BROWNSVILLE, TX – A federal judge in Texas today left in place a stay on a prior order requiring that the personal information of some 50,000 immigrant youth be handed over to the court.
U.S. District Court Judge Andrew S. Hanen in Texas v. United States left the stay in place nearly three months after he first ordered federal authorities to provide him the list of names, addresses and other information of all immigrants residing in plaintiff states who received three-year grants of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) between November 2014 and February 2015. His order was in response to alleged misconduct by government attorneys earlier in the case.
Attorneys for MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund), the only organization whose clients were granted legal intervention in the case, asked Judge Hanen to block the production of the information because it would hurt innocent immigrant youth.
“Today represents an important and continuing reprieve from a proposed vast transfer of private information from the government, which was provided the information in confidence that it would be protected,” stated Thomas A. Saenz, MALDEF President and General Counsel. “We remain vigilant to protect against any such privacy violation in the future.”
MALDEF attorneys remain concerned that the court could still seek the youth’s information in the future and vowed vigorously to fight any such requests. These concerns were heightened by the federal government’s indication that it would consider compiling the information in preparation for a future order.
“MALDEF will continue to defend the interests of the young recipients of DACA and oppose any attempt to share their personal information with the states challenging DAPA,” said Nina Perales, MALDEF Vice President of Litigation.
In June the U.S. Supreme Court, in a 4-4 non-decision, failed to act on President Obama’s executive actions on immigration. The ruling left in place a lower court order blocking the initiatives pending further litigation. As a result, the Jane Does, three undocumented Texas mothers who entered the case to defend the initiatives, will be unable to apply for temporary protection from removal. The Jane Does are represented by MALDEF, which argued in the appeal in the U.S. Supreme Court in April.
Read the order HERE.