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Government urges dismissal of lawsuit over immigration

Published:Wednesday | December 17, 2014 | 12:00 AM
US Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Leon Rodriguez tells reporters that immigration officers don't share applicants' information with enforcement authorities unless an applicant has a disqualifying criminal history or is a national security threat.-AP Photos
Republican Michele Bachmann (left) and Republican Steve King (right), vocal conservatives in the GOP challenge to President Obama's immigration order, speak with reporters at the Capitol as the House Republican leadership works to muster votes for final passage of the omnibus spending bill to fund the government.

WASHINGTON (AP):The Obama administration is urging dismissal of a lawsuit that would dismantle the president's immigration programme, an initiative designed to spare nearly five million people in the US illegally from deportation.

The case was brought by an Arizona sheriff, Joe Arpaio, who contends that President Barack Obama's programme serves as a magnet for more illegal entries into the US. Arpaio said the new arrivals will commit crimes and thus burden his law-enforcement resources.

In a court filing late Monday, the Justice Department told US District Judge Beryl Howell that the sheriff's theory is speculative and unsubstantiated and that Arpaio has failed to show he will suffer any injury at all from the federal government's programme.

The sheriff's challenge to the federal programme is "meritless," the Justice Department said in its court filing.

The Justice Department said the federal programme "does not grant legal status to any alien. Rather, it authorises a temporary exercise of prosecutorial discretion on a case-by-case basis for certain individuals who have been in the United States since 2010 and have deep ties to the community."