Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Homeland Security Sec. Jeh Johnson Not Happy About Temporary Block to Obama's Immigration Actions

Posted By on Tue, Feb 17, 2015 at 4:00 PM

click to enlarge Secretary Jeh Johnson. - COURTESY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
  • Courtesy of the Department of Homeland Security
  • Secretary Jeh Johnson.
As we all know by now, a federal judge temporarily blocked Obama's November immigration actions—one is an extension of who qualifies for DACA (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services was supposed to start receiving applications tomorrow), and the other is deportation relief and work permits for parents of U.S. citizen and legal resident children, known as DAPA—while a coalition of 26 states (including Arizona) proceed with a lawsuit to kill both actions.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson issued a statement and he isn't happy about that decision:
I strongly disagree with Judge Hanen’s decision to temporarily enjoin implementation of Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) and expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The Department of Justice will appeal that temporary injunction; in the meantime, we recognize we must comply with it.

Accordingly, the Department of Homeland Security will not begin accepting requests for the expansion of DACA tomorrow, February 18, as originally planned. Until further notice, we will also suspend the plan to accept requests for DAPA.

The Department of Justice, legal scholars, immigration experts and even other courts have said that our actions are well within our legal authority. Our actions will also benefit the economy and promote law enforcement. We fully expect to ultimately prevail in the courts, and we will be prepared to implement DAPA and expanded DACA once we do.

It is important to emphasize what the District Court’s order does not affect.

The Court’s order does not affect the existing DACA. Individuals may continue to come forward and request initial grant of DACA or renewal of DACA pursuant to the guidelines established in 2012.

Nor does the Court’s order affect this Department’s ability to set and implement enforcement priorities. The priorities established in my November 20, 2014 memorandum entitled “Policies for the Apprehension, Detention and Removal of Undocumented Immigrants” remain in full force and effect. Pursuant to those enforcement priorities, we continue to prioritize public safety, national security, and border security. I am pleased that an increasing percentage of removals each year are of those convicted of crimes. I am also pleased that, due in large part to our investments in and prioritization of border security, apprehensions at the southern border – a large indicator of total attempts to cross the border illegally — are now at the lowest levels in years.

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