A federal judge denounced a Department of Justice lawyer as he suggested he’d been misled in previous court hearings related to President Obama’s executive actions that grants legal status to illegal immigrants.
U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen told a DOJ attorney he would order sanctions be imposed against the Obama administration if he finds that the department had, in fact, misrepresented the facts to him, according to Fox News.
At issue are the more than 108,000 young illegals who have already been granted three-year reprieves and given work permits prior to the judge’s ruling on a request to halt the program.
Obama’s executive actions would spare from deportation as many as 5 million people who are in the U.S. illegally. Many Republicans oppose the actions, saying only Congress has the right to take such sweeping action. Twenty-six states led by Texas joined together to challenge them as unconstitutional. Hanen on Feb. 16 sided with the states, issuing a preliminary injunction blocking Obama’s actions.
Hanen chided Justice Department attorney Kathleen Hartnett for telling him at a January hearing before the injunction was issued that nothing would be happening with regard to one key part of Obama’s actions, an expansion of the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA, until Feb. 18.
“Like an idiot I believed that,” Hanen said.
Hartnett was apologetic and appeared flustered as she claimed it was a misunderstanding as to how the reprieves and work permits were granted.
“We strive to be as candid as possible. It truly became clear to us there was confusion on this point,” she said.
When she claimed that the 108,000 reprieves and work permits were granted under a 2012 executive action that isn’t subject to the judge’s injunction, Hanen noted that the previous order only provided two-year reprieves — not three.
“Can I trust what the president says? That’s a yes or no question,” Hanen said.
“Yes your honor,” Hartnett replied.
Hanen closed the hearing by indicating he will “promptly” decide whether sanctions are warranted.
The Twitterverse had a field day. Mark Krikorian, executive director for the Center for Immigration Studies, observed:
DoJ may face sanctions for lying to judge re: Obama’s amnesty edict http://t.co/A2priEQxLk “Hanen didn’t seem to buy the explanation”
— Mark Krikorian (@MarkSKrikorian) March 19, 2015
And then there were these:
— hedgemastermb (@hedgemastermb) March 20, 2015
@sparkey909w @maryjones1417 DOJ operatives have followed their Leader who set the example that the truth and constitution does not matter.
— TruthSeeker (@EngagedPatriot) March 20, 2015
Between Benjamin Netanyahu’s re-election as Israel’s prime minister, and Thursday’s federal court hearing, this hasn’t been a great week for the president.
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