DOJ Seeks To Keep Executive Immigration Action Moving Forward

Immigration Reform
Monday, February 23, 2015 - 7:15pm

The U.S. Department of Justice took emergency action on February 23, 2015 to allow President Obama's immigration actions to be implemented. The DOJ requested a stay of the order issued by U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen on February 16 that halted immigration actions that would have provided deferred action initiatives for millions of immigrants.

Judge Hanen's preliminary injunction blocked applications for expanded DACA,s scheduled to begin February 18, 2015. Another immigration action that would provide deferred action for parents of permanent residents and children born in the United States what scheduled to begin in May. If Judge Hanen agrees to the DOJ’s request for a stay, this would allow immigration action to move forward while the lawsuit works its way through the courts. The DOJ argues that if a stay is not granted it would cause "irreparable harm" to both national security, as well as to the people impacted by these actions. With illegal immigrants unable to come forward, the immigration system lacks much needed accountability necessary for national security. The DOJ’s request does allow the option for Judge Hanen to issue a stay for all states except Texas. Judge Hanen had previously ruled that Texas, specifically, would be harmed by the deferred action initiatives.

UPDATE - March 5, 2015 :As expected, Judge Hanen, has not taken action to reverse his initial judgment determined that the President's executive order was unconstitutional and his preliminary injunction was necessary to avoid damages to the states in the form of increased state investment in law enforcement, health care and education. To allow the immigration action to move forward would allow these "damages" to accrue while the courts review the lawsuit. The DOJ has stated that if no ruling is made by March 9, it will take its request to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has also revealed that it began issuing three-year work permits under the 2014 expanded DACA rules that were part of the Executive Action to about 100,000 individuals prior to the scheduled implementation date of February 18 , 2015. The DHS says it has no intention of revoking these permits.

President Obama held a town hall meeting on immigration in Miami, Wednesday , February 25, 2015 at 8 PM ET vowing to veto any congressional actions intended to block his immigration actions and common sense changes to immigration policy.