The 26 states challenging President Barack Obama’s executive amnesty are pressing the Department of Homeland Security to replace some 108,000 three-year executive amnesty work permits issued to illegal immigrants with two-year permits.
U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Hanen halted implementation of the executive amnesty programs on February 16— namely Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) and expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) which included an increase in work permit length from two to three years.
While Hanen halted the implementation of the programs on Feb. 16, the Obama administration — unbeknownst to the court— had already been issuing three-year permits to DACA recipients in advance of the official start date.
In a court filing Friday, according to the Washington Times, Texas and the states say the administration should replace the outstanding 108,000 three-year permits with two-year authorizations.
“In the end, it matters little whether Defendants’ earlier statements in this litigation are labeled miscommunications, misrepresentations, or worse,” the Times quoted Texas’ filing. “The fact remains that over 108,000 individuals were issued, and continue to hold, three-year terms of deferred action and work authorization based on the now-enjoined DHS Directive — a program that Defendants expressly stated was not being implemented.”
Texas’ lawyers argued that the fix could be made via computers by notifying the states and changing the three-year permits in the computer system to two-year ones, the Times reported.
The Department of Homeland Security, however, contended that the administration was always transparent about the fact that it was issuing three-year permits in advance of the expanded DACA start date. In its filing the government also argues that such action would be unfair to the illegal immigrants granted the more lengthy work authorizations.
“The bottom-line is that these approximately 108,000 individuals did nothing wrong in this situation, and their interests should not be harmed, or even potentially harmed, because of any miscommunication by the Federal Government,” the Times quoted the government’s filing.
Hanen has expressed frustration and at times anger at what he called the government’s misrepresentation of when the executive amnesty programs, announced on Nov. 20, were going to begin.
Hanen was stunned when government lawyers in March revealed that that the administration had already started to issue three-year permits in advance of what was supposed to be the Feb. 18 start date for expanded DACA — despite telling the court that the programs had yet to be implemented.
The push to crack down on all the three-year DACA work permits issued by the Obama administration comes weeks after the Department of Homeland Security mounted an extensive effort to recoup and replace some 2,600 three-year work permits issued post-injunction. In that instance Hanen had threatened to call DHS Sec. Jeh Johnson to his Brownsville court to answer for the the violated injunction.
Hanen relieved Johnson from a trip to Texas after the administration showed it had replaced nearly all the three-year permits with two-year ones and revoked the three-year permits of non-compliant illegal immigrants.