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Tom Tancredo: Sue the feds over immigration - open letter to AG Coffman

Article date: 
March 5, 2015
Article category: 
Colorado News
Article Body: 
As you know, Congress responded to special interests and caved on defunding Obama's Royal Amnesty Decree. The focus now is in the courts. 
Former Congressman Tom Tancredo is urging Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman to join 26 states in suing the federal government over President Obama’s unconstitutional amnesty for illegal aliens.
Coffman is the only Republican attorney general who has not joined the lawsuit. Tom Tancredo's letter follows:

An Open Letter to Attorney General Cynthia Coffman

Twenty-six states including 22 state Attorneys General and three governors have joined the Governor of Texas – that’s 26 states in total — in suing the United States government to halt the Obama administration’s 2014 “DAPA” amnesty program, which aims to award legal status and work permits to an estimated 4.4 million illegal immigrants.

Colorado should become the 27th state in that lawsuit, and you, the Attorney General, can do so at the stroke of a pen.

The lawsuit is now even more critical than it was when it was first filed in December. That is because Republicans in Congress failed to halt funding for the implementation of the amnesty program in the Department of Homeland Security. Speaker Boehner on March 3 cited the litigation against the amnesty edicts and said, “The good news is that the president’s executive action has been stopped, for now. This matter will continue to be litigated in the courts, where we have our best chance of winning this fight.”

That is an understatement: given the congressional surrender on DHS funding, it is not only the best way, the lawsuit is now the ONLY way to stop Obama’s unconstitutional usurpation of power.

As Colorado’s Attorney General, you are one of 24 members of the Republican Attorney Generals Association. Twenty-three of those 24 state officials have joined the lawsuit against the Obama amnesty program. You are the only RAGA member who is not participating in that legal challenge.

Twelve state Attorneys General have filed an amicus brief supporting the Obama administration’s unconstitutional edicts. All 12 of those AG’s signing that brief are Democrats.

As you know, in early February, federal district court judge Andrew Hanen agreed with the plaintiffs and granted an injunction blocking the implementation of the Obama amnesty. The US Department of Justice has appealed that decision, but many scholars and legal analysts believe the plaintiffs have a fair chance of winning their case if it goes to the US Supreme Court– which is likely because it raises very fundamental constitutional issues.

Judge Hanen’s opinion in the case affirmed that Texas has standing to sue, that it has shown material harm to its taxpayers and citizens by the Obama amnesty, and that an injunction is justified to block the amnesty program until it can be fully litigated on appeal. However, that district court ruling will be appealed to the Fifth Circuit Court and there is still time for Colorado and other states which have not yet taken sides to do so.

A few days ago, Obama told a group meeting in the White House that he has asked the Justice Department to consider ignoring Judge Hanen’s ruling and the injunction in those 24 states that are not part of the lawsuit. That would be yet another attempted circumvention of the rule of law. If that happens and Colorado has not joined those 26 other states, the state will be vulnerable to the full effects of Obama’s amnesty decrees even while the courts are still considering the legality of Obama’s edicts.

Only a few weeks ago you took an Oath of Office to defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of Colorado. That oath can best be honored by joining the legal challenge to the Obama administration’s unprecedented usurpation of power.

The state of Texas knows full well the immense cost of illegal immigration—in K-12 education, in law enforcement, in health care, and in other public services and benefits. Colorado ranks eighth nationally in the number of illegal aliens in the state.Under the US Constitution, granting legal residency and work permits to any substantial part of that “undocumented” population is a matter to be decided by Congress. It cannot legally be decided by a unilateral move by an out-of-control President. If Obama is allowed to get away with making new law by edict and ignoring existing laws enacted by Congress, there is no limit to the mischief and harm that can be done to our constitutional liberties and the rule of law. If immigration law can be rewritten by executive edict without congressional approval, why not tax law or any other law the president dislikes?

A large majority of the public understands that illegal immigration already imposes substantial burdens on American taxpayers and American workers. If Obama’s administrative amnesty goes unchecked, particularly in view of the disgraceful lack of border security, illegal immigration will mushroom and those burdens will only increase. Anyone who believes that rewarding illegal behavior does not invite more illegal behavior is delusional.

A 2013 report by The Heritage Foundation revealed that the typical illegal immigrant household in the U.S. pays $10,334 in taxes but consumes $24,721 in benefits. By contrast, those numbers for lawful households are $54,089 in taxes paid compared to $24,839 in benefits. Also, it is not widely understood that Obama’ DAPA amnesty program does not require illegal aliens to pay back taxes in order to qualify for legal status and work permits.

Coloradans should be part of the TEXAS, et al, lawsuit, which unfortunately, in the wake of the March 3 Congressional capitulation, now offers the only hope of preserving liberty within a framework of constitutional government — a government of the people, by the people and for the people.

For many reasons, it does not make sense for Colorado to remain on the sidelines. I hope your strong conservative values and enviable record of principled leadership will lead you to that same conclusion.