All summer, citizens have been crying out, 'Why doesn't somebody take this to court!' over Janet Napolitano's Dream amnesty directive. We at NumbersUSA have been looking for a way ever since the Department of Homeland Security Secretary issued her amnesty order on June 15.
WELL, THIS MORNING, ICE AGENTS CAME THROUGH, FILING A KEY SUIT TO PROTECT THEMSELVES -- AND FOR THE SAKE OF ALL AMERICANS!
And I am extremely pleased that NumbersUSA and its on-line activists have been and will be playing a crucial role in this.
Chris Crane, president of the ICE Agents' Union, AGFE Council #119, is one of 10 ICE agent plaintiffs and the spokesman.
Kris Kobach, the nation's best-known immigration litigator, is leading the agents' legal team.
NumbersUSA, the nation's largest pro-enforcement grassroots organization, is underwriting the suit, based on the expectation of raising the necessary funds from our 1.3 million on-line activists.
LEGAL TEAM TO BE FUNDED ENTIRELY BY NUMBERSUSA MEMBER CONTRIBUTIONS
When we saw the ICE agents' union becoming more and more bold in its public protest of the amnesty directives, we believed they both deserved all the help citizens could give them and that they presented the best chance for immediate efforts to challenge the executive amnesty that began to be handed out to an estimated 1.7 million illegal aliens under the age of 31 on Aug. 15.
I just finished a conference call with more than five dozen reporters. I noted that we want to protect immigration officers' ability to enforce immigration law because without that, the country could become even more over-run with illegal foreign workers driving down wages and putting Americans into the unemployment line.
It is entirely fitting that it is from the 1.3 million American workers and their families who are on-line NumbersUSA activists that all the funding will come so that this ICE agents' lawsuit can go as far as possible through the court system to bring protection to American workers, as well as to the agents themselves.
The agents have indicated that this immediate effort would not have been possible without our pledge of financial support.
A LEAP OF FAITH IN SMALL-DONOR ACTIVISTS
We made the pledge of financial support even though we had no money for such an action in our budget.
But users of NumbersUSA's activist tools have stepped up to finance every major anti-amnesty effort we've mounted (AND WON) in the past. All of you together have always been a citizen movement at its finest.
Here's where you can find many ways to make a tax-deductible contribution: https://www.numbersusa.com/donate
I have asked our members to think about every time they blew a fuse this summer upon hearing about the Administration's decision to go around Congress and just order an amnesty on its own. At those times, would they have been willing to send a $10, $20, $50 or $100 donation to anybody willing to stand up and challenge the legality in court? I think so.
The ICE agents have given everybody a chance to be an investor in a better future of enforcement and protection from the somewhat misnamed Department of Homeland Security.
AT STAKE? MIDDLE-CLASS STANDARD OF LIVING FOR AVERAGE AMERICAN WORKERS
The suit seeks an injunction against Napolitano's June 15 directive that includes issuing work permits to a whole class of illegal aliens, estimated at 1.7 million, under the age of 31. The 10 agents of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) section of DHS contend that the directive for the amnesty that DHS began to hand out on Aug. 15 is "unlawful and unconstitutional."
The suit was filed this morning in Dallas, in the federal District Court for the Northern District of Texas, which is in the 5th Circuit. (The majority of the ICE agent plaintiffs, including one in Dallas, reside and work in Texas.)
The court action comes just one week after the ICE agents' union courageously set up an on-line petition to protest their bosses' orders to violate U.S. immigration laws (find the link in the box below).
What is at stake for ICE agents is stated plainly in the lawsuit:
This lawsuit seeks to prevent law enforcement officer Plaintiffs from being forced to either violate federal law if they comply with the unlawful Directive or risk adverse employment action if they disobey the unlawful orders of the DHS Secretary. This lawsuit also seeks to preserve the balance of legislative and executive powers established by the United States Constitution."
We have argued since Napolitano's amnesty order on June 15 that adding 1.7 million illegal aliens to the legal work force -- especially without offsetting cuts in green card programs and without passage of mandatory E-Verify to stop most future illegal immigration -- is an assault on the 20 million Americans who want a full-time job but can't find one.
But by tying the hands of ICE agents, the directive poses an even greater threat to American workers because it sends a signal to millions more workers worldwide that it may be worth taking the risks to become an illegal alien in this country.
Polling indicates hundreds of millions of workers around the world who say they would like to seek a job in the U.S. What keeps most of them from coming illegally to compete for jobs?
Every year, some 45 million foreigners visit the U.S. on short-term visas. What keeps most of them from over-staying their visas and competing for jobs?
The answer to both questions is that most of those millions of foreign workers stay home or go back home because they expect that U.S. immigration officials will enforce U.S. immigration laws.
The Napolitano directive sends a global message to expect something different.
Here is one of my statements sent in a press release to the nation's news media:
Any threat of harm to our nation's immigration officers for enforcing the law is a threat against the livelihoods of average American workers.
"Congress passes laws to determine how many and which citizens of other countries are allowed to enter U.S. job markets to compete with American workers. Fortunately during this long period of high unemployment, Congress has refused to add further competition through amnesties that would give millions of illegal aliens access to the legal U.S. job market.
But the Napolitano amnesty directive does the opposite. If immigration agents are not allowed to enforce the laws as decided by Congress, the wages and jobs of American workers are at risk."
You can read the press release at this link.
ROY BECK is Founder & CEO of NumbersUSA