The judge who blocked President Obama's executive action on immigration has ordered the Justice Department to answer allegations that the government misled him about part of the plan.
U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen ordered Monday that the lawyers for the federal government appear in his court March 19 in Brownsville. The hearing is in response to a filing last week in which the government acknowledged three-year deportation reprieves were granted before Hanen's Feb. 16 injunction, which temporarily halted Obama's action, sparing from deportation as many as 5 million people in the U.S. illegally.
The Justice Department said in court documents that federal officials had given 100,000 people three-year reprieves from deportation and granted them work permits under the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA, which was not halted by Hanen's injunction. But the 2012 program guidelines provided just two-year deportation reprieves and work permits.
Obama's new immigration action would expand that to three years, and Justice Department attorneys had said that federal officials wouldn't accept requests under an expansion of DACA until Feb. 18.