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ICE agents file suit over immigration policy change

While thousands of young immigrants who are in the country illegally are joyfully celebrating the new immigration policy that gives them a chance to apply for work permits, others aren't so pleased.

According to reports, 10 Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents filed suit against the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Secretary and the director of ICE alleging that the policy change requires them to "violate federal law" by allowing some illegal immigrants to avoid deportation.

The lawsuit was filed on Thursday in federal court. It claims that the new immigration policy, which allows many immigrants who were illegally brought into the country as children and have no criminal charges to apply for work permits "unconstitutionally usurps and encroaches upon the legislative powers of Congress."

The lead attorney representing the 10 ICE agents said that the Obama Administration is instructing enforcement agents to break the law for political reasons. On the other hand, a DHS spokesman said the policy change was made so that the department can more easily focus on serious offenders who are in the country illegally.

"DHS uses prosecutorial discretion to assist in focusing vigorously on the removal of individuals who are convicted criminals, repeat immigration law violators, and recent border crossers," the spokesman said on Thursday. "This policy is a temporary measure; Congress must still act to provide a permanent solution to fix the broken immigration system."

In the lawsuit, the ICE agents are asking the court to block the orders, reasoning that the president violated the U.S. Constitution by going over Congress to make the policy change. However, in the past, the Supreme Court has upheld "prosecutorial discretion," meaning that the government does have some decision-making power in law enforcement matters.

This will be an important and interesting case to follow.

Source: New American, "Immigration Agents Sue DHS Chief Napolitano," Jack Kenny, Aug. 23, 2012

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