On Wednesday, Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) revealed that the White House is considering implementing its executive amnesty program in the 24 states that did not join the lawsuit against it.
A majority of states (26) joined the lawsuit that led to a federal judge (Andrew Hanen) issuing an injunction against Obama’s executive amnesty last week. The Obama administration complied with the injunction, did not accept applications for Obama’s executive amnesty, and asked Hanen for a stay before it files an appeal to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. But the White House, according to Gutierrez, is deciding whether it has the legal authority to launch its executive amnesty program in the 24 other states and the District of Columbia before the lawsuit is resolved.
“I think that is a very worthy observation, and the White House – I know the advocates are on it – but I’ve got to tell you, President Barack Obama is on it, too. He’s thinking about it, and the White House has been trying to figure out [if it’s an option],” Gutierrez reportedly said, according to The Hill.
Gutierrez, who has gone on a nationwide executive amnesty tour to instruct illegal immigrants about the executive amnesty process and warn them of scammers who may take advantage of them, reportedly even suggested that the Obama administration could go further and decide if it has the authority to implement its executive amnesty in every state except for Texas. When the Obama administration asked Hanen to stay his injunction, it proposed a compromise in its filing--let every state except for Texas implement Obama’s executive amnesty.
“That’s absolutely something the White House is looking at,” Gutierrez reportedly said. “I think it’s a great idea to look at the lawsuit and to say, ‘OK judge, since you think the harm is to Texas, why can’t we proceed in the rest of the states of the union and set that one aside?’”
In a closed-door White House meeting with some of the country’s top pro-amnesty leaders on Wednesday, Obama suggested that his administration is considering ways to start implementing its executive amnesty. According to the White House, Obama “highlighted that despite the Texas district court’s ruling, the Administration will continue to make progress on many components of the executive actions and is confident we will ultimately be able to implement the deferred action policies.”
The expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was set to begin last week but was halted after Hanen’s injunction. The Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) for adults is set to begin in May.