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Immigration lawsuit against Obama by ‘America’s toughest sheriff’ dismissed

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

A federal judge has thrown out a lawsuit brought against Barack Obama by an Arizona police chief who called the US president’s sweeping immigration reforms unconstitutional.

Judge Beryl Howell of the US district court for the District of Columbia denied the demand by the Maricopa County sheriff, Joe Arpaio, for a preliminary injunction to halt the policies. The judge said Arpaio lacked legal standing in the case.

Arpaio, who calls himself “America’s toughest sheriff”, filed the case last month, saying Obama had overstepped his powers by bypassing Congress and ordering the changes himself. Arpaio’s lawsuit said the reforms, which eased the threat of deportation for about 4.7 million undocumented immigrants, amounted to an amnesty and would encourage more people to cross the border illegally.

Beryl’s 33-page decision said Arpaio did not meet the legal requirements to qualify as a person of standing in bringing the case on constitutional grounds.

The biggest overhaul to immigration in a generation has set up a confrontation between the president and Republicans, who will take full control of Congress in January and have said the president had gone too far by imposing the changes.

Obama has dismissed Republican accusations that the changes amounted to an amnesty for illegal immigrants.

White House spokesman Eric Schultz said Howell’s decision confirmed that “the president’s executive actions on immigration are lawful”.

An Arizona federal judge in May 2013 ruled that deputies of Arpaio’s office had racially profiled Latino drivers. The judge ordered that race no longer be used as a factor in law enforcement decisions and appointed a court monitor to oversee Arpaio’s operations.

Arpaio has denied that racial profiling occurred and has appealed against the judge’s ruling.

The Guardian

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