The federal judge who ordered a halt to President Obama's amnesty-for-millions plan now is telling federal attorneys to come to his courtroom in Brownsville, Texas, and explain why someone issued three-year deportation exemptions and work authorizations to 100,000 people before the program was scheduled to begin.
U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen issued an order Monday for the lawyers to be at a hearing in his courtroom March 19, the Herald newspaper in Brownsville reported.
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Hanen's preliminary injunction stopped Obama's executive actions on amnesty before the government was to begin accepting applications from qualified illegal aliens Feb. 18.
However, the paper said there were extended stays and work authorizations issued to 100,000 illegal aliens prior to the scheduled start date.
Hanen's ordered the government to "explain" the details of a brief from government attorney Kyle Freeny that disclosed the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services had approved tens of thousands of three-year exemptions between Nov. 24, 2014, and Hanen's injunction.
Hanen's order, Feb. 16, did not block a 2012 plan that offers amnesty to those who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children.
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But that program doesn't provide for three-year exemptions. The exemptions are part of the administration's November order.
The case was brought by Texas and 25 other states, and joined by Arizona's Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who has a similar case pending before a federal appeals court in Washington, D.C..
Upon discovering the ongoing grants of amnesty, the states filed a motion demanding to know who was providing the benefits.
WND reported Arpaio also asked for a hearing for the government to explain why it apparently is refusing to abide by Hanen's order.
A notice and recommendation was filed by attorney Larry Klayman of Freedom Watch on behalf of Arpaio.
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"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 explains.
The brief is accompanied by a motion seeking "further leave" of the court to file the request.
It explains: "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."
Hanen's order faulted the Obama amnesty plan because officials failed to comply with the Administrative Procedures Act.
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The judge did not reach a determination of the constitutionality of Obama's executive actions, a decision Klayman hopes will be delivered by a federal appeals court in Washington.
The White House has asked that Hanen's temporary injunction be overturned.
But 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 reported earlier that Obama's amnesty plan was 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 will, 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."
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.
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 from Johnson.
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. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., described the administration's action as "another program that has not been authorized by law."
"There's been no sense at all by President Obama, the Department of Home Security [Secretary] Jeh Johnson, the Democratic members of this Congress, no concern about the employment prospects of lawful immigrants, green card holders and native-born Americans," Sessions told the Times. "The first thing we should do is be focusing on getting jobs for Americans that are unemployed. Are we going to keep Americans on welfare and benefits while we bring in more and more foreigners to take jobs when we've got Americans ready and willing to take those jobs?"
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."
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."