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Obama Administration Asks Texas Judge To Put Immigration Order on Hold

The Obama administration has asked a Brownsville-based judge to rethink an order that requires the federal government to turn over the private information of thousands of undocumented immigrants.

Hundreds gathered in front of the U.S. Supreme Court to show their support for President Obama’s immigration executive action as the Court hears oral arguments on the action in Washington, D.C., on April 18, 2016.

The Obama administration has asked a Brownsville-based judge to rethink an order that requires the federal government to turn over the private information of thousands of undocumented immigrants.

The May 19 order from U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen asserted that the federal government’s attorneys intentionally misled the court during proceedings over the Obama administration's controversial executive order on immigration, known as Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents. The court order included instructions for the federal government to provide Hanen a list of the immigrants who benefited prematurely from DAPA.

But in a filing Tuesday, the federal government’s attorneys said providing that list would jeopardize the faith the American people have in one of the government’s largest institutions.

“Requiring (Department of Homeland Security) to produce 'all personal identifiers' and 'all available contact information' for approximately 50,000 individuals by June 10, 2016, could undermine public trust in DHS’s commitment to protecting the confidential information contained in immigration files and will create a significant burden,” the filing states.

The immigrants in question allegedly benefited prematurely from the policy, and Hanen said his sanctions stem from the administration’s attorneys purposely misleading the court about when the government would begin accepting applications for the program.

Hanen also ordered the attorneys for the Department of Justice to attend ethics classes in the 26 states that filed suit.

In a statement, the National Immigration Law Center praised the government’s request and said Hanen’s order was an overreach.

“We commend the Justice Department for acting swiftly to protect the privacy of tens of thousands of Dreamers who have no bearing in this case," said NILC executive director Marielena Hincapié. "Legal experts on all sides have spoken up against Judge Hanen’s latest order, which is clearly out of bounds and should not be allowed to take effect." 

Hanen blocked the Obama administration's executive order on immigration last year. The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to issue a judgment soon on whether the policy should stand.

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