BY LINDA BENTLEY | AUGUST 22, 2012
Texas governor follows Arizona’s lead, issues directives
“… Napolitano’s guidelines confer absolutely no legal status whatsoever to any alien who qualifies for … deferred action designation”
Gov. Rick Perry Gov. Jan Brewer Gov. Dave Heineman
PHOENIX – Following the lead of Gov. Jan Brewer, who issued an executive order last week in response to the federal government’s deferred action program, Texas Gov. Rick Perry distributed an advisory letter to state agencies on Monday to let them know the federal program will not change Texas’ policies against providing benefits and services to those who remain in the country illegally.
Brewer’s executive order made it clear the “issuance of Deferred Action or Deferred Action USCIS employment authorization documents to unlawfully present aliens does not confer upon them any lawful or authorized status and does not entitle them to any additional public benefit.”
She advised state agencies that provide public benefits to conduct a full statutory, rule-making and policy analysis and initiate operational, policy, rule and statutory changes necessary to prevent Deferred Action recipients from obtaining eligibility, beyond those available to any person regardless of lawful status, for any taxpayer-funded public benefits and state identification, including a drivers license.
Perry’s letter stated, “To avoid any confusion on the impact of the Obama administration’s actions, I am writing to ensure that all Texas agencies understand that Secretary Napolitano’s guidelines confer absolutely no legal status whatsoever to any alien who qualifies for the federal ‘deferred action’ designation.
“In fact, the secretary specifically closed her directive by explaining that this memorandum confers no substantive right, immigration status or pathway to citizenship.
“The secretary’s directive does not undermine or change our state laws, or any federal laws that apply within the State of Texas.”
Over the weekend, Nebraska Gov. Dave Heinman said those covered by President Obama’s deferred action, which allows illegal aliens who are under 31 years of age and meet other conditions, to remain in the country for two years and obtain work authorization, remain ineligible for drivers licenses and other state provided benefits and services.
Immigration Reform for Oklahoma Now (IRON) responded to the president’s deferred action program, which went into effect on Aug. 15, by asking Oklahoma legislators to make their voices heard, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin to issue an executive order, and requesting the attorney general and labor commissioner to make a stand for the legal American worker.
IRON asked, “Where is Oklahoma’s leadership? State governors are issuing executive orders all over the nation in support of the rule of law and state sovereignty.”
Meanwhile the National ICE Council, which represents approximately 7,600 ICE agents, officers and employees, has called for ICE director John Morton to end disciplinary actions taken against ICE agents and officers for enforcing federal immigration law.
ICE union leadership issued a national petition asking Americans “to support ICE agents and officers nationwide who are now under threat of disciplinary action, up to and including the loss of their jobs and retirements, simply for attempting to enforce federal laws,” as they were hired to do.
According to the union, ICE administration’s claims that agents would have more discretion under Obama’s new deferred action policy were patently false.
In fact, what the union referred to as the “Morton Memo,” which laid the groundwork for Obama’s executive order DREAM amnesty, allowing certain illegal aliens to remain in the United States and obtain work permits, has resulted in agents being ordered to ignore the law as well as threats to public safety and fraud.
The union’s call for public support stated, “[T]hose officers who refuse to follow the administration’s unlawful orders by making arrests will be disciplined and lose their jobs, as well as the ability to support their families.”
As of this writing, 56,192 people have signed the petition addressed to Morton telling him he should be encouraging ICE agents to enforce the laws duly enacted by Congress and stating, “Law enforcement officers should NEVER be punished for upholding the law.”