A federal judge in Brownsville has ordered top Obama administration officials to personally appear in his court to answer why he should not sanction them for violating his orders in the president’s executive amnesty litigation.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, and all other federal defendants, have been ordered to attend a hearing on August 19th at 10 a.m. to show why the judge should not hold them in contempt of court.
Other defendant top officials ordered to appear include: R. Gil Kerlikowske, commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection; Leon Rodriguez, director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services; Sarah R Saldana, director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; and Ronald D. Vitiello, deputy chief of U.S. Border Patrol, U.S. Customs and Border of Protection.
In his order yesterday, Judge Andrew Hanen warned the government that if violations have not been corrected by the end of the month that “the only logical conclusion is that the Government needs a stronger motivation to comply with lawful orders.”
He continued, “Neither side should interpret this Court’s personal preference to not sanction lawyers or parties as an indication that it will merely acquiesce to a party’s unlawful conduct.”
Judge Hanen is the judge who denied the U.S. government’s request to remove the block of Obama’s amnesty plan.
In his order, the judge noted that there were “approximately 2,000 individuals that were given various benefits in violation of this Court’s order after the injunction was issued.”
The order continues, “The Court was first apprised by the Government of the violations of its injunction on May 7, 2015. It admitted that it violated this Court’s injunction on at least 2,000 occasions – violations which have not been fixed.”
The judge has warned the DOJ lawyers and federal officials but his order yesterday stated that “no reasonable person could possibly consider a direct violation of an injunction a side issue.”
While the judge stated in his order that the “Court has expressed its willingness to believe that these actions were accidental and not done purposefully to violate this Court’s order … it is shocked and surprised at the cavalier attitude the Government has taken with regards to its ‘efforts’ to rectify this situation.”
He noted that the situation has not been corrected six weeks after the government admitted it had violated the orders on May 7th and promised it would mend the situation.
“In addition to the individual Defendants,” the court said, “the Government shall bring all relevant witnesses on this topic as the Court will not continue this matter to a later date.”
This Court stated that the administration “has not remediated its own violative behavior,” despite the passage of two months. The judge wrote, “That is unacceptable and, as far as the Government’s attorneys are concerned, completely unprofessional.”
Judge Hanen specifically warned, “To be clear, this Court expects the Government to be in full compliance with this Court’s injunction. Compliance as to just those aliens living in the Plaintiff States is not full compliance.”
The judge said he would cancel the hearing if a report ordered filed on July 31st satisfied him that the situation has been remedied. “Otherwise, the Court intends to utilize all available powers to compel compliance.”
This article has been updated with additional information.
Lana Shadwick is a contributing writer and legal analyst for Breitbart Texas. She has served as a prosecutor and an associate court judge. Follow her on Twitter@LanaShadwick2