Republicans Say Court Overreached in Putting Deportations on Hold; Want Administration to Clarify Policy

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), March 2, 2012 | Go to article overview

Republicans Say Court Overreached in Putting Deportations on Hold; Want Administration to Clarify Policy


Byline: Jerry Seper, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

A decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in California to put several deportation cases on hold in light of Obama administration immigration directives was criticized Thursday by two senior Republican lawmakers who said the court ruling was an overreach of its authority.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, Texas Republican, and Senate Judiciary Committee ranking Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa asked Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. and Homeland Security Secretary Janet A. Napolitano to make clear to the court that the administration will enforce immigration laws, including the deportation of removable illegal and criminal immigrants who lose their cases in the federal court of appeals.

The Ninth Circuit's decision to put several deportation cases on hold is an overreach of judicial authority and shows the inherent danger in this administration's backdoor amnesty policies, they wrote in a letter. Instead of deciding these cases under the law of the land, the Ninth Circuit has asked the Obama administration whether it intends to grant the illegal immigrants amnesty under the prosecutorial discretion initiative announced last year.

Mr. Smith and Mr. Grassley said the order appears to be the court's attempt to suspend its everyday review of immigration cases because of the administration's plans to close tens of thousands of cases for the 300,000 aliens who are in removal proceedings.

The Ninth Circuit has acted beyond the bounds of its judicial role and is inserting itself into an area - prosecutorial discretion - reserved solely to the executive branch, they said.

The lawmakers said that in responding to the court, the administration will be required to reveal whether it intends to manipulate our legal system and waste taxpayer dollars, as part of its efforts to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants.

Your response to the Ninth Circuit's order must clearly and unequivocally indicate that the government will enforce the immigration laws, including promptly deporting all removable aliens who lose their cases in the federal courts of appeals, they said. …

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