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Standing matters: Give Americans the right to sue for the deportation of illegal aliens who cause them, or their property, harm.

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Sunday, July 6, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
 

A new Center for Immigration Studies ( cis.org) report proposes an idea worth serious consideration: Change immigration law so that Americans can sue for deportation of illegal and criminal aliens who harm them.

The report notes how the Obama administration has “stymied” immigration enforcement, created programs benefiting illegals “out of thin air” and “abandoned or flagrantly ignored” its duty “to fully and fairly administer” immigration law — which prohibits individual Americans from suing to force an alien's deportation.

Even a 2012 lawsuit filed by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers to compel enforcement of immigration law as written was dismissed on jurisdictional grounds by a judge who nevertheless said their case had merit.

CIS proposes amending existing law to provide U.S. citizens the legal “standing” they need to sue for deportation of aliens who've harmed them or their property. To avoid overlap with the existing tort system, CIS says, such lawsuits “should not be geared toward monetary fines or penalties” or “toward government officials ... but, rather, toward the alien.” And to keep the administration's Justice Department from blocking such lawsuits in its immigration courts, they should be handled by federal district courts.

This proposal would help counter the effects of the Obama administration's disregard for immigration law and its enforcement — while providing legal recourse that Americans should have. Congress should give it a long, hard look.

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