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Bentley Files Amicus Brief Supporting Texas Immigration Lawsuit

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Monday, April 4, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) announced that he has signed an Amicus Curiae, or friend of the court brief, to the United States Supreme Court along with six other governors to support the Texas lawsuit against the President’s executive amnesty order.

Gov. Bentley said, “The President’s executive amnesty order severely impacts states, and governors are on the front lines in protecting states’ rights from federal encroachment. Immigration is an important issue that our country must address, and Congress is the proper place for the debate. The President’s executive amnesty order disregards the role Congress plays in policy decisions. I support Governor Abbott and the State of Texas in challenging the Obama Administration.”

The states argue that President Obama has exceeded his authority under the US Constitution. Bentley claims that the President cannot do by executive action what the Congress has not authorized by legislation. The amicus brief explores two important factors, including protecting the executive branch in states from irreparable injuries in implementing illegal processes and policies, and protects states from executive encroachments on state sovereignty when the President makes law unilaterally, without congressional action.

The Bentley Administration claims that under the President’s Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, some four million people who are unlawfully present in the United States under the statute have been allowed to remain in the country and obtain work permits and social welfare benefits.

Bentley’s filing argues that the President’s executive action is outside of his statutory and constitutional authority and, according to the brief is “making lawful what Congress has declared unlawful,” and therefore, the Obama Administration is in violation of the Take Care Clause of the US Constitution.

President Obama has refused to deport the as many as 12 million illegal aliens that live in this country. When the Republican controlled US House of Representatives refused to pass bipartisan immigration reforms in 2014, an angry President Obama enlarged a program he created in 2012 to give legal status and work permits to millions of illegal aliens. The states, led by Texas have sued to block President Obama’s immigration policies arguing that only the Congress can change immigration law and that President Obama has exceeded his authority under the Constitution.

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In 2012 the Alabama legislature passed an anti-illegal immigration bill, HB56, to try to use state criminal law to make it difficult for illegal aliens to live and conduct business in Alabama. The bill, which was sponsored by Sen. Scott Beason and Rep. Mickey Hammon, was patterned after an Arizona law and was designed to encourage illegal aliens to self deport. While the bill appeared to have some early success, several key provisions of the legislation were challenged by the Obama Administration and pro-illegal immigrant groups in court, several of those provisions were later ruled as having exceeded state authority under the Constitution.

Gov. Bentley has also opposed President Obama’s plan to take in thousands of refugees from war torn Syria.


Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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