NEW YORK – The federal court order Monday temporarily blocking the Obama administration’s de facto amnesty of millions of illegal aliens confirmed that President Obama never signed an executive order following his Nov. 20 address to the nation on immigration.
U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen’s 123-page opinion makes it clear the issue at hand is not an executive order, as widely believed, but a memorandum issued by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson deferring deportation of certain illegal aliens, as WND was first to report, Dec. 4.
Hanen’s opinion opens with: “This is a case in which twenty-six states or their representatives are seeking injunctive relief against the United States and several officials of the Department of Homeland Security to prevent them from implementing a program entitled ‘Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents.”
Noting that the case does not pertain either to a law passed by Congress or to an executive order signed by Obama, Hanen noted the White House promoted the idea that the president had signed an executive order in Las Vegas Nov. 21, 2014, the day after his address to the nation on immigration.
The president was seen signing two presidential executive orders, but they were not related to deferring prosecution of illegal aliens.
Hanen wrote that “both sides agree that the president in his official capacity has not directly instituted any program at issue in this case.”
“Regardless of the fact that the Executive Branch has made public statements to the contrary, there are no executive orders or other presidential proclamations or communiqué that exist regarding DAPA [Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents],” he said.
“The DAPA memorandum issued by Secretary Johnson is the focus in this suit,” the judge stated.
In granting the injunction to the 26 states that brought the lawsuit, led by Texas, Hanen made clear that the DHS memorandum signed by Johnson was unconstitutional.
DHS does not have the authority to defer the deportation of more than 4 million foreigners who entered the U.S. illegally or overstayed their visas, the judge said.
“The DHS was not given any ‘discretion by law’ to give 4.3 million removable aliens what the DHS itself labels as ‘legal presence,'” Hanen concluded.
“In fact, the law mandates that these illegally present individuals be removed. The DHS has adopted a new rule that substantially changes both the status and employability of millions. These changes go beyond mere enforcement or even non-enforcement of this nation’s immigration scheme.”
Meanwhile, the order enables House Speaker John Boehner to pass a limited, 30-day spending bill to fund DHS without worrying the administration will proceed with the planned issuance of Social Security numbers and work permits to the illegal alien parents of U.S. citizens or legal-resident children.
The administration already had invested substantial resources into the planned expansion of its amnesty program.
In December, as WND reported, the Citizenship and Immigration Services announced a plan to open operational space in a newly constructed office building in Crystal City, near Arlington, Virginia, at an annual price tag of a $7.8 million. The building is to house some 1,000 full-time federal and contract employees in a variety of positions and grade levels, with jobs offering salaries as high as $157,000 a year and a total salary cost of $40 million per year.
The White House is expected to file a motion to stay Hanen’s ruling with the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans and allow the DHS to proceed.
The ultimate decision in the case is widely expected to rest with the Supreme Court.
Tuesday afternoon, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the Obama administration plans to appeal the order.
Cecilia Munoz, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, said that while the U.S. District Court delayed temporarily moving forward on the DAPA program, “the administration priorities remain in place, and the DCDA program will continue interrupted.”
Munoz said DHS has decided to suspend the original plan to begin accepting applications for the DAPA program Wednesday. However, she added, the agency will provide information on the DAPA program to those inquiring about whether they are eligible and how to apply once the application process begins.
Later, Obama told reporters at the Oval Office he disagreed with the ruling and confirmed the Justice Department would appeal.
“The law is on our side, and history is on our side,” he said.
“This is not the first time where a lower court judge has blocked something or attempted to block something that ultimately is going to be lawful, and I’m confident that it is well within my authority” to execute this policy,” Obama said.
Deporting 11 million people is unrealistic, so this “is something that we that we necessarily have to make choices about.”
The president said he held off acting until the White House exhausted all possibilities of enacting comprehensive reform with Congress.
“With a new Congress, my hope has been that they now get serious in solving the problem,” the president said. “Instead what we’ve had is a series of votes to kick out young people who have grown up here and who everybody recognizes are part of our community, and threats to defund the Department of Homeland Security which would make it even harder for us to protect our borders and keep our people safe.”
Obama said his “strong advice right now to Congress is, if they are seriously concerned about immigration, about our borders, about being able to keep criminals out of this country then what they should be doing is working together and working with the administration for a comprehensive immigration policy that allows us to be both a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants.”