Judge postpones Washington data order

An American judge in Texas has elected to suspend the order he previously issued to try to force federal authorities to provide the court with personal information about undocumented immigrants that had been granted a reprieve from the threat of deportation, under the deferred action program created by President Barack Obama.

In a decision that could have an impact on tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants, yesterday US District Judge Andrew Hanen elected to stay his order, while waiting for the outcome of a status hearing that is scheduled for the 22nd of August. Hanen originally ordered the sanctions last month, on the 19th of May. Hanen, who presides over the border city of Brownsville, is the same judge who in February 2015 ruled that the executive actions taken by President Barack Obama on immigration reform were outside of his authority to do so.

At the time the Department of Homeland Security was ordered by Hanen to prepare a review of all undocumented immigrants given three years’ reprieve from the threat of deportation under the immigration action taken by Obama, on a state by state basis. An emergency motion was later filed by the Justice Department asking the judge to hold the sanctions while it awaits a 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals review.

Civil rights groups supporting the immigrants have celebrated the decision as a major victory in their legal fight in backing the executive action taken by the President, which is now in the hands of the Supreme Court.