On Monday, the Justice Department asked a federal judge in Texas who issued an injunction last week against President Barack Obama’s executive amnesty to stay his injunction. The Obama administration also proposed that the judge issue a partial stay that would allow every state except for Texas to start implementing Obama’s executive amnesty.
The Justice Department gave U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen until Wednesday to decide on the matter. If Hanen does not act, the Justice Department will ask the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals for a stay.
The Justice Department argued that the Department of Homeland Security would “sustain irreparable harm” that would not be cured even if the Obama administration wins its appeal. The Obama administration alleged that a “stay pending appeal is necessary to ensure that the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS” or “Department”) is able to most effectively protect national security, public safety, and the integrity of the border.”
“Allowing the preliminary injunction to remain in place pending appeal would also harm the interests of the public and of third parties, who will be deprived of the significant law enforcement and humanitarian benefits of prompt implementation of the Guidance,” the Justice Department argued in its filing.
In issuing his injunction, Hanen determined that since Texas, which led the states in the lawsuit, “stands to suffer direct damage from the implementation” of Obama’s executive amnesty, all of the states that sued had standing. Specifically, Hanen noted that Texas would likely have to issue driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants if the federal government started implementing Obama’s executive amnesty program.
The Justice Department asked Hanen to, “at the very least,” stay the injunction “so that it applies only to the implementation of the Guidance in Texas because “injunction purports to extend beyond implementation of the Guidance in Texas (the only State whose claims of harm the Court credited) to States the Court did not find to have established any injury, and even to States that have informed this Court that they desire and expect to benefit from implementation of the Deferred Action Guidance.”
When asked about the stay request, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said on Monday that the injunction against Obama’s executive amnesty “only makes it harder for the Department of Homeland Security to protect the American people and bring much-needed accountability to our nation’s immigration system.” He also noted that while a majority of states sued the Obama administration over his executive amnesty, 12 states and Washington, D.C. filed a brief in support of the administration’s executive amnesty program.
The expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) part of Obama’s executive amnesty was set to start last week, but the Obama administration announced after the injunction that it would comply with it and not accept any applications until the case is resolved. The Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) part of Obama’s executive amnesty for the illegal immigrant parents of U.S. citizens is set to go into effect in May.
Meanwhile, the Department of Homeland Security’s funding is set to expire on February 27, and Senate Democrats have united to filibuster the House’s spending bill that would fund all of the department except for Obama’s executive amnesty.