Editorial Board, National Review:
When federal judge Andrew Hanen, of the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Texas, issued an injunction temporarily blocking President Obama’s most recent executive amnesty as of February 16, he did not choose the date arbitrarily. To establish his timeline, Judge Hanen relied on claims by Department of Justice lawyers that the president’s Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA), issued in November, had not yet been implemented, and would not be until at least mid February. But early this month the government’s attorneys admitted that they misled Judge Hanen. Between November 20, when President Obama issued his fiat, and February 16, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) granted approximately 100,000 applications for deferred action under the expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program created in DAPA.
Judge Hanen in a hearing in Brownsville, Texas, last Thursday. Deputy Assistant Attorney General Kathleen Hartnett could not explain why multiple DOJ lawyers — herself included — told the court multiple times over two and a half months that DHS would not be accepting requests for deferred action under the challenged order until mid February. She implausibly claimed that the legal team thought the injunction request did not apply to the expansion of DACA under the president’s November order — despite the clear words of the states’ initial filings and explicit statements made in court. It seems clear what Hanen thinks happened: “When I asked you what would happen and you said nothing, I took it to heart. I was made to look like an idiot,” Hanen told Hartnett. “I believed your word that nothing would happen. . . . Like an idiot, I believed that.”