New York Times
By Julia Preston
June 3, 2016
Four young immigrants, who received extended protections from deportation under executive actions taken by President Obama, made an emergency request to an appeals court on Friday to prevent a federal judge in Texas from obtaining a list of the protected immigrants’ names and addresses.
The action is a response to an order issued on May 19 by Judge Andrew S. Hanen, of the Federal District Court in Brownsville, who is hearing the challenge filed by 26 states to immigration programs that Mr. Obama announced in November 2014. Judge Hanen found that lawyers from the Justice Department had lied about the start date of one of the initiatives, which gave young immigrants three-year deportation deferrals and work permits, expanded from the original two years.
Saying government lawyers had “breached the most basic ethical tenets,” Judge Hanen ordered federal authorities to give him, by June 10, a list of names, contact information and case-file numbers of all immigrants who received three-year deferrals and were living in the 26 states. The judge said he would keep the list sealed and release it to the states on request, but only after the Supreme Court decides whether to lift an injunction that he imposed on the president’s programs.
The Supreme Court is expected to decide this month. About 50,000 immigrants would be affected by Judge Hanen’s order, Justice Department officials said.
The four immigrants — represented by the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Immigration Law Center, two civil rights legal groups — said they were taking the unusual step of directly petitioning the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans, asking it to cancel Judge Hanen’s order or delay it until after the Supreme Court makes its decision.
“Private means private,” said one of the immigrants, Angelica Villalobos, 31, of Oklahoma City, on a conference call on Friday with reporters. “The government assured us that when we submitted information to their agencies, it would remain confidential. Judge Hanen can’t just come in on a whim and take it.”
Lawyers said the immigrants were being unfairly drawn into the lawsuit, which did not challenge the youth program, only the three-year term for deferrals.
“I’m very concerned I or my family could be harassed if the information falls into the wrong hands,” said Juan Escalante, 27, who lives in Tallahassee, Fla., and is another immigrant on the petition. Two immigrants living in Texas joined anonymously.
For more information, go to: www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com