Tennessee joins immigration reform lawsuit

Wooden gavel from the court on white backgroundTennessee has become the 25th state to join the lawsuit against President Obama over his decision to take executive action to enact immigration reform. Herbert Slatery, the state’s attorney general, declared that it is in Tennessee’s best interests to join the fight against the president.

“While the subject of the executive action was immigration, the lawsuit is not about immigration,” Slatery insists. “It is really more about the rule of law and the limitations that prevent the executive branch from taking over a role constitutionally reserved for Congress. The executive directives issued by the White House and Homeland Security conflict with existing federal law.” Obama made the announcement last month that he intended to sign an executive action to give work permits to and prevent the deportation of up to five million undocumented immigrants.

The president’s plan has been welcomed by immigration activists but has been slammed by Republicans across the United States. They insist that Obama does not have the legal right to take such actions; however, the president has been unmoved by their criticism, saying that he made his decision because of the lack of progress made by Congress over the issue ‒ a point that Slatery concedes.

There are believed to be around 124,000 undocumented immigrants in Tennessee, with up to 50,000 residing in Nashville alone. Slatery’s decision for Tennessee to join the lawsuit has been praised by Lt Governor Ron Ramsey, who calls Obama’s decision a “truly shocking display of executive arrogance”.