The Texas Attorney General’s Office tells Breitbart News it is aware that the Obama administration is moving forward with opening a new facility initially leased for executive amnesty, and the state is reviewing the matter.
Last week, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services confirmed to Breitbart News that it would be using the Crystal City facility in Arlington, VA, as an immigration service center and hiring new employees to that end. The multistory facility, set to be named the Potomac Service Center, would be the agency’s fifth service center.
USCIS initially leased the building last year as a place to implement and process applications for President Obama’s the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) executive amnesty program.
In February, however, U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Hanen halted the implementation of Obama’s executive amnesty programs — DAPA and the expansion of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals — with a preliminary injunction, ruling in favor of the 26 states’ legal challenge to the programs.
Last week Senate Republicans called on the administration to offer more details about their plans for the Crystal City building warning that in addition to erring by not running the plans by Congress the administration could be in potential violation of the court injunction. As the senators wrote last week:
USCIS’ decision to unilaterally establish and open another Service Center – without prior congressional consultation and despite the passage of any law that expands authority to grant benefits to foreign nationals – calls into question the need for such a center, whether taxpayers and legal immigrants will be unjustly harmed, and whether such a center is being established, in potential violation of the injunction issued by the District Court in Texas, to put hundreds of adjudicatory personnel in place in order to immediately implement the DAPA program were the injunction to be lifted.
USCIS has stressed that the activities slated for the Potomac Service Center do not violated the injunction.
“To be clear, no activities at this service center or any other USCIS facilities are currently underway that are covered by the injunction,” a USCIS spokesman said in a statement to Breitbart News last week.
Meanwhile the Texas Attorney General’s office, which is leading the states’ case against the executive actions, says it is looking into the matter as well.
“We are aware of the matter and are reviewing,” spokeswoman Cynthia Meyer told Breitbart News.
The Obama administration has already admitted to violating Hanen’s injunction specifically with the issuance of three-year expanded DACA work permits.