IG: Data on Illegal Alien Work Permits Issued After Injunction is ‘Unreliable’

By Barbara Hollingsworth | August 14, 2015 | 5:19 PM EDT

U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen. (AP photo)

(CNSNews.com) --  Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Inspector General John Roth admits that he “cannot validate” the exact number of work permits that were issued to illegal aliens after a federal judge halted the process because the data provided to him by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is “unreliable”.

The Obama administration continued to issue three-year Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) to “about 2,000” illegal aliens days after February 16, when Texas District Court Judge Andrew Hanen issued his preliminary injunction, the inspector general reported in an August 11 memorandum to DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson.

Roth noted that “USCIS originally identified 2,128 3-year EADs produced” after the injunction was issued.

“According to USCIS, 64 of the 2,128 were printed the morning of February 17, 2015, but were destroyed and not sent to recipients. USCIS initially reported that the remaining 2,064 3-year EADs were later printed and mailed, but we were unable to confirm this number.”

The injunction was issued in a lawsuit over executive amnesty filed in December by 26 states. The lawsuit claims that President Obama and Sec. Johnson overstepped their constitutional authority by taking executive actions in November 2014 to expand the number of illegal aliens eligible for the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programs.

Roth added that he found no evidence that DHS intentionally violated Hanen’s injunction.

 “We did not find any evidence that the production and subsequent mailing of 3-year DACA-related EADs held in NPS [National Production System] from February 17 through February 19, 2015, was done in defiance of the Federal District Court’s injunction,” the IG memo stated. “We determined that a combination of factors led to the production, and mailing of about 2,000 of these 3-year EADS.”

The inspector general blamed “mistaken assumptions” on the part of managers at USCIS’ service centers and “a lack of understanding about the consequences of actions taken related to release of the EADs” for the apparent foul-up.

However, the memo also reports that as of July 29, “USCIS continues to discover 3-year EADs produced and issued after the injunction that are not included in the originally identified 2,128. For these reasons, we conclude that USCIS’ data is unreliable and we cannot validate the number of 3-year EADs either produced or issued after the injunction.”

According to an affidavit submitted to the court in May by Donald Neufeld, USCIS’ associate director for service center operations, the agency “took immediate steps to stop the issuance of three-year periods of deferred action and employment authorization to individuals who had already requested” them while allowing two-year EADs to continue to be issued.

However, “when IT personnel implemented a system-wide pause on the production of all DACA-related EAD requests in the queue, they had not removed production requests for three-year EADS from the queue,” he stated.

“We now understand that this error was the result of USCIS’ failure to place the right kind of hold on the EAD-pending cases.”

The agency has already contacted those who were issued three-year EADs after the injunction was issued, informing them that “they must return the three-year EADs sent to them,” Neufeld informed the court, adding that all but 22 of the work permits have since been reclaimed.

But Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said that the inspector general’s report just raises more questions about the Obama Administration's trustworthiness when it comes to executive amnesty.

“Every step of the president’s plan has been entangled in error and bureaucracy, from incorrectly assuring a federal court that the Administration's plan was not being implemented, to belatedly admitting that it was, to lacking even a reliable count of how many expanded work permits were issued,” Paxton said in a statement.

“If the Obama Administration can’t even provide reliable information to the court, how can it be trusted by the American people in this process moving forward?” he asked.

Related: Obama Admin Admits to Violating Judge's Order to Halt Implementation of Immigration Plan

Related: Texas Judge Delivers Blistering Rebuke of Obama Admin Immigration Lawyers' Misbehavior

Sponsored Links