Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a motion for discovery on Thursday to investigate whether the Obama Administration misrepresented actions taken under President Obama’s executive orders granting amnesty to illegal immigrants. Governor Greg Abbott and Lt. Governor Dan Patrick quickly issued statements of support of the call for an investigation. The issue revolves around admissions by the Administration that tens of thousands of work permits have already been issued to illegal immigrants, a direct contradiction to facts presented in federal court.
“In an apparent attempt to quickly execute President Obama’s unlawful, unconstitutional amnesty plan, the Obama Administration appears to have already been issuing expanded work permits, in direct contradiction to what they told a federal judge previously in this litigation,” said General Paxton in a press release obtained by Breitbart Texas. “The circumstances behind this must be investigated, and the motion we seek would help us determine to what extent the Administration might have misrepresented the facts in this case.”
On February 16th, the federal court issued an injunction enjoining the President’s executive action. The injunction was granted in a lawsuit originally filed by then Texas Attorney General Abbott. The lawsuit was joined by twenty-five other states.
Governor Abbott commended Paxton’s action investigating the Obama Administration. “I commend Attorney General Paxton for continuing to hold the Obama Administration accountable, and I’m confident an investigation would find the Administration knowingly or recklessly misled a Federal Court in issuing thousands of amnesty documents illegally,” said Governor Abbott in a statement Thursday afternoon. “President Obama has continued to show complete disregard for the Rule of Law by acting beyond his Constitutional authority at every stage of this process.”
Lt. Governor Patrick also applauded the action of the Texas Attorney General. “News that tens of thousands of expanded work permits have already been issued to illegal immigrants while President Obama’s executive action, which we believe is illegal, is being contested in the courts is both outrageous and unacceptable. This contradicts the administration’s statements already provided in federal court,” the Lt. Governor stated. “Texas will not be an idle bystander while this President refuses to follow the rule of law. We remain vigilant and will continue to do so, both in the courts and as we maintain law enforcement on our border.”
Breitbart Texas previously reported on Judge Andrew Hanen’s injunction blocking the federal government from implementing the executive action of President Obama. The President stated his action would allow up to five million illegal immigrants the opportunity to legally live and work in the United States. The action, in essence, created a new work visa program without authorization from Congress.
“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,” the injunction read.
On Tuesday, March 3rd, the Department of Justice (DOJ) acknowledged that the Administration has already begun implementing the executive amnesty in advance of the judge’s injunction, according to a report on National Review by Ryan Lovelace. The article asks the question, “Did the Obama Administration lie to a federal judge about the President’s executive actions on immigration?”
The admission by the DOJ revealed that approximately 100,000 applications from illegal immigrants were filed before the March 1st start date that had been authorized by the President. In court; however, the DOJ made a contradictory statement and told Judge Hanen that “no applications” for programs relating to the President’s actions had been granted.
Breitbart’s Caroline May reported on March 4th the administration’s explanation that they don’t see “the court’s move to halt the executive actions as cause to take steps to right the apparent misstep.”
In the eleven page motion (attached below) the Texas Attorney General’s Office wrote they were surprised by the actions of the Obama Administration. “This is surprising to Plaintiffs, as Defendants had represented on several prior occasions that USCIS would not consider requests for deferred action under that memorandum until at least February 18, 2015.”
“Plaintiffs find themselves hard-pressed to reconcile Defendants’ past representations with Defendants’ actions as reported in their advisory. Because the nature and extent of those actions inform remedies Plaintiffs may pursue, related to both Defendants’ past representations and to their current compliance with the preliminary injunction, Plaintiffs move for early discovery focused on the subject,” the State continued.
The State quoted specific testimony by the Justice Department’s attorney [bold effect published as written in motion]:
HARTNETT: In that document [Defendants’ January 14 motion for extension of time] we reiterated that no applications for the revised DACA — this is not even DAPA — revised DACA would be accepted until the 18th of February, and that no action would be taken on any of those applications until March the 4th.
THE COURT: But as far as you know, nothing is going to happen in the next three weeks?
HARTNETT: No, Your Honor.
THE COURT: Okay. On either.
HARTNETT: In terms of accepting applications or granting any up or down applications.
THE COURT: Okay.
HARTNETT: For revised DACA, just to be totally clear.
The motion makes the claim that actions were taken by the plaintiffs in the case based upon the representation by the Administration that no actions would be implemented before February 18th. “Had Plaintiffs known that Defend-ants began granting Expanded DACA relief as soon as the DHS Directive was promulgated, they would have explored seeking a temporary restraining order to block that implementation of the Directive,” the motion reads.
The plaintiffs requested the judge to grant their request for early discovery to investigate the information that was released this week by the DOJ.
The other states that joined Texas in the lawsuit are: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin.
This article has been updated to include additional information.