By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Wednesday, December 3, Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange (R) announced that the State of Alabama has joined a lawsuit filed today by Texas challenging the President’s recent immigration actions as unconstitutional and illegal. The lawsuit challenges the November 20 Executive Orders by President Obama and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security directive that unilaterally suspended American immigration laws as applied to millions of undocumented immigrants in the United States.
Alabama Attorney General Strange said in a written statement, “I want to thank Attorney General Abbott for leading this effort. I am proud to stand with my friends in Texas in this important case regarding the rule of law.” AG Greg Abbott is also the Governor-elect of Texas.
The lawsuit, Texas v. U.S., was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas. Texas was joined by the States of Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Montana, Nebraska, South Carolina, South Dakota, West Virginia, Utah and Wisconsin; and the Governors of Idaho, Maine, Mississippi and North Carolina.
The complaint asserts, “This lawsuit is not about immigration. It is about the rule of law, presidential power, and the enforcement of the U.S. Constitution.” By his own action and contrary to laws passed by Congress, the President “issued a directive that legalizes the presence of approximately 40% of the known undocumented immigrant population, and affords them legal rights and benefits…That unilateral suspension of the Nation’s immigration laws is unlawful.”
AG Strange said, “The President is obligated by the United States Constitution to ‘take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed’—to uphold and enforce the laws passed by Congress. Instead, he has claimed a prosecutorial discretion that simply does not exist, as an excuse to change the law himself to achieve what he wanted that has failed to gain Congressional approval. He made dramatic changes that extend legal benefits to people who are openly violating the law, without so much as the notice and opportunity for comment that is required for changes in the federal rule making process. These actions are unconstitutional and illegal, and will severely impact the States with increased costs for law enforcement, health care and education.”
The complaint notes that President Obama has failed in his many attempts to persuade Congress to change the law, and that he admitted numerous times in the past that he did not have authority to act on his own. President Obama himself said, “There are enough laws on the books by Congress that are very clear in terms of how we have to enforce our immigration system that for me to simply through executive order ignore those congressional mandates would not conform with my appropriate role as President,”….“[I]f this was an issue that I could do unilaterally I would have done it a long time ago…The way our system works is Congress has to pass legislation,”…..”We have certain obligations to enforce the laws that are in place…[W]e’ve kind of stretched our administrative flexibility as much as we can,”…”But if we start broadening that, then essentially I would be ignoring the law in a way that I think would be very difficult to defend legally.”
Texas AG Greg Abbott said, “The ability of the president to dispense with laws was specifically considered and unanimously rejected at the Constitutional Convention.” Abbott specifically cited Article 2, Section 3 of the Constitution which states the president “shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.”
AG Abbott told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren that the President’s earlier DACA program led to over a 1000 persons a day crossing the border at a cost to Texas of millions and perhaps hundreds of millions of dollars a day and predicted that Obama’s executive amnesty would have an even greater effect. Abbott said the lawsuit asks the court to require Obama to go through Congress before enforcing laws, “rather than making them up himself.”
The lawsuit raises three legal objections to President Obama’s actions. The first is that Obama allegedly violated the “Take Care Clause” of the U.S. Constitution that limits the scope of presidential power. The second is that the federal government violated its own rule making procedures under law. Finally Texas claims standing before the court because it claims that implementation of the order will “exacerbate the humanitarian crisis along the southern border, which will affect increased state investment in law enforcement, health care and education.”
The federal lawsuit involves the following states: Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
AG Luther Strange has repeatedly said that one reason he enjoys his job is that every day he goes to work to find some new way to fight Obama.
(Some original reporting by Fox News and the Associated Press contributed to this report.)