STATEMENT FROM ATTORNEY GENERAL WAYNE STENEHJEM - IMMIGRATION REFORM

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December 10, 2014


BISMARCK, ND – Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem joined 24 Attorneys General and Governors in a lawsuit challenging the executive action taken by President Obama, alleging the President exceeded his authority and Constitutional power on immigration reform.

“The President's unilateral action to suspend laws passed by Congress and bestow legal rights and government benefits upon millions of illegal aliens imposes a financial burden on the states and shows a complete lack of respect for the United States Constitution and his Oath of Office,” said Stenehjem.

On November 20, 2014, the President of the United States announced that he would unilaterally suspend immigration laws as that applies to 4 million of the estimated 11 million illegal aliens in the United States. In addition, the Secretary for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a directive that attempts to legalize the presence of approximately 40% of the known illegal immigrant population, and affords them legal rights and benefits.

The President is duty-bound by the United States Constitution to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed,” and, having failed to gain Congressional approval for immigration legislation he favors, has circumvented his Constitutional obligation by asserting authority that he simply does not have. These unconstitutional actions will sharply affect the states with increased costs for law enforcement, health care, and education.

It is now necessary to ask the courts to remind the President that the executive branch of the federal government is required to faithfully execute laws duly enacted by Congress. The President does not have authority to rewrite or to ignore laws he may not like.

There is no cost to North Dakota in joining the challenge, which is led by Texas Attorney General and Governor-elect Greg Abbott. 

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