WASHINGTON — The Justice Department fired back at a Texas judge Tuesday,
asserting that a previous order requiring the government to disclose personal
information on tens of thousands of immigrants who qualified for protective
status as parents of American-born children would represent an "unprecedented
breach'' of trust.
In court papers, the government also sought to block U.S. District Judge
Andrew Hanen's directive earlier this month that department lawyers
attend ethics classes as punishment for allegedly misleading the court
about when President Obama's disputed executive actions on immigration
had begun shielding some illegal immigrants from deportation.
The sweeping order, which Justice lawyers described as "far exceeding''
the judge's authority, also would cost the government millions of
dollars to execute, the government argued.
"First, the order risks injury to tens of thousands of third parties
who were brought to this country as children,'' the government
argued. "The urgency of providing private information about these
50,000 individuals is also unexplained. ... In addition to the injury
to these persons risked by the disclosure of their sensitive personal
information, requiring the United States to produce that information to
the court and potentially to the states would deter aliens from providing
the government with personal information that is critical to the administration
and enforcement of immigration laws in any number of circumstances.''
Hanen, who issued an injunction blocking the executive actions as part
of a lawsuit filed by 26 states, said that thousands of immigrants were
granted protective status even though government lawyers had told Hanen
that the program had not yet begun. A ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court
on the states' lawsuit is pending.
In an unusual 28-page order, Hanen asserted that government lawyers intentionally
misled the court on the timing of the immigration actions and sought to
emphasize the point by quoting dialogue from the movie
Miracle on 34th Street.
"The need to tell the truth, especially in court, was obvious to a
fictional young Tommy Mara Jr., in 1947, yet there are certain attorneys
in the Justice Department who apparently have not received that message
or more likely have just decided they are above such trivial concepts,''
the judge stated.
Justice spokesman Patrick Rodenbush said Tuesday that there was no evidence
to support the court's claim that government lawyers engaged in "bad-faith
"The department emphatically disagrees with the sanctions orders and
will seek review of this matter in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals,''
Rodenbush said in a written statement.
Assistant Attorney General Lee Lofthus, in an affidavit attached to Justice's
Tuesday court filing, said compliance with the judge's order for additional
ethics training alone would cover an estimated 3,400 Justice lawyers and
cost nearly $8 million.
Hanen responded late Tuesday with a two-sentence order, setting a hearing
on the matter for 10 a.m., June 7.
REVILLA LAW FIRM, P.A.
Miami immigration law firm
Whether you require an employment-based visa, defense in removal proceedings,
or have a family-based residency or naturalization issue, our Miami immigration
law firm can help with all of your immigration needs.
We are an experienced team of immigration attorneys who have a reputation
for excellence around the South Florida legal community. Our clients bring
us tough cases and we always give it our all to help them achieve the
best outcome in their immigration case.
Whatever your immigration issue, our immigration lawyers are here to help 24/7.
Contact us today to schedule a free in-office consultation (305) 858-2323.
"Experience and results matter. Our immigration law firm has both."