In a Thursday midnight filing, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) lawyers disclosed that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued about 2,000 three-year work permits (as opposed to the currently authorized two-year permits) to illegal immigrants granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Technically, the issuance of the three-year work permits — an aspect of President Obama’s November 20 executive actions which expanded DACA — was in violation of U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen’s February 16 injunction issued in the case of State of Texas v. United States.
This oversight occurred despite multiple assurances by the current administration that it was abiding by the February 16 injunction. Unfortunately, Thursday’s admission comes on the heels of another gaffe by DHS disclosed to Judge Hanen last month also dealing with the issuance of three year DCA work permits. In that case, DHS inadvertently issued more than 100,000 three-year permits before the February 17 effective date previously announced by the administration and the entry of Judge Hanen’s injunction. This admission by DOJ resulted in Judge Hanen accusing DOJ of being misleading and threatening the defendant with potential sanctions.
Accordingly, DHS Sec. Jeh Johnson has requested that the DHS inspector general look into the blunder and has asked his office to look into replacing the three-year permits DHS improperly issued with the proper two-year ones.
As way of background, a coalition of 26 states, including the State of Texas, sued the U.S. government to prevent the implementation of the President’s Executive Actions on Immigration on the grounds that the executive actions are unconstitutional and would require the states to invest more in law enforcement, health care, and education. As a result of the lawsuit, Judge Andrew Hanen entered a preliminary injunction to maintain the status quo and permitted the lawsuit move forward.
Continue to check back with us for updates on the status of this important immigration matter. Our firm is available to assist with your immigration needs. For more information, please contact Maria del Carmen Ramos at 813.227.2252 or firstname.lastname@example.org.