A legal brief filed in a federal court in Texas warns that if the judge decides to reverse himself and allow President Obama’s amnesty program to move forward right away, it could cost U.S. taxpayers $144 billion.
The friend-of-the-court brief contends Obama’s executive immigration actions delaying deportation and offering benefits to an estimated 5 million illegal aliens could forever change the legitimacy of elections in America because of the possibility the illegal aliens could be allowed to vote.
The filing from attorney Larry Klayman of Freedom Watch was on behalf of Maricopa County, Arizona, Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who has a separate lawsuit against the government over amnesty.
His claims were rejected by a district judge but now are on a fast track at the appeals court in Washington.
WND broke the story last week when U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen in Texas granted a preliminary injunction that prevents the government from enforcing Obama’s amnesty orders.
Hanen also confirmed WND’s exclusive report that, contrary to popular perception, the order to delay deportation was not an executive order by the president. Instead, it was a memorandum issued by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson at Obama’s direction.
The Justice Department said it wants Hanen to let the amnesty program move forward now as Obama has planned, even while its constitutionality is being determined.
The judge, in his original ruling, said the 26 states who brought the Texas case, would suffer “irreparable harm” under the program, setting a high bar for Obama to obtain a delay.
Not only was Arpaio a key amicus party to the Texas case, Klayman’s arguments were the first to approach the judge in support of his original order.
He pointed out in Monday’s filing, which happened as the White House requested a stay, that the states already had reached their own high standard.
“To support injunctive relief, plaintiffs must demonstrate (1) a substantial likelihood of success on the merits; (2) that they are likely to suffer ‘irreparable injury’ if preliminary relief is not grant; (3) that an order would not substantially injure other interested parties; and (4) that the public interest would be furthered by granting the order.”
The judge’s original order agreed, so now there is no rush, the newest brief suggests, to change federal immigration law because of Obama’s plan.
“The dates on which the defendants announced their new programs and the dates set for implementation are entirely arbitrary,” Klayman wrote.
He said Obama was in the White House for six years before making the changes.
“The fact that the defendants have pulled dates out of thin air does not create any injury or necessity to support a stay,” he said.
Nor can it be considered a “burden” for the government to follow existing law, he noted.
Citing various reports, Klayman said that on the other hand, the states will be hurt by allowing amnesty.
He said one White House official confirmed that the goal of amnesty is to get illegal aliens “on the books, paying taxes” so they could not be deported by a future administration.
And Klayman noted comments from the IRS that it would be possible for illegal aliens under the amnesty program to claim Earned Income Tax Credit cash from taxpayers of up to $24,000 per applicant.
“Testimony indicates that the IRS could issue a one-time bonus of $24,000 each or as high as $144 billion in total to the estimated 5 million beneficiaries made eligible for deferred action benefits” under Obama’s plan, Klayman wrote.
And they might even be able to vote, based on the government documentation they would be given, critics have charged.
“Leaving the status quo and injunction in place is the appropriate action,” Klayman said.
Klayman also noted if the programs are allowed to move forward, federal workers would be in danger “of violating the Antideficiency Act, which makes it a violation of law, with potential civil and criminal penalties, for government officials to spend funds that have not been appropriated by Congress.”
The brief was accompanied by a motion “seeking leave of court to file brief and memorandum of law in opposition to a stay of preliminary injunction.”
WND reported only days ago that a source told Judicial Watch, which also was founded by Klayman, that the Obama administration was hustling to move quickly on contracts for the president’s plans, even though a federal judge has ordered Washington bureaucrats to stop in their tracks.
The Washington watchdog organization said Friday it has a source inside the industry of government contracts who said there is “no indication that the court order has impacted, slowed down or modified the procurement in any way.”
“They’re really rushing into it,” the source said.
The deal is immense, Judicial Watch said, with an estimated need for between 200 and 600 contractors.
The ruling from Hanen focused on the administration’s alleged violations of the Administrative Procedures Act in imposing his new laws.
But the constitutionality of Obama’s de facto amnesty, however, remains unresolved.
Klayman says he hopes the ruling will come in his case.
The Arpaio case, filed in Washington earlier, was dismissed by U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell, who thought the dispute over whether a president can arbitrarily change federal laws was a political matter between branches of government.
The case now is pending before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and the government’s arguments are due in about two weeks on an accelerated scheduled imposed by the court.
In granting the injunction to the 26 states, led by Texas, that brought the lawsuit, the ruling made clear that the DHS memorandum signed by Johnson was unconstitutional.
DHS does not have the authority to defer the deportation of more than 4 million foreigners who entered the U.S. illegally or overstayed their visas, the judge said.
“The DHS was not given any ‘discretion by law’ to give 4.3 million removable aliens what the DHS itself labels as ‘legal presence,'” Hanen concluded.
Obama himself has stated repeatedly that he does not have the authority to do what he did.
House Speaker John Boehner has listed online 22 times when Obama has made such statements.
For example, in October 2010, Obama said: “I am president, I am not king. I can’t do these things just by myself. … I’ve got to have some partners to do it. … If Congress has laws on the books that says that people who are here who are not documented have to be deported, then I can exercise some flexibility in terms of where we deploy our resources, to focus on people who are really causing problems as opposed to families who are just trying to work and support themselves. But there’s a limit to the discretion that I can show because I am obliged to execute the law. … I can’t just make the laws up by myself.”
WND also reported earlier when yet another federal judge, in Pennsylvania, declared the amnesty unconstitutional.
“President Obama’s unilateral legislative action violates the separation of powers provided for in the United States Constitution as well as the Take Care Clause and, therefore, is unconstitutional,” said U.S. District Judge Arthur J. Schwab.
The judge noted Obama “contended that although legislation is the most appropriate course of action to solve the immigration debate, his executive action was necessary because of Congress’ failure to pass legislation, acceptable to him, in this regard.”
“This proposition is arbitrary and does not negate the requirement that the November 20, 2014, executive action be lawfully within the president’s executive authority,” the judge wrote. “It is not.”
Quoting from a previous precedent, the judge said that in the “framework of our Constitution, the president’s power to see that the laws are faithfully executed refutes the idea that he is to be a lawmaker.”
“The Constitution limits his functions in the lawmaking process to the recommending of laws he thinks wise and the vetoing of laws he thinks bad,” Schwab said.
The judge said Obama’s contention that Congress had not worked in his time frame was largely irrelevant.