Justice Department asks for immigration case sanctions hold

On Tuesday, the US Justice Department filed an emergency motion in an attempt to prevent sanctions imposed by a Texas federal judge that would force federal prosecutors to undertake ethics classes, as part of a continuing legal battle over immigration policy.

District Judge Andrew Hanen ordered the sanctions on 19th May.

Hanen was also the judge who ruled in February that the executive actions taken by President Barack Obama on immigration reform were outside of his authority. Hanen has also given the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) orders to set up a state by state review of all immigrants who have been given three years’ worth of protection from deportation by the previous immigration action taken by Obama instead of two.

The legal fight has now gone to the Supreme Court, with Hanen asked by the Justice Department to hold the sanctions while it attempts to have the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals review the case. The Justice Department’s aim is for the Fifth Circuit to grant it an appeal, a mandamus order, or preferably to block the decision altogether.

The Justice Department’s court filing, which was made in Houston, says that it takes the public’s trust seriously, and will always seek to represent their interests in US courts. It also outlines its insistence that attorneys use the highest standards of professionalism and ethical conduct while doing so.

To this end, it believes that the court’s demand for the turning over of immigration records would undermine trust in the ability of the DHS to maintain personal information confidentiality, according to spokesman Patrick Rodenbush.