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Judge on immigration case had criticised US policy

Published:Wednesday | December 10, 2014 | 12:00 AM
A group of protestors chant during a demonstration in front of the White House in Washington as President Barack Obama announced executive actions on immigration, recently. - AP
Lorella Praeli, 26, of United We DREAM, speaks to the media after she, and a group of immigrant youth who are eligible for the President's deferred action, met with White House Domestic Policy Director Cecilia Muñoz. - AP


The federal judge assigned to rule in the lawsuit over President Barack Obama's changes to immigration rules last year accused the Obama administration of participating in criminal conspiracies to smuggle children into the country by reuniting them with parents living here illegally.

In the case last year, US District Judge Andrew Hanen suggested that the Department Homeland Security (DHS) should be arresting parents living in the US illegally who induce their children to cross the border illegally and often pay for the trip. Instead, the government has generally been reuniting such children with their relatives temporarily inside the United States pending deportation proceedings, which take many years.

"DHS has simply chosen not to enforce the United States' border security laws," the judge wrote. He said the government's failures to enforce immigration laws were "both dangerous and unconscionable," although he separately noted that, "This court takes no position on the topic of immigration reform, nor should one read this opinion as a commentary on that issue."

Hanen was assigned through an automated system to be the judge who will preside over a lawsuit filed by 20 states trying to block Obama's expansive executive actions to spare nearly five million people living in the US illegally from deportation and refocus enforcement efforts on "felons, not families".