A court hearing is scheduled this coming week for arguments in what could be one of the biggest decisions ever in the United States’ battle over the integrity of its borders.

Officials with Judicial Watch say the case ultimately could decide whether the borders will be secured and the nation protected from illegal immigration, or not.

The issue is the Los Angeles police department’s Special Order 40, which bans officers from enforcing immigration laws in certain circumstances.

“With the help of the ACLU, these illegal immigrants want to be able to seek illegal work on street corners without fear of the police,” the Judicial Watch said in an announcement about its battle. “Can you believe anyone would make such an argument in a court of law! Well, the ACLU did.”

The legal action seeks “to force the Los Angeles Police Department to drop its politically-correct ‘sanctuary’ policy and resume enforcing our nation’s laws against illegal immigration,” Judicial Watch said.

The organization said it went to court because the LAPD has set itself above the law.

“Special Order 40 actually forbids LA police officers from cooperating with federal immigration agents to apprehend and deport illegals!” Judicial Watch said.

The announcement from Judicial Watch, which is lobbying both for publicity and support for the battle, targets LA’s plan that actually “prohibits police officers from inquiring about an individual’s immigration status and restricts police officers’ ability to communicate freely with federal immigration officials about illegal aliens.”

The action came about on behalf of Harold P. Sturgeon, an LA taxpayer, earlier this year. It alleges the order violates both state and federal law and it seeks a judgment preventing any further enforcement.

“It cannot be denied that Special Order 40 and the policies, practices, and procedures arising thereunder violate both the letter and spirit of [federal law],” Judicial Watch argued in a legal memorandum filed with the court this summer. “The LAPD has adopted what is in effect a ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy with respect to immigration status.”

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton

Congress 10 years ago decided that a local, state or federal entity or official “may not prohibit, or in any way restrict, any government entity or official from sending to, or receiving from, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (now Immigration and Customs Enforcement) information regarding the citizenship of immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of any individual.”

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said police officers need to be “our first line of defense” against illegal activity.

Judicial Watch, Inc. is a conservative, non-partisan educational foundation and promotes transparency, accountability and integrity in government, politics and the law.

One commentator noted that in one case, an illegal alien went on a rampage, mugging three people, burglarizing two apartments and raping a woman in front of her 5-year-old daughter. The illegal previously had been deported for robbery, drugs and burglary, but returned to the U.S.

Judicial Watch noted that although he had been stopped for several traffic violations, police were prohibited from reporting the illegal to immigration authorities and so he continued to roam free.

Get Rep. Tom Tancredo’s “In Mortal Danger” direct from the people who published it – WND Books.

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