(CNN) – Firebrand Republican Rep. Steve King announced his intention Friday to file a lawsuit against President Barack Obama, calling unconstitutional the administration's plan to stop deporting some young, illegal immigrants who entered the U.S. as children.
"This is no longer a debate about immigration policy. The debate is now about the Constitution and the Rule of Law," the Iowa congressman said in a statement. "I am preparing to bring suit against the President and ask for a court to enjoin him from implementing his unconstitutional and unlawful policy."
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Obama's plan would apply to people under age 30 who entered the country before the age of 16, pose no criminal or security threat, and were successful students or served in the military. They can apply for a two-year deferral from deportation and if accepted would then have the possibility of working legally, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Friday.
The president said the policy "is not amnesty" nor "immunity" or "a path to citizenship."
But King and other Republicans described it as a form of amnesty.
"Americans should be outraged that President Obama is planning to usurp the Constitutional authority of the United States Congress and grant amnesty by edict to 1 million illegal aliens," he said in an earlier statement. "There is no ambiguity in Congress about whether the DREAM Act's amnesty program should be the law of the land. It has been rejected by Congress, and yet President Obama has decided that he will move forward with it anyway. President Obama, an ex constitutional law professor, whose favorite word is audacity, is prepared to violate the principles of Constitutional Law that he taught."
- CNN's Deirdre Walsh and Tom Cohen contributed to this report