Soros-Funded Firm Fighting Texas Executive Amnesty Injunction In the States

ICE Protest in Houston
File Photo: Bob Price/Breitbart Texas

An illegal alien, represented by a George Soros-funded law firm, has filed a lawsuit to fight the judicial action blocking illegal aliens from receiving benefits under President Obama’s executive amnesty program. The injunction was left standing by the U.S. Supreme Court in June.

The plaintiff illegal alien in the California lawsuit, Rocio Sanchez Ponce, contends that the legal block does not apply to her because a nationwide injunction against amnesty is improper and unlawful. She and two other plaintiffs from other “pro-amnesty” areas, New York and Illinois, are trying to have the nationwide injunction confined to only the 26 states that brought suit against President Obama.

The states joined Texas in suing the federal government for dictating that the DAPA program (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents) be implemented. The November 2014 executive order also expanded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (“DACA+”). Obama used federal government action to create DAPA in his post-midterms executive action announcement and unilaterally expanded his previous 2012 DACA program by extending amnesty and work-permit benefits from two to three years. This was despite the President publicly admitting many times that he lacked the authority to create such programs without congressional authorization.

The executive amnesty litigation by the 26 states involved the legal questions of the proper scope of presidential power to bypass Congress and separation of powers, the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) passed by Congress, and violations of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) and other federal laws. The APA requires a time period for notice to and comment from the public before issuing rules that create public policy mirroring law. The INA was passed by Congress and it provides who can be immigrants, and who can become U.S. citizens.

The court-ordered injunction against the DAPA program is not being challenged in the California case filed this past week. The federal lawsuit seeking DACA benefits, has been attached below.

As of November 2015, approximately 1.2 million persons qualified for DACA, and approximately 636,000 applications were approved through 2014.

If the federal government were to narrow the existing injunction to only those states that challenged Obama’s amnesty order, either by judicial order or by a “settlement” with the illegal alien plaintiff, it appears there would be little that could prevent illegal aliens from one of the 26 states that brought the original lawsuit, including Texas, from going to another state to apply for and receive DACA+ benefits, say immigration reform activists and lawyers.

U.S. district court Judge Andrew Hanen in the Southern District of Texas, issued the order blocking the unilateral federal action in February of 2015, as reported by Breitbart Texas. On appeal from that order, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed in November 2015. A tie at the U.S. Supreme Court in June 2016, left in place the injunction of Judge Hanen after the Fifth Circuit affirmed the lower court ruling, as reported by Breitbart Texas. Breitbart Texas reported in early October that the United States Supreme Court denied President Obama’s request to rehear the executive amnesty case. The federal district court injunction therefore stands.

The lawsuit filed on November 3 in California, is a “copy-cat” lawsuit by the firm. The first lawsuit was filed in New York on August 25, and the second was filed on October 12 in Chicago.

The latest lawsuit has also been filed by the National Immigration Law Center (NILC). The Center states on its website that it “is one of the leading organizations in the U.S. exclusively dedicated to defending and advancing the rights of low-income immigrants.” The Center is funded in part by George Soros‘ Open Society Foundations as well as the Ford Foundation and the Carnegie Endowment.

Like NILC’s other suits, this one alleges DHS violated the rights of their illegal alien client when it revoked her work permit under DACA+ which had been given to her before the injunction came down. The plaintiff, who still has her renewable two-year permit, described the decision to take away her DACA+ permit as “not right.” As NILC contends, the revocation “was done without observance of procedure required by law, as it violates binding DHS regulations that permit revocation only when a condition upon which employment authorization was granted has not been met or ceases to exist; upon a showing that the information in the application is not true and correct; or for ‘good cause shown.’” None of which were present here, they state.

Further, NILC states that DHS further erred in revoking the work permit as it was based on “an overly broad preliminary injunction entered by a court in Texas that lacked jurisdiction to reach California residents.”

The Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI), which filed multiple friend of the court briefs in support of the 26 states challenging amnesty, says NILC’s claims are beyond baseless.

As the executive director and general counsel for IRLI, Dale Wilcox, told Breitbart Texas, “This is the third copy-cat lawsuit in almost as many months brought by the same Soros-funded law firm. They’re arguing that nationwide injunctions are ‘unprecedented’ which is not only absolutely false but completely absurd as nothing would stop an illegal alien in Texas from travelling to California to apply for DAPA-benefits. The injunction has to be nationwide.”

Wilcox added, “To confine to certain states Judge Hanen’s injunction order, which SCOTUS has affirmed, would be absolutely hypocritical on the part of the Obama Administration. No administration has been more shrill about immigration law being strictly federal and no administration has attacked individual states so viciously when they try to ‘go their own way’ and attempt to enforce the laws which the feds refuse to.”

As reported by Breitbart News in August, the plaintiff in the New York litigation, Batalla Vidal, was a DACA recipient who received a three-year work permit under the expanded DACA. He received the benefit before the official implementation date. Vidal came to the U.S. from Mexico at the age of seven and says he has lived in New York for approximately 20 years. When the Texas district court judge issued the preliminary injunction in February 2015, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services revoked his three-year permit and replaced it with a two-year work permit in May 2015. Vidal’s lawsuit seeks a court declaration that the injunction does not apply to New York residents, he asks the court to declare the revocation “unlawful”and to vacate and set it aside, and to reinstate his three-year employment authorization, as well as block the defendants in this case from revoking his employment authorization on the basis of the injunction in Texas v. United States.

The lawsuit filed in Illinois on October 12th, Jose Lopez v. Richardson, et al., also challenges the “unlawful revocation of employment authorization.” Lopez says he has lived in Chicago for “virtually his entire life.” He, like the other plaintiffs, complains that the revocation was done on the basis of the injunction in the Texas-led case. Similarly, he argues that “the district court lacked jurisdiction or remedial authority to enter, a preliminary injunction reaching Illinois.” Lopez says he was not a party to the Texas lawsuit and did not have a “full and fair opportunity to defend his interests in that action.” He urges that the revocation of his employment authorization violated his rights under the Administrative Procedure Act. Lopez came to the U.S. from Mexico at the age of four.

Lana Shadwick is a contributing writer and legal analyst for Breitbart Texas. She has served as a prosecutor and associate judge in Texas. Follow her on Twitter @LanaShadwick2.

Rocio Sanchez Ponce Versus Baran California Litigation


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.