Late last month, immigration lawyers from the DoJ had the uncomfortable task of standing before a federal judge in Texas and explaining to the court why important information about the Administration’s deferred action program was kept out of sight.

They had good reason to—at least from their perspective. After President Obama announced his Executive Amnesty program on November 20 of last year, federal officials granted more than 100,000 applications for deferred action. However, in a hearing before U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen, DoJ lawyers assured the court that the Administration had done nothing to begin implementation of the President’s deferred action plan.


Hanan, not at all inclined to grant the administration any favors, blocked the program from moving forward last February, and has now denied requests made by the DoJ to allow the President’s immigration plan to proceed even as it is still being challenged in court.

Via the Texas Tribune:

“Having considered the positions of all parties and the applicable law, this court remains convinced that its original findings and rulings in the Order of Temporary Injunction and Memorandum Opinion and Order issued on Feb. 16, 2015 … were correct,” he wrote in a 15-page opinion.

Hanen also admonished the Obama administration over an advisory it filed in March. That advisory told the court that between Nov. 24 and Feb. 16, U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services granted about 100,000 three-year deferred action requests. That came after the administration told the court the first phase of the program, an expanded version of 2012’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, was set to begin on Feb. 18.

“The court finds that the government’s multiple statements on this subject were indeed misleading,” he wrote.

Texas leads a 26-state coalition effort to block implementation of the President’s executive order on immigration policy. In the injunction currently blocking implementation (the same one that was just upheld once again by Judge Hanen), the court says that the Administration cannot claim “prosecutorial discretion” over the millions of illegal immigrants covered under the executive order. The order confers benefits not currently available under law onto those immigrants, which means that the administration has effectively changed the law—not just made a decision about how they’re going to enforce it.

The administration has already appealed to the Fifth Circuit on the matter, and oral arguments are scheduled for April 17. They will likely argue (as they have in the past) that the temporary hold harms “the interests of the public and of third parties who will be deprived of significant law enforcement and humanitarian benefits of prompt implementation.”