Fifth Circuit adopts IRLI’s arguments in re-asserting Congress’s plenary authority over immigration
November 10, 2015
(Washington, D.C.) – The Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) is very satisfied with yesterday’s decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to affirm the district court injunction against the Obama Administration’s unlawful amnesty agenda. IRLI filed a friend-of-the-court brief in Texas v. US (Civil Action No. 15-40238) on behalf of the 26 Plaintiff States arguing that the President’s executive actions violate administrative law, strip Congress of its plenary authority over immigration, and dismantle the separation of governmental powers under the Constitution. The Federation for American Immigration Reform, The Remembrance Project, and the National Sheriffs’ Association also joined IRLI’s brief. In its rejection of the Obama Administration’s argument that amnesty could not be reviewed by the courts and that it has the power to hand out open-market work permits to whomever it chooses, the Fifth Circuit closely followed some of the arguments IRLI made in its brief.
As part of their argument to overturn the district court’s injunction, the President’s attorneys argued that government decisions to allocate deferred action benefits cannot be reviewed by federal courts in light of the Supreme Court’s 1996 decision in Reno v. Anti-Arab American Discrimination Commission. In rejecting this assertion, the Fifth Circuit closely tracked the arguments made in IRLI’s brief, for example, that the statutory provisions cited by the President’s attorneys did circumscribe some authority of the courts to hear appeals of agency decisions to remove an inadmissible alien, but only for claims brought by or on behalf of an alien, and only in regards to an agency decision to “commence proceedings, adjudicate cases, or execute removal orders.” Neither applies to a situation where claims are brought by injured states and where the actions in question — the giving out of amnesty and federal benefits — do not arise out of the three discrete decisions the Supreme Court mentioned. The Fifth Circuit also adopted IRLI’s argument that the President’s position is “untenable… in light of the [Immigration and Nationality Act]’s intricate system of immigration classifications and employment eligibility.”
Dale L. Wilcox, IRLI’s Executive Director commented, “We are pleased with the Fifth Circuit’s decision to halt the Obama Administration’s amnesty plans and we’re honored to have had our work toward that end affirmed by the Court.” Wilcox continued, “Congress never intended for the President to dismantle our carefully-crafted immigration laws by declaring mass amnesty and then claim he could never be challenged in court. The attempts of the President’s attorneys to misconstrue court precedent and give away work permits en masse cannot prevail in a system founded on the rule of law and thankfully that was confirmed yesterday by the Fifth Circuit.”
IRLI’s friend-of-the-court brief can be found here.
The Fifth Circuit’s opinion can be found here.