Saturday, June 27, 2015

Texas Federal Judge Orders Administration to Remedy Executive Amnesty Work Permits

U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Hanen ordered the Administration to void and change the three-year work permits issued to about 2,000 illegal aliens after he imposed an injunction on implementation of President Obama’s executive amnesties. The judge said he was shocked this illegal action has not yet been remedied, but did not sanction the Administration’s conduct.
When Obama announced his additional executive amnesties last November, he expanded the term of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals work permits to three years and said similar authorizations would be issued to illegal aliens under the Deferred Action for Parental Accountability program. A group of states led by Texas thereafter sued the Administration to overturn the programs they alleged were unconstitutional. Judge Hanen temporarily blocked implementation of those programs in February. Administration lawyers subsequently told the judge that 108,000 illegal aliens received three-year renewals before his injunction and 2,000 more work permits thereafter.
At a June 23 hearing, Judge Hanen told Justice Department attorneys “I expect you to resolve the 2,000; I’m shocked that you haven’t. If they’re not resolved by July 31, I’m going to have to figure out what action to take.” The apologetic lawyers said the work permits would be modified from terms of three years to two, but the judge questioned why that was so difficult to do. “How hard is it to correct your own computer system? How hard is it to change a three to a two?...There’s no doubt with regards to the 2,000 that the government violated the injunction.”
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton's office, which leads the coalition of states in the litigation, told one reporter, "The Obama administration's admission last month that even more expanded work permits were granted to illegal immigrants makes it even more clear that this administration either cannot or will not provide accurate information. That's why Attorney General Paxton has called for increased oversight to hold the federal government accountable, and we hope the court's direction will help them produce the answers that the American public is entitled to."
A three-judge panel in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals will hold a hearing on July 10 concerning the Administration’s appeal of Judge Hanen’s injunction.