A federal judge in Dallas heard arguments Monday in a lawsuit filed by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents. The group wants to block the Obama administration’s policy of allowing certain young people brought into the country illegally by their parents to avoid deportation.
Ten ICE agents filed suit last year against Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and other top immigration authorities after the administration announced its Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, policy.
The policy came with a directive to ICE officers to refrain from detaining or deporting young people who may qualify under the policy to remain in the country and get a work permit.
The agents who filed the lawsuit allege that complying with the policy requires them to violate federal law and therefore violate their oaths to uphold federal law.
They also allege that if they disobey the new policy, they risk getting sanctioned or fired.
Judge Reed O’Conner heard a full day of arguments in the case on Monday and will make a ruling soon on whether to grant a preliminary injunction.
The plaintiffs include the head of the San Diego ICE agents union and four agents from the El Paso Sector.
One of the lawyers representing the agents is Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who helped draft Arizona's controversial SB 1070 immigration law.