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Judge Backs Off Demand for Young Immigrants' ID Information

by Suzanne Gamboa /
Image: Immigration supporters rally outside the Supreme Court
epa05265742 Immigration supporters attend a rally outside the Supreme Court as Justices hear oral arguments in the case of United States v. Texas, which will consider a legal challenge to the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) program and the expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, in Washington, DC, USA, 18 April 2016. Over a thousand immigration supporters attended the rally outside the Supreme Court to show support for DAPA and DACA. EPA/MICHAEL REYNOLDSMICHAEL REYNOLDS / EPA

A federal judge in Texas has issued a stay on his order demanding that attorneys for the federal government turn over the identifying information of 50,000 young immigrants with deportation deferrals.

U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen issued the stay of his own order Tuesday after attorneys for DOJ and for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) had argued that the demand unfairly punished young immigrants. The attorneys also had filed documents in the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals asking Hanen's order be blocked.

"This order cannot survive an appeal because there is no legitimate basis for punishing innocent immigrant youth, who are not party to the case before Judge Hanen, in order to address alleged misconduct by attorneys for the United States," said Thomas Saenz, president and general counsel for MALDEF.

Hanen stayed his May 19 order pending the outcome of an Aug. 22 hearing, when he'll reconsider sanctions on government attorneys for what he said were ethics violations over renewals for deferred deportation for young immigrants.

The president's latest executive actions had included providing three-year deportation deferrals, instead of two, to young immigrants who qualified under the program. But a lawsuit brought by Texas and 25 other states challenging President Barack Obama's blocked the latest executive actions from going into effect. Hanen is the judge presiding in the lawsuit

Three-year deferrals were given to some youths, who already had deportation deferrals under the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that is not before the court.

The judge accused DOJ attorneys of misconduct for not telling him that the three year deferrals were being issued. DOJ disputes his accusation and have stated that some three-year deferrals have been replaced.

The decision blocking President Obama's executive actions has been appealed to the Supreme Court, which has not yet ruled.

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