Federal District Judge Andrew Hanen issued an order requiring Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and top agency officials to appear in his court to explain why they should not be sanctioned for failing to remedy the issuance of 2,000 work permits in violation of the judge’s injunction. The order comes just days before the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments in a case brought by the Obama Administration to overturn Judge Hanen’s injunction.
In his order Judge Hanen notes the Administration promised in May to take immediate action to void the 2,000 work permits issued to illegal aliens in violation of his injunction. That injunction prohibited any further implementation of the president’s Deferred Action for Parental Accountability amnesty and extended Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals amnesty.
Judge Hanen wrote: “Yet, as of June 23, 2015—some six weeks after making that representation—the situation had not been rectified. With that in mind, the Court hereby sets a hearing for August 19, 2015, at 10:00 a.m. Each individual Defendant must attend and be prepared to show why he or she should not be held in contempt of Court.” The defendants are Jeh Johnson, Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Leon Rodriguez, Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Sarah Saldana, Border Patrol Deputy Chief Ronald Vitiello and Customs and Border Patrol Director Gil Kerlikowske.
The judge said he was willing to believe the issuance was accidental but is “shocked and surprised at the cavalier attitude the Government has taken with regard to its “efforts” to rectify this situation.” He also said the hearing would be cancelled if the Administration recalls the 2,000 work permits by July 31.
On July 10th, a three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments on whether Judge Hanen’s injunction should be overturned based on the merits of his legal reasoning. Earlier this year, the Administration failed to obtain an emergency stay of that injunction from another panel within the court. Two of the three judges on that earlier panel now sit on the merits panel.
Updated: Wed, Oct 11th 2017 @ 3:22pm EDT