Federal Judge asks, Can Obama Be Trusted?
A federal judge has bluntly asked a Justice Department attorney whether or not President Obama and federal officials can be believed regarding the administration’s executive-ordered plan to delay deportation for up to 5 million illegal aliens.
The testy confrontation came in a federal court in Texas Thursday where U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen, who previously issued a temporary injunction halting Obama’s plan, is presiding over a lawsuit brought by 26 states.
Hanen called the hearing after ordering in February a halt to any actions related to Obama’s executive action until a full trial or a further order from him.
The issue was whether or not the Justice Department misled the judge by claiming that deportation reprieves would not go forward before he made a ruling. It turned out that federal officials had delayed deportation for 108,000 people for three years and granted them work permits.
The states that brought the lawsuit had asked for sanctions against the federal government because of the misleading statements. Angela Colmenero, a lawyer from Texas, said the federal government provided “representations” that eventually proved untrue or “less than forthcoming.”
“Several reports indicate that the executive branch under the Obama administration has not complied with this court’s temporary injunction, but continues full-speed to implement a grant of amnesty and related benefits to approximately 5 million citizens of foreign countries who are illegally in the United States under the defendants’ November 20, 2014, executive action programs implemented by several memoranda issued by Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson,” the filing explains.
Klayman’s filing also noted Obama’s statement at a town hall meeting in Miami Feb. 25 that he won’t be deterred by “one federal judge” on immigration.
Obama, according to the Washington Times, “told a Miami crowd that he will move ahead with his executive action on immigration and vowed that his administration will become even more aggressive in the weeks and months to come.”
Klayman’s filing also noted Obama said: “This is just one federal judge.” Wrote Klayman: “The Obama administration is continuing to signal not only its disagreement with the court’s order, which is its right, but beyond that its non-compliance with the court’s order.”
U.S. Department of Homeland Security “is continuing at full speed to implement the ‘deferred action’ programs created on November 20, 2014.”
“In short,” Klayman told the court, “President Obama’s defiant pledge in Miami, Florida, on February 25, 2015, to move forward aggressively with implementation of his deferred action amnesty by executive over-reach … more than suggests that the Obama administration is continuing to implement the executive action amnesty in defiance of the court’s temporary injunction.
Klayman even noted that according to a Weekly Standard report, Obama was threatening “consequences” for federal employees who followed the judge’s order, instead of the amnesty memos from Johnson.
That report quoted Obama saying: “Until we pass a law through Congress, the executive actions we’ve taken are not going to be permanent; they are temporary. There are going to be some jurisdictions and there may be individual ICE official or Border Control agent not paying attention to our new directives. But they’re going to be answerable to the head of Homeland Security because he’s been very clear about what our priorities will be.”
He continued, “If somebody’s working for ICE … and they don’t follow the policy, there’s going to be consequences to it.”
Sen Ted Cruz, R-Texas, also raised the issue of compliance with the court order.
“Violating an unambiguous federal court order by defying its instructions to cease and desist a particular activity would represent a significant breach of your authority, and would be an escalation in abuse of our separation of powers,” Cruz wrote to administration officials. “For a president and his cabinet to telegraph intent to violate a federal court order requires additional scrutiny from Congress.”
The Washington Times said Cecilia Munoz, White House domestic policy director, addressed the issue: “ The administration continues to implement the portions of the actions that the president and the Department of Homeland Security took, which were not affected by the court’s ruling.”
But Hanen’s order said: “The United States of America, its departments, agencies, officers, agents and employees and Jeh Johnson, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security; R. Gil Kerlikowske, commissioner of United States customs and Border Protection; Ronald D. Vitiello, deputy chief of United States Border Patrol, United States Customs and Border Protection; Thomas S. Winkowski, acting director of United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement; and Leon Rodriguez, director of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services are hereby enjoined from implementing any and all aspects or phases of the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents.”
WND also reported when yet another a federal judge in Pennsylvania declared the amnesty unconstitutional.
“President Obama’s unilateral legislative action violates the separation of powers provided for in the United States Constitution as well as the Take Care Clause and, therefore, is unconstitutional,” said U.S. District Judge Arthur J. Schwab.