US immigration officials were not deliberately violating the injunction laid down by a federal judge in Texas when around 2,000 work permits were issued to immigrants, the watchdog for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) concluded yesterday.
The DHS inspector general says that there is no evidence to suggest that the preliminary injunction laid down by Judge Andrew Hanen was deliberately violated by US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Hanen ordered the injunction to prevent the executive actions on immigration reform announced by President Obama in November last year going ahead until a lawsuit launched by 26 US states to stop the actions had been heard.
The executive actions would have expanded a number of existing immigration programs, including Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and the creation of a new program in the form of the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful American Residents (DAPA). The injunction to stop the programs going ahead was issued by Hanen on February 16th; however, it was later found that USCIS had erroneously sent out in excess of 2,000 three-year work permits to eligible individuals after this date.
Hanen was outraged by the move and a hearing is set for next week; however, the Department of Homeland Security inspector general has concluded that the incident was not deliberate but was caused by a combination of different factors, including a lack of specific directions and erroneous assumptions.