Holder Quits After Gutting Immigration Enforcement and Rule of Law
Attorney General Eric Holder is retiring and leaving behind an immigration system he helped put in ruins. No replacement has been announced. Although there is little reason to expect that his replacement will be committed to upholding immigration laws, it will be hard for anyone to be more antagonistic than Holder.In 2009, Mr. Holder was sworn in to be the chief law enforcement officer of the United States government. In practice, he was the chief dismantler of laws, notably immigration laws. During his tenure at the Department of Justice, Holder relentlessly undermined immigration enforcement through dubious interpretation of statutes, intimidation and dereliction of duties.Mr. Holder gave President Obama what he needed: flimsy legal pretenses on how the administration could bypass the laws enacted by Congress using so-called prosecutorial discretion. Until Holder got to town, prosecutorial discretion had been regarded as the latitude afforded to judges to provide relief from deportation in rare and exceptional circumstances. The Attorney General interpreted it as a license to simply ignore laws and applied it broadly as a foundational tool used by the Obama administration to selectively choose which aliens, if any, would be removed and which laws it would enforce. Millions of illegal aliens are now being granted administrative stays of removal, deportations are dropping, and enforcement of the laws as Congress intended is disappearing faster than Lois Lerner’s emails.Mr. Holder retooled the DOJ into a blunt instrument of intimidation to be used against states daring to defy the Obama administration’s non-enforcement agenda. Shortly after President Obama took office and weakened many immigration enforcement programs, Arizona put in place its own initiative (SB 1070) to help it combat the cost and impact of illegal immigration. Other states followed Arizona’s lead but, like Arizona, all faced the iron-fisted tactics of Holder’s DOJ which successfully squashed local efforts by suing or threating lawsuits.FAIR’s comprehensive report, President Obama’s Record of Dismantling of Immigration Enforcement chronicles an aggressive, concentrated campaign by Mr. Holder in 2010-2012 to shut down all state action.
- March 2010: DOJ Threatens Employers Who Use E-Verify with Discrimination Investigation.
- July 2010: DOJ Files Suit to Stop Arizona’s SB 1070.
- August 2011: DOJ Files Suit to Stop Alabama’s HB 56.
- October 2011: DOJ Files Suit to Stop South Carolina’s S 20.
- November 2011: DOJ Files Suit to Stop Utah’s HB 497.
- May 2012: DOJ Sues Maricopa County.
- June 2012: DOJ Sues Florida over State’s Effort to End Illegal Alien Voting.
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