A federal judge who halted President Obama’s executive action implementing amnesty for up to 5 million illegal aliens now is being asked by Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio to sanction the administration for lying in court.
The Obama Justice Department has “lied intentionally to two courts which have addressed the president’s unconstitutional and illegal executive actions,” claims a motion on behalf of Arpaio submitted to the federal court in Brownsville, Texas.
Judge Andrew Hanen has issued a temporary injunction stopping Obama’s amnesty program, determining it is unconstitutional because he didn’t follow the Administrative Procedures Act.
Arpaio, who has a similar case pending at an appellate court in Washington, D.C., previously filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the Texas case, which was brought by 26 states.
He’s now asking to be allowed to intervene further.
The filing says “this must be remedied in the interests of justice, through the commencement of contempt proceedings and the imposition of harsh sanctions on counsel for the defendants.”
In the brief, Klayman wrote, “The president and his Justice Department are not above the law.”
WND reported when the judge bluntly asked a Justice Department attorney whether or not President Obama and federal officials can be believed regarding the administration’s executive action on immigration.
The testy confrontation came in a federal court in Texas.
“I can trust what Secretary [Jeh] Johnson says … what President Obama says?” Hanen asked, according to the Los Angeles Times.
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Fox News reported the judge even went further, instructing Justice Department attorney Kathleen Hartnett, “That’s a yes or no question.”
She responded, “Yes, your honor.”
Hanen called the hearing after ordering in February a halt to any actions related to Obama’s executive action until a full trial or a further order from him.
The issue was whether or not the Justice Department misled the judge by claiming that deportation reprieves would not go forward before he made a ruling. It turned out that federal officials had delayed deportation for 108,000 people for three years and granted them work permits.
The administration had argued the reprieves were granted under a 2012 program that was not impacted by Hanen’s order. But the 2012 program, called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, granted only two-year reprieves, while Obama’s November order allows three-year deferrals.
Hartnett told the judge “government attorneys hadn’t properly explained this because they had been focused on other parts of the proposed action,” Fox reported.
Hanen remained skeptical, and it was then he asked, “Can I trust what the president says?”
The states that brought the lawsuit at that time had asked for sanctions against the federal government because of the misleading statements. Angela Colmenero, a lawyer from Texas, said the federal government provided “representations” that eventually proved untrue or “less than forthcoming.”
Fox News reported Hanen “chided” Hartness for saying “before the injunction was issued that nothing would be happening with regard” to the deferrals.
“Like an idiot, I believed that,” Hanen said.
Klayman explained to WND that the additional filings with the court “detail the falsehoods put forth by the Obama Justice Department on behalf of the president in trying to prevent the issuance of an order temporarily enjoining the implementation of these executive actions.”
“Specifically, lawyers of Obama’s Justice Department told the courts in two federal cases, the one in Texas (1:14-cv-254) and the one in the District of Columbia filed by Arpaio and Klayman (1:14-cv-01966), that the presidents’ executive actions would not be implemented, at the earliest until February 18, 2015, when in fact it has been learned that the president and DHS were already well on their way to putting the executive actions into effect. These intentional misrepresentations were intended to convince and deceive these courts that immediate judicial rulings on the motions for preliminary injunctions were not necessary, as nothing had occurred as yet that could conceivably be damaging to the plaintiffs in both cases,” Klayman explained in a statement.
“President Obama and his ‘yes-men’ at the Justice Department and Department of Homeland Security are not above the law. They cannot be permitted to walk away scot-free from lying to courts, much more attempting to put into effect unconstitutional executive actions granting illegal amnesty to over 5 million illegal aliens. This serious misconduct must be harshly sanctioned to further the rule of law, uphold the integrity of the courts, and prevent this from happening again in these important cases. As an alumnus of the Justice Department, I am appalled by the actions of President Obama’s legal counsel in these cases,” Klayman said.
Klayman’s filing explained that government lawyers argued in both cases a preliminary injunction was not needed because “the amnesty programs were not imminent.”
Yet, such activities already were going on, he argued.
“Those claims were a premeditated and intentional misrepresentation,” Klayman wrote.
He noted the judge already has set aside the idea of monetary sanctions since the penalties would be paid by taxpayers.
“The court can consider other forms of sanctions to ensure ethical and honest conduct by the Obama Justice Department and its clients in the future.”
WND also reported when Arpaio had asked for a hearing for the government to explain why it apparently is refusing to abide by Hanen’s order.
A notice and recommendation from Klayman said: “Several reports indicate that the executive branch under the Obama administration has not complied with this court’s temporary injunction, but continues full-speed to implement a grant of amnesty and related benefits to approximately 5 million citizens of foreign countries who are illegally in the United States under the defendants’ November 20, 2014, executive action programs implemented by several memoranda issued by Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson,” the filing explained.
It explained: “If the defendants have in fact halted implementation of the programs in compliance with the court’s temporary injunction, the opportunity to assure the court and other observers of this may be afforded by the court asking for a response on whether the reports of continued implementation are accurate and whether the injunction is being complied with.”
Klayman’s filing also noted Obama’s statement at a town hall meeting in Miami Feb. 25 that he won’t be deterred by “one federal judge” on immigration.
Obama, according to the Washington Times, “told a Miami crowd that he will move ahead with his executive action on immigration and vowed that his administration will become even more aggressive in the weeks and months to come.”
Klayman’s filing also noted Obama said: “This is just one federal judge. We have appealed it very aggressively. We’re going to be as aggressive as we can.”
Wrote Klayman: “The Obama administration is continuing to signal not only its disagreement with the court’s order, which is its right, but beyond that its non-compliance with the court’s order.”
The attorney also noted a report from the government watchdog Judicial Watch that said “a source within the U.S. government contracting industry” said the U.S. Department of Homeland Security “is continuing at full speed to implement the ‘deferred action’ programs created on November 20, 2014.”
“In short,” Klayman told the court, “President Obama’s defiant pledge in Miami, Florida, on February 25, 2015, to move forward aggressively with implementation of his deferred action amnesty by executive over-reach … more than suggests that the Obama administration is continuing to implement the executive action amnesty in defiance of the court’s temporary injunction.
“Given the strong reports that DHS is continuing to implement the programs that the court enjoined, the court should issue an order to show cause and call for clarification and assurance from the defendants that they are and will comply with the court’s temporary injunction, and if not take immediate remedial actions to [ensure] that the order is being complied with.”
The Obama administration’s action “to expend taxpayers money in violation of this court’s temporary injunction order would be another affront to the rule of law,” he wrote.
WND also reported Obama’s amnesty plan continued moving forward on another front. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced the extension of a program allowing spouses of certain visa holders to obtain work permits.
According to the Washington Times, the move would, in 90 days, allow some 180,000 immigrants to be eligible for the benefit “in the first year.”
“Allowing the spouses of these visa holders to legally work in the United States makes perfect sense,” the newspaper quoted agency chief Leon Rodriguez saying. “It helps U.S. businesses keep their highly skilled workers by increasing the chances these workers will choose to stay in this country during the transition from temporary workers to permanent residents.”
Klayman even noted that according to a Weekly Standard report, Obama was threatening “consequences” for federal employees who followed the judge’s order, instead of the amnesty memos.
That report quoted Obama saying: “Until we pass a law through Congress, the executive actions we’ve taken are not going to be permanent; they are temporary. There are going to be some jurisdictions and there may be individual ICE official or Border Control agent not paying attention to our new directives. But they’re going to be answerable to the head of Homeland Security because he’s been very clear about what our priorities will be.”
He continued, “If somebody’s working for ICE … and they don’t follow the policy, there’s going to be consequences to it.”
Sen Ted Cruz, R-Texas, also raised the issue of compliance with the court order.
“Violating an unambiguous federal court order by defying its instructions to cease and desist a particular activity would represent a significant breach of your authority, and would be an escalation in abuse of our separation of powers,” Cruz wrote to administration officials. “For a president and his cabinet to telegraph intent to violate a federal court order requires additional scrutiny from Congress.”
But administration officials were unabashed in their intent.
The Washington Times said Cecilia Munoz, White House domestic policy director, addressed the issue: “It’s important to put [Hanen’s order] in context, because the broader executive actions are moving forward. The administration continues to implement the portions of the actions that the president and the Department of Homeland Security took, which were not affected by the court’s ruling.”
But Hanen’s order said: “The United States of America, its departments, agencies, officers, agents and employees and Jeh Johnson, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security; R. Gil Kerlikowske, commissioner of United States customs and Border Protection; Ronald D. Vitiello, deputy chief of United States Border Patrol, United States Customs and Border Protection; Thomas S. Winkowski, acting director of United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement; and Leon Rodriguez, director of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services are hereby enjoined from implementing any and all aspects or phases of the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents.”
And even Obama himself said he couldn’t do it alone.
House Speaker John Boehner has listed online 22 times when Obama has made such statements.
For example, in October 2010, Obama said: “I am president, I am not king. I can’t do these things just by myself. … I’ve got to have some partners to do it. … If Congress has laws on the books that says that people who are here who are not documented have to be deported, then I can exercise some flexibility in terms of where we deploy our resources, to focus on people who are really causing problems as opposed to families who are just trying to work and support themselves. But there’s a limit to the discretion that I can show because I am obliged to execute the law. … I can’t just make the laws up by myself.”
The Texas lawsuit was filed when the states suddenly faced massive new demands for public services such as schooling and health care from foreigners who previously had been subject to deportation.
Hanen granted a preliminary injunction that prevents the government from enforcing the Obama administration’s immigration orders. The ruling also confirmed WND’s exclusive report that, contrary to popular perception, the order to delay deportation was not an executive order by the president. Instead, it was a memorandum issued by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson at Obama’s direction.
WND also reported when yet another a federal judge in Pennsylvania declared the amnesty unconstitutional.
“President Obama’s unilateral legislative action violates the separation of powers provided for in the United States Constitution as well as the Take Care Clause and, therefore, is unconstitutional,” said U.S. District Judge Arthur J. Schwab.
The judge noted Obama “contended that although legislation is the most appropriate course of action to solve the immigration debate, his executive action was necessary because of Congress’ failure to pass legislation, acceptable to him, in this regard.”
“This proposition is arbitrary and does not negate the requirement that the November 20, 2014, executive action be lawfully within the president’s executive authority,” the judge wrote. “It is not.”