Posted: 1:39 pm Sunday, May 10th, 2015
By Jamie Dupree
The Obama Administration has admitted to a federal judge that it has once again wrongly provided illegal immigrants with benefits of the President’s executive actions on immigration, even though those immigration policy changes are now on hold because of a temporary injunction handed down by a federal judge in Texas.
The feds revealed in a court filing late last week that it “discovered that another group of approximately 2000 individuals had been erroneously sent three-year work authorizations after the Court had issued its injunction,” Justice Department lawyers wrote to Federal Judge Andrew Hanen.
“The Government sincerely regrets these circumstances and is taking immediate steps to remedy these erroneous three-year terms,” the feds added.
Critics of the President’s immigration actions saw something much different than an honest mistake.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who has led the charge against the immigration changes, said “the Obama Administration has established a pattern of renegade behavior making it clear it sees itself entirely above the rule of law.”
As Paxton noted correctly, it’s not the first time that the federal government has handed out benefits from the President’s executive actions, either before they were supposed to begin, or after being told by a federal judge to stop.
The first admission was that the Obama Administration gave out expanded work permits to over 100,000 people who were being spared the possibility of deportation; that was done beginning in November of 2014 even though the program was not supposed to start until February 18.
55 others also “erroneously received” three year “Employment Authorization Documents,” after a federal court blocked the implementation of the President’s changes; a footnote in the latest legal submission from the Obama Administration says that number now seems to be 72.
Now, the feds say over 2,000 other people in the United States illegally also received the same three year extended work permits instead of the two previously authorized by President Obama.
“DHS is already in the process of converting these three-year terms into two-year terms,” the Justice Department said in a submission late last week to Judge Hanen.
The feds promised “additional details” for the court, no later than this Friday.
“The Government sincerely regrets these circumstances and is taking prompt corrective steps, while gathering additional information about these issues, including how these errors occurred,” the Justice Department wrote.
It wasn’t clear exactly who had authorized this latest batch of three year work permits, or why the message of the court’s injunction had not been received by certain federal immigration officials.
Asked last week about the court fight over the President’s immigration changes, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said, “we continue to be extremely confident of our legal position and of our legal arguments, and that’s working its way through that process.”
A three judge panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments on April 17 on whether to lift the injunction against the executive immigration actions; so far, no ruling has been issued.
About the Author
Jamie Dupree is the Radio News Director of the Washington Bureau of the Cox Media Group and writes the Washington Insider blog. A native of Washington, D.C., Jamie has covered Congress and politics in the nation’s capital since the Reagan Administration, and has been reporting for Cox since 1989.