Hanen: “There’s no doubt with regards to the 2,000 that the government violated the injunction.”

June 24th, 2015

Even as the challenge to DAPA proceeds to the 5th Circuit, Judge Hanen still retains jurisdiction over the government’s issuance of nearly 2,000 work permits while an injunction was in place. During a hearing in Brownsville yesterday, Judge Hanen found that the government violated the injunction, gave them till July 31 to rescind all of the permits that were unlawfully awarded, and considered imposing sanctions.

The San Antonio Express-News has the story:

BROWNSVILLE — A U.S. District Court judge ordered federal immigration authorities on Tuesday to rescind three-year work permits for 2,000 immigrants in the country illegally that had been issued in violation of his injunction.

“I expect you to resolve the 2,000; I’m shocked that you haven’t,” Judge Andrew Hanen told Justice Department lawyers at a hearing in Brownsville. “If they’re not resolved by July 31, I’m going to have to figure out what action to take.”

Hanen has mentioned possible sanctions against the government after he learned it had issued the work permits and deferrals from deporation for three years instead of two years, as had been the administration’s policy.

To fix the problem, the government said it would modify the terms from three years to two.

Angela Colmenero, a lawyer with the Texas Attorney General’s Office speaking for the plaintiff states, said Texas has not determined the financial harm the three-year permits may have caused.

Hanen appeared baffled the 2,000 erroneously issued permits were not yet straightened out, suggesting the slow progress has the appearance of possibly being deliberate.

Hanen urged government attorneys to move swiftly to correct the mistake or he would consider sanctions, an action he has taken only twice over the past 14 years, he said.

“How hard is it to correct your own computer system?” Hanen said. “How hard is it to change a three to a two?”…

During a March court hearing in Brownsville, an irritated Hanen contemplated sanctions but decided to allow the 26 states, led by Texas, to hammer out remedial steps.

In May, the federal government notified Hanen that Homeland Security had once again told him one thing and done another when it erroneously issued 2,000 more three-year work permits, this time a clear breach of the injunction.

Hanen acknowledged the 108,000 deportation reprieves issued before the injunction will take significantly longer to remedy.

“There’s no doubt with regards to the 2,000 that the government violated the injunction,” Hanen said.


Stay tuned.