HOUSTON (AP) — A federal judge in Texas has threatened to hold Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and other top immigration enforcement officials in contempt of court for not fixing problems that led to work permits being mistakenly awarded under President Barack Obama’s executive immigration action after the judge had put the plan on hold.
The Justice Department had said about 2,000 individuals had been sent three-year work authorizations after U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen in Brownsville, Texas, temporarily blocked the immigration action on Feb. 16.
In a court order Tuesday, Hanen said government officials have yet to fix the problem. The judge also requested Johnson and four other officials attend an Aug. 19 hearing to explain why the issue hasn’t been fixed and to “be prepared to show why he or she should not be held in contempt of court.”
“This court has expressed its willingness to believe that these actions were accidental and not done purposefully to violate this court’s order. Nevertheless, it is shocked and surprised at the cavalier attitude the government has taken with regard to its ‘efforts’ to rectify this situation,” Hanen wrote.
The other officials are: R. Gil Kerlikowske, commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection; Ronald Vitiello, deputy chief of the U.S. Border Patrol; Sarah Salda