- Views & Opinions
Wisconsin is among the 17 states in a coalition suing over President Barack Obama’s recently announcedexecutive actions on immigration.
On Dec. 3, the coalition of states, led by Texas’ attorney general, filed a lawsuit in federal court in the Southern District of Texas.
Under Obama’s order, announced Nov. 20, protection from deportation and the right to work will be extended to an estimated 4.1 million parents of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents who have lived in the U.S. for at least five years and to hundreds of thousands more young people.
The suit argues that Obama’s action tramples portions of the U.S. Constitution and raises three objections: that Obama violated the “Take Care Clause” of the U.S. Constitution that limits the scope of presidential power; that the federal government violated rulemaking procedures; and that the order will “exacerbate the humanitarian crisis along the southern border, which will affect increased state investment in law enforcement, health care and education.”
Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, in a statement, said he joined the lawsuit on behalf of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker to challenge the president’s “Deferred Action Policy related to immigration and the treatment, under law, of illegal aliens.”
Van Hollen stated, “It is clear that the president has exceeded his authority and that this important matter should be reviewed by the courts.”
Walker, in a statement, said, “The immigration system is broken, but this is an issue that should be addressed through collaborative federal action, not unilateral action by the president. President Obama’s actions represent a violation of his constitutional duty to faithfully execute the laws and exceed the limits of his administrative powers.”
Responding, Democratic state Rep. JoCasta Zamarripa said, “Gov. Walker signing onto this lawsuit to block executive action by the president on immigration reform, while disappointing, is not surprising. This strikes me as another conservative bandwagon initiative that the governor is jumping on to improve his national credentials and profile amongst the far-right Republican base he will try to court as he runs for president.”
She continued, “President Obama is using his executive power to set enforcement priorities with available resources, while deferring action on individuals who have fallen through the cracks of our broken immigration system but present no immediate threat to our country’s national security. The governor needs to look at the human element of this executive action and realize it is the most responsible and humane thing to do in the absence of congressional action on immigration.”
Meanwhile, the U.S. House voted this week for a bill aimed at undoing Obama’s executive action, but the move was mostly symbolic, as it was DOA in the Senate.
Potential 2016 presidential candidate and current Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who leaves office in January, also spoke out against the executive order on Dec. 3, saying it could trigger a new flood of people coming across the Texas-Mexico border. Perry and Abbott also have said the order will promote a culture of lawlessness.
In addition to Wisconsin and Texas, the anti-immigrant coalition includes Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and West Virginia.