- The Washington Times - Monday, June 8, 2015

President Obama scoffed at the “individual district court judge” who blocked his deportation amnesty, insisting Monday that he still believes his policy is legal despite repeated legal setbacks and vowing to push ahead where he can on aiding illegal immigrants.

But Mr. Obama said he’ll abide by Judge Andrew S. Hanen’s injunction — which has since been tentatively upheld by a federal appeals court — because that’s the way the system works.

“Even if it’s an individual district court judge who is making this determination, we’ve got to go through the process to challenge it. And until we get clarity there, I don’t want to bring people in, have them apply and jump through a lot of hoops only to have it deferred and delayed further,” the president said during a press conference at the conclusion of the G-7 summit.

Judge Hanen halted Mr. Obama’s amnesty on Feb. 16, ruling that the president’s policy to grant three-year work permits and legal documents to as many as 5 million illegal immigrants was big enough that it should have gone through public notice and comment under the terms of federal law.

The administration appealed Judge Hanen’s injunction and asked for an immediate stay, but the appeals court rejected that request and Mr. Obama decided not to go to the Supreme Court for a stay — a move that has drawn fire from immigrant-rights advocates who say he’s not being aggressive enough in defending his policy.

“I am convinced that what we’re doing is lawful and our lawyers are convinced what we are doing is lawful,” Mr. Obama said, though he said strategically it didn’t make sense to begin accepting applications until the courts make a final ruling.

The Homeland Security Department has admitted that it broke Judge Hanen’s injunction, though officials say it was inadvertent and the result of a technical glitch that they say has been fixed.

Judge Hanen is pondering what punishment to levy, if any, against the administration for the violation.

Mr. Obama said that while the amnesty case is proceeding, he will continue to pursue all of this other options for helping illegal immigrants.

“We’re being as aggressive as we can legally,” he said.

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