Judge Who Halted Obama’s Executive Action Sues Immigration Officials

Judge Hanen threatens officials at the Department of Homeland Security with contempt of court for issuing 2,000 work permits in spite of his ruling.

By Rhonda FanningJuly 10, 2015 10:07 am

Attorneys for the Obama administration will be in a federal courthouse in New Orleans today asking the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn a ruling that put on hold President Obama’s executive order to slow deportation for millions of undocumented immigrants. That hold was issued by a federal judge in Brownsville, Texas, who has recently issued another order. This time around, he demands the Homeland Security Chief Jay Johnson and four other top immigration officials to appear before the court in Brownsville, or face contempt charges.

Juan Lozano, reporter for the Associated Press, says that if Judge Andrew Hanen feels he doesn’t receive an adequate explanation as to why 2,000 work permits were issued after his February ruling that halted Obama’s immigration action, it’s possible the border town may see the nation’s top immigration officials at their courthouse.

“I think that kind of upset [Hanen] because he felt that no action was going to be taken, and when he found out that action was being taken, he felt that his orders were not being taken seriously,” Lozano says.

During the lawsuit, Hanen said he felt misled by the attorneys for the Justice Department because they didn’t fully tell him that some work permits had been issued even after his ruling made the program’s future uncertain. He has in the past issued orders that were critical of the administration’s immigration policies.

“He’s looking for a detailed explanation as to what happened that allowed these permits to be issued after he had expressly ordered that no action be taken,” Lozano says. Hanen also wants to know “what steps have been taken since then to make sure that this doesn’t happen again.”

Although an appeal to Hanen’s hold on Obama’s immigration action is being discussed today, the public is unlikely to know the result before the August 19 deadline.