Larry Klayman, founder of the conservative legal group Judicial Watch, urged Washington, D.C. District Court Judge Beryl Howell to issue an injunction blocking Obama’s executive actions, which Klayman called a “blanket amnesty.”
“The president does not have the right to take matters into his own hands and ram it down the throats of the American people because he thinks he's above the law,” Klayman told reporters after a hearing on his motion that lasted more than an hour.
Arpaio’s legal move does not appear likely to succeed.
She also openly questioned whether Arpaio, the Maricopa County sheriff, has standing to sue, suggesting the federal courts are the wrong venue for the immigration debate.
“Doesn’t Congress have the power to step in?” Howell asked Klayman.
Klayman argued for an emergency court order, citing the “irreparable harm” Arpaio’s department suffers because the federal government refuses to deport immigrants. Some of them, he argued, are likely to commit crimes in Arpaio’s jurisdiction, citing the sheriff’s contention that 36 percent of the undocumented immigrants who have served time in Maricopa County jail are repeat offenders.
“How is it that you can show any kind of irreparable harm, given it’s taken you two years to file a challenge?” Howell asked Klayman, noting the DACA program for immigrants who came here illegally as children has been in effect since 2012.
Howell said she would issue her written ruling “very shortly.”
“In my view, Sheriff Arpaio is an American hero,” Klayman said after the hearing. “There are protests underway right now in front of the sheriff's office in Arizona that will result in more threats. Thank God he hasn't been hurt thus far."