The Obama administration says it has recovered or terminated the 2,600 three-year amnesty documents issued in violation of a district court injunction.
According to a Justice Department filing with the court, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has replaced the erroneously issued three-year Employment Authorization Documents (EAD) with acceptable two-year documents in nearly all the cases except for 22.
For those 22 illegal immigrants who did not comply with the order to return their three year for two year permits, their deferred status and work permits have been terminated, the filing notes. The government requested that since it has comes in compliance with the court’s order, an August 19 hearing at which top administration immigration officials — including DHS Sec. Jeh Johnson — are expected to attend, should be canceled.
“Because the Government has ‘remedie[d] [the] situation’ that led to the Court’s July 7 Order, the Government respectfully submits that, in accordance with the terms of the Order itself, the August 19 hearing should be canceled,” the order, obtained by Politico, reads. “The Government has achieved full compliance, or at a minimum substantial compliance, with the Court’s February 16 injunction.”
The issue started when U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen — the judge presiding over 26 states’ legal challenge of executive amnesty — halted Obama’s executive amnesty programs in February. The Obama administration has said it had already started issuing three-year work permits — an aspect of Obama’s orders expanding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program — before its official start date and erroneously continued to do so after the injunction.
According to USCIS, more than 2,100 three-year permits were issued post-injunction and another 500 were issued before the injunction but, due to mail issues, were re-sent after the injunction. After Hanen’s July 7 call to recoup the illegal three-year permits, the administration embarked on an aggressive campaign to replace the old permits with the new ones.
The court filings also reveal however that in the course of reclaiming the illegal EADs, USCIS preliminarily discovered another 50 three-year permits issued post-injunction the government had not identified previously or recouped.
“Nonetheless, where USCIS has confirmed that a three-year card was issued, USCIS has begun to take corrective action, including issuing two- year EADs, ensuring that SAVE and E-Verify are appropriately updated, and retrieving any three-year EADs that were in fact issued after the injunction. As other cases are identified and confirmed, USCIS will take similar corrective action,” USCIS Director Leon Rodriguez explained in a filing obtained by Politico.
While the government said it would like to see the entire hearing cancelled, it noted that should Hanen move forward with the August 19 hearing, the court should excuse the high ranking officials — except Rodriguez — from attending.