Walker, Van Hollen join lawsuit against Obama immigration order


By M.D. Kittle | Wisconsin Reporter

MADISON, Wis. — Saying President Obama has violated his constitutional duty and has exceeded his administrative power, Gov. Scott Walker joined governors and attorneys general in 17 states Wednesday in a lawsuit seeking to block Obama’s executive order on immigration.

“The immigration system is broken, but this is an issue that should be addressed through collaborative federal action, not unilateral action by the President,” Walker said in a statement, after the complaint was filed in U.S. District Court in Brownsville, Texas.

“President Obama’s actions represent a violation of his constitutional duty to faithfully execute the laws and exceed the limits of his administrative powers,” added Walker, who is contemplating a run for the White House.

ARTICLE II: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has joined governors from 17 states in suing the Obama administration. The lawsuit aims to block implementation of President Obama’s executive order on immigration. Walker says the president hasn’t taken care that ‘the Laws be faithfully executed.’

The lawsuit invokes Article II, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution, the portion that states the executive will “Take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.”

Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen also signed onto the lawsuit, which seeks an injunction against the order’s implementation.

“It is clear that the President has exceeded his authority and that this important matter should be reviewed by the courts,” he said in a statement.

Defendants include Jeh Johnson, secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security; R. Gil Kerlikowske, commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection; Ronald D. Vitiello, deputy chief of U.S. Border Patrol; and Leon Rodriguez, director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

The lawsuit notes Obama’s publicly televised announcement last month in which he said he would “unilaterally suspend the immigration laws as applied to 4 million of the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States,” according to the court document.

“The President candidly admitted that, in so doing, he unilaterally rewrote the law: ‘What you’re not paying attention to is, I just took an action to change the law,’” the lawsuit states.

Included in the lawsuit is a directive from the Homeland Security secretary that “purports to legalize the presence of approximately 40 percent of the known undocumented-immigrant population, and affords them legal rights and benefits.”

“That unilateral suspension of the Nation’s immigration laws is unlawful,” the lawsuit asserts. “Only this Court’s immediate intervention can protect the Plaintiffs from dramatic and irreparable injuries.”

Obama’s Deferred Action order would allow more than 4.4 million illegal immigrants who are the parents of U.S. citizens — many of them children born here — and legal permanent residents to remain in the country temporarily without threat of deportation.

The president was defiant in announcing his executive order, taking on a Congress that has balked at passage of a comprehensive immigration reform bill.

“To those members of Congress who question my authority to make our immigration system work better, or question the wisdom of me acting where Congress has failed, I have one answer: Pass a bill,” Obama said during his public announcement last month.

Supporters of the order say it is a humane short-term solution to a broken immigration system; Opponents say it is not only unconstitutional, but will prove costly to U.S. taxpayers.

Walker said the lawsuit is not about immigration, however.

“It is about the rule of law and the legality of President Obama’s actions,” the governor said in the statement.