interpret the laws." The President has violated the Constitution, his oath of office, and the law as enacted by Congress. This illegitimate order must be reversed. -- Rep. King
Rep. Steve King
REP. MO BROOKS (R-Ala.):
Barack Obama is supposed to be commander-in-chief and America's chief executive officer. As such, the President is supposed to protect America's borders and obey America's laws. Rather than fulfill his Constitutional duties, secure our borders, and obey America's laws, time and again, Barack Obama blatantly undermines and disregards them. Barack Obama has no right to disregard and disobey law that he finds personally distasteful, particularly when he is motivated by a desire to pander to voter blocks rather than the best interests of America. The ICE agents who honor their oath of office by enforcing America's laws and securing our borders should be applauded, not intimidated by a President who pits unemployed Americans against illegal aliens in the struggle for jobs. I yearn for the day America has a president who both honors our trust and obeys his oath of office. -- Rep. Brooks
Rep. Mo Brooks