Mississippi joined a lawsuit opposing the Obama administration’s policy barring deportation of many young undocumented immigrants, adding a state government to a group of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement employees challenging the rule.
An amended complaint filed yesterday in Dallas federal court adds Mississippi to a group of 10 plaintiffs who sued Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano in August.
Napolitano’s June 15 directive granting temporary reprieve from deportation to some young illegal immigrants requires ICE employees to break federal law, according to the complaint.
Napolitano and other named defendants have not formally answered the suit. Matthew Chandler, a spokesman for the department, today declined to comment on Mississippi’s action.
“States must protect their borders while the federal government continues to ignore this growing problem,” Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant said in a statement. “I believe this action by the Obama administration is unconstitutional and circumvents Congress’s authority.”
Bryant said the state joined the suit at no cost to taxpayers because it is being represented by Kris W. Kobach and P. Michael Jung, the attorneys who filed the initial case. Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state and a Republican, is a national advocate for tougher illegal-immigration laws.
The policy calls for the government to stop deportations of people 30 or younger who arrived in the U.S. before age 16; have lived in the U.S. for at least five years; are in school, have a high school diploma or equivalent or have been honorably discharged from military service; have no criminal convictions; and pose no threat to public safety or national security.
The case is Crane v. Napolitano, 3:12-cv-03247, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas (Dallas).