Gutierrez and pro-immigrant groups respond to a lawsuit against ICE
Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez issued the following statement reacting to the news that Romney campaign advisor Kris Kobach, a Kansas Republican official and Tampa convention delegate, has not only succeeded in inserting new anti-immigrant language into the GOP platform, but has also filed a lawsuit on behalf of immigration agents who do not agree with the President’s immigration enforcement strategies:
The Romney/Kobach GOP platform with the newly inserted language continues the fantasy that we can or should remove 11-12 million immigrants and their families from theU.S.and continues the Republican rhetoric that all immigrants are criminals, threats, freeloaders, or an economic drain. The Republicans don’t want to solve our immigration problems and they don’t want to eliminate illegal immigration; rather, Romney and Kobach want to use it as a campaign issue and stoke fear, anger, and division.
Kobach is even suing the President of theUnited Statesbecause he disagrees with his immigration policies. Policies like deferred action are a major boost to law enforcement who do not have to waste time on honor students so they can do the harder work of actually tracking down and deporting criminals. I hope that the Secretary of Homeland Security will review the actions of anyone who refuses to do obey lawful orders. I am glad the Navy Seals and FBI and 99% of our immigration agents respect the Commander In Chief, because Romney’s campaign advisor doesn’t.
Kobach’s influence over Romney’s immigration agenda is damaging to the GOP as they head into their convention inTampa. Americans approve of the DREAM Act 2-to-1 and think lawsuits and other stunts are pretty far outside the mainstream.
Angelica Salas, Executive Director for the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights ofLos Angeles(CHIRLA):
The lawsuit is a waste of time, a distraction, and the equivalent of seventeenth-century witch-hunting.
Instead of congratulating and helping the legions of responsible young immigrants who are Americans but on paper file for Deferred Action, attorney Kobach is leading the charge to stop their dreams from becoming a reality under the pretense of defending the separation of powers.
This frivolous lawsuit is intended to intimidate our community, create confusion, and undermine the rule of law.
ICE seems to relish deportations by the hundreds of thousands and when an opportunity rises, even if temporary, to halt their favorite pastime, ICE and its union representatives, cry foul. The courts should throw this lawsuit for the trash it is
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka:
The AFL-CIO strongly disagrees with the contention of a group of 10 immigration agents that upholding President Obama’s policy toward young, aspiringU.S.citizens who arrived in this country as children is in any way in conflict with the constitution or federal law. These agents are working with some of the most anti-immigrant forces in the country, forces that have long sowed division and destruction.
Americais a nation of values, founded on an idea that we still cherish — that all men and women are created equal and all people have rights, no matter what they look like or where they came from. How we treat new immigrants reflects our commitment to the values that define us as Americans.
For too long, conservative politicians have failed our people and our country by blocking the creation of a common-sense immigration process. Their inaction prompted President Obama to announce a policy to grant deferred action for DREAMers who were brought here as children—a policy that helps all working men and women.
Over 100 of the nation’s top constitutional and immigration law scholars signed on to a letter attesting to the policy’s constitutionality. Deferred action has been exercised by the Executive Branch since the Nixon Administration.
Americadeserves a common sense immigration process, one that includes a roadmap for New Americans who aspire to be citizens. Everyone agrees that the current patchwork of policies and programs is mismanaged and ineffective, and it breaks up families. For those currently striving for citizenship, there’s often no line to get into for becoming a fully participating American.
The labor movement is united in calling on Congress to take action and create a common-sense immigration process – one that reflects our values, keeps families together, supports a secure border and creates a roadmap to citizenship.