A lawsuit that would stop the deportation ban on undocumented youths granted temporary legal status was dismissed in a U.S. district court in Texas on procedural grounds on Wednesday. Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R-KS) filed the lawsuit Crane v. Napolitano, on behalf of ten Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers who were opposed to the program’s enactment.
The Obama administration issued an executive order known as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) last year, which offers temporary protected status and work authorization to undocumented immigrants between the ages of 15 to 31. Kobach’s lawsuit asserts that because the DACA program grants legal presence to its recipients, ICE agents cannot deport them. The lawsuit also states that the inability to carry out deportations would violate a 1996 immigration law that allows ICE agents to apprehend and deport any undocumented immigrant. The lead plaintiff Chris Crane argued, “We are federal law enforcement officers who are being ordered to break the law…This directive puts ICE agents and officers in a horrible position.”
The lawsuit was dismissed once before in January for a lack of “standing,” but the judge allowed the defendants to challenge the DACA program based on their belief that they would face “disciplinary action if they followed their understanding of the [1996 immigration] law and disregarded their superiors’ instructions.” The lawsuit was dismissed on Wednesday because the Civil Service Reform Act, a law that governs federal employment disputes, bars the court from hearing complaints by Crane and the other plaintiffs.
This is not the first time that Kobach and Chris Crane have opposed undocumented youths. Kobach, primary author of Alabama and Arizona’s anti-immigrant laws, once announced his gratitude for the Second Amendment when a group of peaceful immigration reform supporters showed up to rally at his house.
Crane has an equally nefarious anti-immigrant agenda. In May, he lashed out against the DACA program, mistakenly citing that there was a 99.5 percent approval rating “for all illegal alien applications” when at the time, there was a 57 percent approval rating. Adjusted for recent application data, the latest July statistics still show that DACA application approvals do not come close to Crane’s 99.5 percent figure. Currently, approval hovers at 74.5 percent. Worse still, Crane also said that immigration reform would “provide a path to citizenship for the most criminal street gang.”
The dismissal of this lawsuit is the latest in a round of victorious battles for undocumented immigrants. Just last week, three anti-immigrant laws in Texas, South Carolina, and Pennsylvania, were struck down for being unconstitutional. Those provisions would make it impossible for undocumented immigrants to rent an apartment.