6/29/15, "Obama Defies Federal Judge, Fails To Rescind Wrongly Issued Amnesties," Stephen Dinan. Washington Times
"The Obama Administration still hasn’t fully rescinded the 2,000 three-year amnesties it wrongly
issued four months ago in violation of a court order, government lawyers
recently admitted in court, spurring a stern response from the judge
who said the matter must be cleaned up by the end of July-or else....
The agency bungled the
rollout, issuing three-year amnesties even while assuring the judge it
had stopped all action hours after a Feb. 16 injunction.
Citizenship and Immigration Services, the agency responsible for
overseeing the amnesty, said it’s trying to round up all of the permits,
sending out two-year amnesties and pleading with the illegal immigrants
to return the three-year cards.
But they are having trouble getting some of the lucky recipients to send them back.
is carefully tracking the returns of the three-year EAD cards, and many
have been returned within weeks,” the agency said in a statement to The
Washington Times. “USCIS continues to take steps to collect the
remaining three-year EAD cards.”
The agency didn’t answer specific
questions about how many remain outstanding, nor about what methods
will be used to claw back the ones that folks refuse to return.
The three-year deportation amnesty was part of Mr. Obama’s November
2014 announcement when he proposed granting a three-year tentative
deportation amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants. It was to be a
massive expansion, in both eligibility and duration, of his 2012
amnesty, which granted two-year amnesty to so-called Dreamers.
Judge Andrew S. Hanen blocked the expansion in February, issuing an injunction that remains in place even as the administration appeals it to a higher court. The next hearing on that appeal is due July 10.
But Judge Hanen was shocked to learn that USCIS issued the 2,000 three-year amnesties even after he’d issued his injunction.
“I expect you to resolve the 2,000; I’m shocked that you haven’t,” Judge Hanen
told the Justice Department at a hearing last week, according to the
San Antonio Express-News. “If they’re not resolved by July 31, I’m going
to have to figure out what action to take.”
says it’s changed the duration of the work permits from three years to
two years in its computer systems, but getting the cards returned from
the illegal immigrants themselves is tougher.
The office of Texas
Attorney General Ken Paxton, who is leading the lawsuit challenging the
amnesty and who won the February injunction against the policy, didn’t
respond to a request for comment on the outstanding permits.
Josh Blackman, an assistant professor at the South Texas College of Law, who has filed briefs in the case opposing the Obama administration’s claims, said he believes the administration is trying to comply in good faith with Judge Hanen’s order, but USCIS’s difficulties show how difficult managing the full amnesty would be.
entire nature of this case was that agents were given a free rein to
approve as many applications as possible. DHS can’t keep track of its
own agents and who’s being approved for deferrals and work
authorization,” he said.
Mr. Obama...said those that qualify — as many as 5 million illegal immigrants —
could earn a two-year stay of deportation and a work permit, which
would usually qualify them for Social Security numbers, which they can
use to access some other benefits, including tax credits.
ruled on Feb. 16 that Mr. Obama didn’t follow the law in announcing his
policy because it’s a major change, and under federal law those must be
put out for public notice and comment. Judge Hanen
said he didn’t have to address the major constitutional issues of
whether Mr. Obama stole power that belongs to Congress, though he could
still reach those questions should his injunction be overturned.
Nov. 20, when Mr. Obama announced his policy, and the Feb. 16
injunction, Homeland Security issued 108,000 three-year permits. Their
legality is questionable and Texas and the Obama administration are arguing over how to handle them.
after the Feb. 16 injunction, and even as Homeland Security Secretary
Jeh Johnson was assuring Congress no permits were being issued, his
department did issue 2,000 more three-year permits — something all sides
agree was illegal."