MALDEF has issued the following press release in connection with the latest developments in the district court in Texas v. United States:
in TexasBROWNSVILLE, TX – MALDEF was in United States District court today seeking to stop the federal government’s release of personal information on ten of thousands of young immigrants. In addition, yesterday MALDEF filed papers in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans seeking to block the order of Judge Andrew Hanen requiring the United States to turn over to him the names, addresses and other personal information of approximately 50,000 immigrant youth who received three–year grants of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) between November 2014 and February 2015.
The efforts of MALDEF, representing the only intervening parties in the case of Texas v. United States, together with the United States, paid off today when Judge Hanen agreed to stay his order requiring the information be turned over. Therefore, no information will be turned over until at least August 22, when Hanen will again consider the matter. In the meantime, MALDEF will pursue its appeal of the order.
“This order cannot survive an appeal because there is no legitimate basis for punishing innocent immigrant youth, who are not party to the case before Judge Hanen, in order to address alleged misconduct by attorneys for the United States,” stated Thomas A. Saenz, MALDEF President and General Counsel. “We are grateful that this egregious order will not go forward while the matter is appealed.”
Judge Hanen has claimed he wants the personal information of the estimated 50,000 immigrant youth, who are innocent non-participants in the case, so he can consider giving it to the states who have sued the Obama Administration over Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) and the expansion of DACA. His order is intended to sanction the United States for alleged misconduct by its attorneys earlier in the case, but would clearly inflict significant punishment on immigrant youth rather than the government or its attorneys.
In addition to the involvement of three mothers who have stepped forward to represent the views of those eligible for DAPA in this litigation, this latest effort included important written testimony from Javier H.G. and Cristina R., two courageous Texas immigrant youth who provided statements explaining the devastating impact of a possible court order disclosing their names and other personal information to Judge Hanen.
“Today the voices of DACA recipients were front and center. We are pleased that Judge Hanen agreed to stay his order, and we look forward to pursuing the case on appeal in the Fifth Circuit,” stated Nina Perales, MALDEF Vice President for Litigation, who argued before Judge Hanen today.
The U.S. Supreme Court heard MALDEF’s oral argument in Texas v. U.S., the pivotal case challenging the constitutionality of President Obama’s executive actions on immigration, on April 18, 2016. MALDEF represents three mothers from South Texas who were the only parties granted intervention in the case, and who intend to apply for Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) once it is implemented. A decision in the case is expected no later than June 30.
UPDATE (June 7, 3:10 p.m. PST): For Lyle Denniston's summary and analysis of the order on SCOTUSBlog, click here. Denniston views the stay order as '[c]learing the way for the Supreme Court to rule on [the Obama administration's expanded deferred action program] policy without a distraction."