Caribbean-American Congresswoman Clarke Expresses Disappointment in Immigration Ruling Delay

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Congresswoman Yvette D Clarke
Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke

Caribbean-American Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke says she’s “deeply disappointed” by a United States federal district judge’s decision to delay implementation of an immigration plan that would allow thousands of Caribbean immigrants to apply for work permits and legal protection.

“I am deeply disappointed in the decision, which will delay millions of Americans from avoiding the threat of deportation and obtaining authorization to work in the United States,” Clarke, the daughter of Jamaican immigrants, who represents the 9th Congressional District in Brooklyn, New York, told the Caribbean Media Corporation.

“This decision was unprecedented,” added Clarke, a member of the US House of Representatives’ Committee on Small Business, Ethics and Homeland Security. “President Obama acted under his authority as our chief executive to develop these programs with Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson. Such authority has been used previously, for example by President Reagan. Yet President Obama has not been accorded the same deference.

“This decision will only delay the resolution of a crisis that we cannot allow to continue,” continued Clarke, who is also a Ranking Member of the House’s Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Security Technologies.

“I urge President Obama and the Department of Homeland Security to pursue a reversal of this decision in the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, which has the authority to end this delay and restore these programs immediately,” she said.

Last Tuesday, a day before hundreds of thousands of illegal Caribbean and other immigrants were to begin applying for work permits and legal protection, the United States jettisoned sweeping executive actions on immigration indefinitely.

White House officials said President Obama decided to postpone the plan in order to comply with a federal judge’s last-minute order Monday night in halting the programs.

In his 123-page ruling, Judge Andrew S. Hanen said Obama administration officials had provided “perplexing” misrepresentations of the scope and impact of the president’s actions.

The judge dismissed the argument that those changes were a proper exercise of prosecutorial discretion, ruling that the administration had engaged in “a complete abdication” of enforcement.

White House officials, however, said Obama’s action is “legal and proper.”

On Tuesday, Obama vowed to appeal the court ruling, expressing confidence that he would prevail in the legal battle to defend his signature domestic policy achievement.

Source: Jamaica Observer

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