Federal Judge Halts Obama’s Executive Action On Illegal Immigration

President_Barack_ObamaU.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen delivered a major blow to President Barack Obama’s unilateral executive action on immigration with a preliminary injunction in Brownsville, Texas. The case involves a challenge by 26 states and, to succeed, the states had to meet a high standard that they were likely to prevail on the merits in the case. Hanen found that, absent an order, the states will “suffer irreparable harm in this case.” The ruling sets up an appeal that could move the case more rapidly through the system in yet another challenge to the President’s unilateral actions. [For the purposes of full disclosure, I have previously testified against the President’s unilateral actions and I am currently serving as lead counsel to the House of Representatives in its challenge to such actions taken with regard to the Affordable Care Act.]

The case enjoins some provisions scheduled to take effect this week. For example, Obama ordered the expansion of a program that to protect young immigrants from deportation if they were brought to the U.S. illegally as children. The case also deals with an order extending deportation protections to parents of U.S. citizens and permanent residents who have been in the country for some years.

Judge Hanen wrote that “The court finds that the government’s failure to secure the border has exacerbated illegal immigration into this country. . . Further, the record supports the finding that this lack of enforcement, combined with the country’s high rate of illegal immigration, significantly drains the states’ resources.”

Hanen has previously expressed frustration with the lack of border and immigration enforcement. In December 2013, he handled an immigration smuggling case where he expressed dismay over the Administration essentially facilitating conspiracies to violate federal law by reunited families and not deporting violators. In one case involving the sentencing of a smuggler, Hanen lashed out at the federal government and noted that “[i]nstead of arresting (the child’s mother) for instigating the conspiracy to violate our border security laws, the (Homeland Security Department) delivered the child to her — thus successfully completing the mission of the criminal conspiracy.” Hanen added “DHS has simply chosen not to enforce the United States’ border security laws.”

The Justice Department always has the advantage in such appeals given past cases deferring to the Executive Branch on immigration, though the opinion below raises some significant concerns.

The case will now likely go to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans (where I clerked after law school).

Here is the lengthy opinion: Immigration Opinion

Source: NY Times

107 thoughts on “Federal Judge Halts Obama’s Executive Action On Illegal Immigration”

  1. randyjet
    Karen, The reporter who wrote the story devoted most of the article to the judge and the ruling. He did the normal thing of asking the losing party for their response to it.
    —————
    You’re right, it’s not bias. The NY Times article is actually far superior to some of the other ones I read, where there were blanket statements about “immigration law experts” without much context or I’m assuming thought on the reporter’s part.

    If we’re still talking about this case, there was a quote from Larry Tribe (completely unbiased of course) defending the Administration.”“Federal supremacy with respect to immigration matters makes the states a kind of interloper in disputes between the president and Congress,” ”

    I disagree with him on the thought that states can’t have standing because the Federal government has sole jurisdiction. The states are interested parties, because the federal government is acting on state lands and relocating illegals into state areas, not some federal land. And they are mandating costs be born by the states. This isn’t a case of the federal carrot, it’s the feds forcing by law the states to accept the consequences of the federal immigration policy.

  2. Is the barrel not full? Why do we need any migrants? Can we not make machines to pick oranges and expand our med schools so as to have enough doctors without border? Enough is enough for Christ sake. We have one prophet too many as it is. Too many Imams spoil the broth. That guy in Texas says he could close the border. Lets elect him.

  3. Paul – would eVerify catch stolen SSNs? Illegal alien employees are absolutely rampant here in SoCal. It’s really put a wrecking ball through the construction industry. We keep voting for more regulations, to make projects safe, but the vans of illegals underbid because they pay their guys under the table, don’t have insurance, etc. I have to make signs in Spanish for my husband, because there are always guys on every job site on other crews who don’t speak a word of English.

  4. Mespo:

    “Paul:

    “what is wrong with arresting the mother for the felony and then deporting her and the child?”

    ************************

    If you gotta ask, you’ll never know.”

    OK, let me ask you this question. If a family is here illegally, and the parent commits a serious crime, would you ever agree to deporting the parent? Should the child accompany the parent, or be given an opportunity to remain here illegally?

    What if the parent was a murderer, sex trafficker, heroin dealer, or member of the Tonton Macoute? Is there any crime where you would agree that the illegal alien was not a good candidate for citizenship? If the child’s parent gets deported, is it the fault of the US, or the parent for breaking the law?

  5. Paul:

    mespo – I will tell you the same thing I tell artists when they cannot explain their works of art to me and give me that “If you have to ask, you’ll never know answer.” Well, if you cannot explain it, you do not know.

    *********************

    And not surprisingly, like your artists, who were probably too kind to say, it’s quite difficult for folks with souls to explain life to those who don’t.

    1. mespo – as someone with a degree in the arts, BS is BS. When you use that excuse you cannot explain yourself. The other common comeback in the arts is “What does it mean to you?” This led to a very funny back-and-forth at the San Francisco Film Festival several years ago. At no time was the director able to explain his ‘vision’ and he did take a beating from the audience.

    2. mespo wrote: “… it’s quite difficult for folks with souls to explain life to those who don’t.”

      Wait, what? An atheist who believes in a soul?

      1. david – if mespo believes in a soul, where does the soul go on death and how does it get in the body to begin with. Enquiring Minds want to know.

    1. mespo – the day you can prove all 67 million even exist, I’ll buy the first drink.

  6. Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses……

    The problem is : few go to Mass. They are infidels.

  7. . They had to return home to renew their visas, which was very disruptive to their work and personal life. But they did it. They obeyed the law. And amnesty or refusing to enforce immigration laws is like a slap in the face to those who obeyed the laws. Were they suckers to obey the law?

    They are beginning to think that they are….suckers. In my earlier comment I referenced those who spent time and lots of money to comply with the law and even to become legal citizens only to see that those who didn’t are NOW being rewarded.

    Yes. They feel like dupes and fools. And…..they are right.

  8. randyjet:

    “I too live on the border for much time and I get to listen to the gun battles going on across it in Nuevo Laredo. The problem with allowing any amnesty is the lack of security on the border and no physical barrier to slow down illegals.”

    I completely agree. And it’s always the people who get ground up between the warring ruling political parties. There are many stories like the felon you recalled. It’s hard for people who don’t live in border states to understand the consequences of illegal immigration.

    What is especially frustrating for me is that I’ve worked with people who had work visas. It was such a pain. They had to return home to renew their visas, which was very disruptive to their work and personal life. But they did it. They obeyed the law. And amnesty or refusing to enforce immigration laws is like a slap in the face to those who obeyed the laws. Were they suckers to obey the law?

    I am going to frame this mutual accord, and hang it on the wall where I can gaze at it when we have a vigorous disagreement in the future. 🙂

    1. Karen, The reporter who wrote the story devoted most of the article to the judge and the ruling. He did the normal thing of asking the losing party for their response to it. THAT is NOT bias, but called covering both sides of an issue. It is too bad that the FAUX news and GOPers here think that getting both sides shows bias and I am sure would much prefer to not have Obama the opportunity to have any say at all. That doing normal journalism is seen as political bias should send alarm bells off in your head that these folks who think that is bias are nuts.

      I work with a Mexican company as a partner business and we have a number of Mexican workers who come to the US to work on equipment. We have had NO trouble getting them legal and having visas ,but they do have to go back every few months to renew them. Big DEAL! I have offered to give recommendations to a number of them if they wish to immigrate too. A few of them have gotten married to local gals, and are permanent residents. I am glad to have them here since they are good people and truly law abiding folks, unlike illegals.

      I have tried to caution my fellow Democrats that we are making a BIG mistake in trying to legalize the illegals. The reason is that we admit over 1 million legal immigrants/yr, and at the height of the flood of illegals it was about 500,000/yr. That means that any amnesty will tell the majority of immigrants that they were/are SUCKERS. Those folks will become US citizens and voters FAR quicker and In greater percentages than any illegals who get the amnesty. I most certainly hope that these legal immigrants/new voters will not hold a grudge since most of those who I have talked to are damned pissed off at the idea of amnesty while they had to pay thousands of dollars and wait YEARS in line. That these illegal will get all that they had to pay for without obeying any laws really sets them off.

      I have always felt that if Ted Kennedy had tens of thousands of illegals running across the lawn at his Hyanis compound, we would have had a border fence up decades ago. Most of the people victimized by the illegal crossings are the local Mexican American home owners and people.

      As to your question as to E-Verify, it will catch illegal use of SS numbers. We also need to remove the ban on SS numbers not being able to be accessed by the IRS to stop tax fraud which is rampant among illegals.

  9. mespo727272 …there is nothing “red herring” about the IRS mess. My 15 year struggle with them informs me…and my case was very simple compared to the mess overseen by Lois Lerner, originally from the FEC. My personal feeling is that transfer alone was a conflict of interest….but that is how it goes with politically appointed SES executives in government. I wound up with a very good relationship with the IRS (outstanding & patient support for my efforts to educate “feds” that, yes, under some conditions, they do pay taxes…since few bother to actually read 48 CFR) …under today’s operations, I doubt that would have been the outcome. We might like for the IRS issue to go away, but it will not do so…so an honest resolution would be the best thing for all of us. Popular trust is important in such a powerful agency. I realize that YMMV…

  10. rafflaw indicated earlier in the thread….. when we were actually talking about this court order instead of hurling insults…… that he thought it would be overturned on appeal. I would like to know what the legal points of order are that make him think that this will be the end result?

    Perhaps raf could come back and let us know what he thinks.

  11. Ah….but minions do your bidding. Your ilk are like you but not necessarily biddable. If my ilk are like me, then it would be like herding cats.

  12. hinky:

    “So true Republicans should be wary of what side they really want to support. If not, they will be relegated to the class of truthers and birthers who will be bound up with those complaining about Benghazi and the IRS red herrings.”

    ***************************

    Newsflash: These are the real Republicans:

    MR. GREGORY: As the speaker of the House, as a leader, do you not think it’s your responsibility to stand up to that kind of ignorance?

    SPEAKER BOEHNER: David, it’s not my job to tell the American people what to think. Our job in Washington is to listen to the American people. Having said that, the state of Hawaii has said that he was born there. That’s good enough for me. The president says he’s a Christian. I accept him at his word.

    MR. GREGORY: But isn’t that a little bit fast and loose? I mean, you are the leader in Congress and you’re not standing up to obvious facts and saying, “These are facts. If you don’t believe that, it’s nonsense.”

    SPEAKER BOEHNER: I just outlined the facts as I understand them. I believe that the president is a citizen. I believe the president is a Christian. I’ll take him at his word. But, but…

    MR. GREGORY: But that kind of ignorance about whether he’s a Muslim doesn’t concern you?

    SPEAKER BOEHNER: Listen, the American people have the right to think what they want to think. I can’t–it’s not my job to tell them.

    ##########

    JOHN MCCAIN: “Not a single person who was responsible for the murder of these four brave Americans [at Benghazi] has been brought to justice.“ [I’ll] never give up on the issue until the truth is revealed” and reiterated his call for a select committee to investigate the matter. “The time has now come for a select committee because these talking points raise more questions than are answered. This is a cover up of a situation that was politically motivated … and the American people deserve to know the truth.”

    ##########

    MITCH MCCONNELL CAMPAIGN AD:
    “When the president does it, that means it is not illegal”
    — Former President Richard Nixon, as quoted in a new Sen. Mitch McConnell ad titled “Demand Answers”

    “This slick and hard-hitting video ad by Sen. Mitch McConnell’s reelection campaign seeks to highlight McConnell’s warnings in 2012 about possible shady doings by the Internal Revenue Service and tie President Obama personally to the scandal. The ad closes with the words: “Intimidation. Retaliation. Secretive…We demand answers.” (Washington Post, 5/31/2013)

  13. Paul:

    “what is wrong with arresting the mother for the felony and then deporting her and the child?”

    ************************

    If you gotta ask, you’ll never know.

    1. mespo – I will tell you the same thing I tell artists when they cannot explain their works of art to me and give me that “If you have to ask, you’ll never know answer.” Well, if you cannot explain it, you do not know.

  14. Ronni, I have wondered about that too, that the things that these politicians have been doing openly (from president to the lawmakers, and calling them “just politics” ) are really so bad that they should be considered treasonous , in my view. It is incredible that people are electing people who cannot even realize that they are harming the country that has given them so much.

  15. Bailers

    No, it is always about politics. There has been a tension between the executive and legislative branches from the beginning of the country, at least as far back as Jefferson agreeing to buy the Louisiana Purchase. What Obama has done is nothing new in the back and forth tussles among the branches. And certainly nothing to compare the Bush unilateral intelligence sweeps that circumvented both Congress and the Courts.

    So sit back and enjoy the political game that will be played out in the coming months and years. There is nothing new here.

    Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

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