Are Larry, Moe, and Curly Running the Department of Homeland Security?

This column by ACRU Policy Board member Hans von Spakovsky was published July 10, 2015 by National Review.

Yesterday, I reported on federal district court Judge Andrew Hanen’s July 7 order in the immigration case filed by 26 states against the Obama administration. As I explained, Hanen was perturbed over the failure of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to remedy the problem of the work permits unlawfully given to 2,000 illegal aliens after Hanen issued his preliminary injunction.

Late last night, the Justice Department filed another “Advisory” with Judge Hanen, which is getting to be a habit with them. In it, they made the disturbing admission that, beyond the 2,000 illegal aliens they told the court about last May, DHS gave an additional 500 illegal aliens three-year employment authorization documents (EADs) in violation of Judge Hanen’s injunction. According to the Advisory, these EADs were “approved, issued, and mailed prior to the injunction” but were “returned as undeliverable and subsequently re-mailed to an updated address after the Court’s entry of its injunction.”

DOJ’s lawyers say they are filing the Advisory so that the Court “is promptly apprised of this information.” But conspicuously absent from the Advisory is any information about when the Justice lawyers were told about these additional 500 EADs or when any of the top DHS officials—who’ve now been ordered to appear before Judge Hanen on August 19—first learned of them. The Advisory does, however, give Judge Hanen the Justice Department’s assurance—which is probably worth the value of the paper it is written on—that “DHS is taking steps to ensure that no additional three-year EADs will be remailed in the future.”

I always enjoyed watching the Three Stooges as a kid, but I never thought that Larry, Moe, and Curly might one day run a major executive-branch agency such as the Department of Homeland Security. At the Heritage Foundation’s Legal Center, where I work, we’ve started a betting pool on when, exactly, the Justice Department will file its next “Advisory” telling Judge Hanen: “Ooops, we just found out we made another mistake.”