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FEDERAL JUDGE Temporarily BLOCKS Obama’s Amnesty Program

February 17th, 2015 Leave a comment Go to comments
Protestors block DHS/ INS buses in July 2014 where the government agencies were facilitating what the drug cartels and other human traffickers could not successfully do: Finishing transporting illegal aliens throughout the USA (Image Credit CBS).

Protestors block DHS/ INS buses in July 2014 where the government agencies were facilitating what the drug cartels and other human traffickers could not successfully do: Finishing transporting illegal aliens throughout the USA (Image Credit CBS).

FEDERAL JUDGE Temporarily BLOCKS Obama’s Amnesty Program

original article written by Net Advisor

Abstract: Twenty-six (26) States sued the U.S. Government (Obama Admin) for Obama’s (illegal) immigration action (amnesty) program in 2014. With good cause, the Court GRANTED Plaintiffs temporary injunctive relief which stops Obama’s de facto amnesty program(s).

The case, STATE OF TEXAS, ET AL., v. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, ET AL., was filed and heard IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS BROWNSVILLE DIVISION, HON. Andrew S. Hanen, United States District Judge, Presiding.

The following is synopses in the Judge’s MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER. The Case number is 1:14-cv-00254. Here is a copy of the official Court Order: (Local PDF, 123 pps). The page “p” numbers in this report refer to page numbers referenced in the Court’s Order.

Plaintiffs may now take their case to trial. The Obama Administration is seeking an appeal of this injunctive relief.

HOUSTON, Texas. The United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas granted a preliminary injunction (p72) on February 16, 2015 that temporarily BLOCKS the Obama Administration’s immigration action (de facto amnesty).

There are currently 26 states (p1, bottom) suing the federal government charging that the Obama Administration’s de facto amnesty order is unconstitutional, thus illegal. The Obama program would delay deportation of some four million illegal immigrants somewhat indefinitely. It would also provide illegal aliens with social security numbers and work permits which would allow them to apply for state and federal (welfare) benefits – or even illegally vote. The only two U.S. border states of California and New Mexico are not challenging Obama’s amnesty.

The Court said,

“Since 1982, the population of illegal aliens in this country has more than tripled, but today’s situation is clearly exacerbated by the specter of terrorism and the increased need for security” (pps 2-3).

— Andrew S. Hanen, United States District Judge

The Court acknowledged that Congress has passed a number of bills and acts that addresses immigration over the last forty years, especially since 9/11/2001 terrorist attacks in the U.S. The Court conceded that Congress has not found a long-term solution to address the countries illegal immigration problems, nor has it effectively addressed border security issues (p3).

The Court indicated that states have rights and validated their concerns that illegal immigration does impact each state as to costs and draining of economic, police and other resources on the People in the states (p3).

[1] Legal Definitions

The Court said it “uses the phrases “illegal immigrant” and “illegal alien” interchangeably. The word “immigrant” is not used in the manner in which it is defined in Title 8 of the United States Code unless it is so designated. The Court also understands that there is a certain segment of the population that finds the phrase “illegal alien” offensive. The Court uses this term because it is the term used by the Supreme Court in its latest pronouncement pertaining to this area of the law. See Arizona v. United States, 132 S. Ct. 2492, 2497 (2012)” (p3).

[2] Judge: No Congressional or Executive Order Here

The Court said that it was “not faced with either a Congressional Act or an Executive Order” here but rather the question of does the Secretary of Homeland Security have the discretionary legal authority to effective grant such deferred action (p5).

The Court said that this cases does not involve the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) – i.e. illegal minors who came to the U.S., and which 700,000 were subsequently granted de facto amnesty by DHS in 2012 (p5). DHS has reportedly ‘rubberstamping’ illegals minors into the U.S. (pps 10-11).

To qualify under the DACA (amnesty program), one must be “under the age of 31 on June 15, 2012, who entered the United States before June 15, 2007 (5 years prior) as children under the age of 16, and who meet specific educational and public safety criteria, are eligible for deferred action on a case-by-case basis” (p12).

But by June 2014, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) unilaterally permitted DACA applicants to defer deportation for another two years, extended work permits for another three years. What is disconcerting is USCIS REMOVED the age cap, thereby permitting ANYONE (not just children) to come under de facto amnesty (p12).

“In order to further effectuate this program, I hereby direct USCIS to expand DACA as follows:

Remove the age cap. DACA will apply to all otherwise eligible immigrants who enter the United States by the requisite adjusted entry date before the age of sixteen (16), regardless of how old they were in June 2012 or are today. The current age restriction excludes those who were older than 31 on the date of the announcement (i.e., those who were born before June 15, 1981). That restriction will no longer apply.”

— Court Findings, p12

As long as one is not found to be a criminal (technically), been continually living in the USA since Jan. 1, 2010 all one has to pay is $465 application fee (p13).

Pres. Obama's Post 2014-Election "Amnesty Speech" (Image Credit: WH photo)

Pres. Obama’s Post 2014-Election “Amnesty Speech” (Image Credit: WH photo)

[3] Obama Admin BLOCKS Law Enforcement

The government then ordered law-enforcement, specifically ICE and CBP to identity persons in their custody who COULD be eligible for DACA (amnesty program) and ordered law-enforcement to SUSPEND any further (deportation) actions against illegal aliens (pps 13-14).

In other words, the Obama government is:

(1) Preventing law-enforcement from doing their job to enforce the federal immigration laws;

(2) Ordering police to help the Obama gov find illegals and then help the illegals gain amnesty.

— (pps 13-14).

[4] Main Questions Before the Court

The Court said that public opinion does not nor will not sway the Court’s decisions (p5-6). The Court said the principle issues in this case are as follows:

“(1) whether the States have standing to bring this case;

(2) whether the DHS has the necessary discretion to institute the DAPA program; and

(3) whether the DAPA program is constitutional, comports with existing laws, and was legally adopted. A negative answer to the first question will negate the need for the Court to address the latter two.”

— (p6)

The Plaintiffs allege that DHS Secretary’s violated the Take Care Clause of the Constitution and the Administrative Procedure Act (“APA”) under Article II, § 3; 5 U.S.C. §§ 500 et seq. 4.

Defendants claim that States (Plaintiffs) lack standing to bring this suit and are without merit (p7). The Court disagreed with that defense citing the (above said) economic interests of the states, and that states are ultimately impacted by DHS’s actions.

“Deferred action is not a status created or authorized by law or by Congress, nor has its properties been described in any relevant legislative act.” (p15)

— Andrew S. Hanen, United States District Judge

[5] Plaintiffs: Obama Repeatedly Said He Has No Authority on Immigration Action

The Plaintiffs point out to the Court that President Obama repeatedly admitted that he did not have the legal or otherwise Constitutional authority to such immigration action (amnesty). Thus if the President of the United States does not have the Constitutional authority, then neither does the Secretary of Homeland Security (p16).

The Court found that (for just one example), the lead Plaintiff of the State of Texas cited the costs of medical care for illegals has been a burden for the state (taxpayers).

“Evidence in the record also shows that in 2008, Texas incurred $716,800,000 in uncompensated medical care provided to illegal aliens” (p46).

This example among many references and case laws in the 123-page Court Order demonstrated that states would be economically harmed by Obama’s deferred action (amnesty) citing in part U.S. Supreme Court case, Massachusetts v. E.P.A. (2007) that permits states to sue to the federal government, “to protect their quasi-sovereign interests in the health, welfare, and natural resources of their citizens (p48).

[6] Growth of Illegal Population Tripped Since 1982

The Court noted in 1982 the U.S. attorney general indicated the illegal alien population in the USA was about three million Plyler v. Doe, 457 U.S. at 218-19. Today the illegal population in just California represent what the entire nation had in 1982 (p50). Six percent of Arizona’s population are now made up of illegal immigrants (p58). The Court agreed that the ‘states are losing badly needed tax dollars due to the presence of illegal aliens’ (p48).

[7] Illegal Immigration Causes Economic Harm to States

The Court found “the Government’s failure to secure the border has exacerbated illegal immigration into this country.” Further that the lack of enforcement, and high illegal population creates a significant drain to state’s resources (p51).

[8] Defendants Unable to Show Cause

Defendants (pro-amnesty supporters) argue in part that DAPA (de facto amnesty) creates tax revenues to the states which directly benefit the People. The Court said, “with the record before it, (the Court) has no empirical way to evaluate the accuracy of these economic projections…(and)…A theory without supporting evidence does not support a finding of redressability” (p54). In other words the Plaintiffs were trying to convince the judge on a hypothesis, rather than actual evidence presented to the court.

“The Government has not seriously contested the Plaintiffs’ factual basis for this claim-nor could it” (p61).

“The States claim that, unlike the FDA’s action at issue in Heckler, the DAPA program is a total abdication and surrender of the Government’s statutory responsibilities. They contend that the DAPA Directive basically concedes this point, and this Court agrees” (p64).

— Andrew S. Hanen, United States District Judge

The Court said this case has strong similarities to Adams v. Richardson, 480 F.2d 1159 (D.C. Cir. 1973), where government failed to enforce Title VI of the Civil Right Act – a federal law. In this case, DHS is failing to enforce federal immigration law. The Court said, DHS “clearly circumvents immigration laws” (p67).

“…the DHS does not seek compliance with federal law in any form, but instead establishes a pathway for non-compliance and completely abandons entire sections of this country’s immigration law” (p67).

— Andrew S. Hanen, United States District Judge

Government Defendants (pro amnesty) were unsuccessful to show cause to the Court that there is any law that grants overnight de facto amnesty.

“The Government has pointed this Court to no law that gives the DHS such wide-reaching discretion to turn 4.3 million individuals from one day being illegally in the country to the next day having lawful presence” (P96).

— Andrew S. Hanen, United States District Judge

What is interesting here is this same Judge Hanen chastised and warned DHS in a 2012 criminal child trafficking and conspiracy case, United States v. Mirtha Veronica Nava-Martinez. Judge Hanen said in the Martinez case in part, that, “The DHS has simply chosen not to enforce the United States border security laws…These actions are both dangerous and unconscionable” (our Report).

[9] Federal Judge: Congress Has the Power Over Immigration

The District Court cited a 1952 U.S. Supreme Court case that says in part that Congress has the power over immigration and naturalization matters, Harisiades v. Shaughnessy, 342 U.S. 580, 596-97 (1952).

Our independent research found that the United States Constitution is very explicit as to which body of government has authority over immigration and naturalization matters.

“The Congress shall have power to…establish a uniform rule of naturalization throughout the United States…”

— United States Constitution, Article I, Section 8 (Source: Cornell University Law School)

The Court estimated based on information presented that, “at least 50-67% of potentially-eligible DAPA (amnesty) recipients have probably violated 8 U.S.C. § 1325.59. The remaining 33-50% have likely overstayed their permission to stay” (p80).

The Court states the People of the States are entitled to insure the federal government which has power and authority must enforce its laws (p81), and whenever government exercises its power, the action in itself, “provides a focus for judicial review,” citing FTC v. Klesner, 280 U.S. 19 (1929), (p84).

[10] Judge: DHS Has Discretion to Prioritize, but Not Circumvent the Law

The Court and Plaintiffs recognized that DHS has authority to prioritize its department(s), but cannot in effect write its own laws that are in contrast to existing federal law.

“The DHS cannot reasonably claim that, under a general delegation to establish enforcement policies, it can establish a blanket policy of non-enforcement that also awards legal presence and benefits to otherwise removable aliens” (p94).

— Andrew S. Hanen, United States District Judge

The Judge further stated, “The DHS’ job is to enforce the laws Congress passes and the President signs (or at least does not veto). It has broad discretion to utilize when it is enforcing a law. Nevertheless, no statute gives the DHS the discretion it is trying to exercise here” (p96).

[11] Court Findings – Summary

The Court found that the federal government is circumventing and failing to enforce federal immigration laws, that there is “no specific law or statute that authorizes DAPA (amnesty)” (p90).

Plaintiffs are only seeking to uphold existing law, and not demanding the Defendants to take any other affirmative action (p119). Government Defendants do not appear to be at risk to suffer any harm with this injunctive order (p119), but Plaintiffs (States) would be economically harmed if the Court did not permit the injunctive relief (p119).

The Court found at least one Plaintiff, the State of Texas does have legal standing to (bring this case to the Court) (p123).

The Court’s injunction blocks the Obama Administration from providing millions of illegal aliens government (taxpayer) benefits. The Court acknowledges that it does not anticipate any illegals in the USA to be removed or prosecuted by DHS (p120).

The Court said that the DHS is “one of the nation’s most important law enforcement agencies” and (should) “comply with this country’s laws and its Constitution” (p121).

Therefore, the states (Plaintiffs) may continue to bring their lawsuit against the federal government. The Obama Administration said they would appeal the injunction. We predict the Obama Administration will lose such an appeal.

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