Staunch Obama critic and Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio has filed a lawsuit against the president for taking executive action on immigration.
“I am not seeking to myself enforce the immigration laws as this is the province of the federal government,” Arpaio, who calls himself “America’s toughest sheriff,” said in a statement, according to CBS News. “Rather, I am seeking to have the president and the other defendants obey the U.S. Constitution.”
If allowed to stand, the executive action would “severely strain our resources, both in manpower and financially,” the Maricopa County sheriff said in the statement.
The lawsuit was filed on Arpaio’s behalf by Larry Klayman, an attorney and founder of government watchdog group, Judicial Watch. It says the executive action and the 2012 DREAM Act commit “unconstitutional abuses of the president’s role in our nation’s constitutional architecture and exceed the powers of the president within the U.S. Constitution,” the Arizona Capital Times reported.
Arpaio and Klayman plan to use Obama’s own words against him, according to the Times.
“What we can do is then carve out the Dream Act folks, saying young people who’ve basically grown up here are Americans we should welcome,” the president said in a 2013 interview with Telemundo. “But if we start broadening that, then essentially I’ll be ignoring the law in a way that I think would be very difficult to defend legally. So that’s not an option.”
“Instead of legislation first passing both houses of Congress and then being sent to the president under the ‘Presentment Clause’ for signature and implementation or veto, the president originates legislation by himself and then dares the Congress to disagree,” the lawsuit said. “The president cannot simply announce sweeping new rules and implement them by giving a speech.”
The lawsuit also names as defendants U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Leon Rodriguez, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and Attorney General Eric Holder, according to the Arizona Capitol Times.