- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Department of Homeland Security said Tuesday it is considering re-approving amnesties for 10 illegal immigrant “Dreamers” who had them revoked after they defied the government and refused to return them in July.

It’s the latest twist in the case challenging President Obama’s expanded amnesty, which he announced in November, and which Judge Andrew S. Hanen halted in February.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services broke Judge Hanen’s order, issuing more than 2,600 three-year amnesties even after the Feb. 16 injunction, and had to scramble to try to recapture them all after the judge grew impatient.

More than 99 percent were returned or certified by the illegal immigrants as lost, stolen or destroyed, and were replaced with two-year cards instead.

But 22 of them never returned their three-year cards, forcing the government to revoke their amnesties altogether in late July.

Now, 10 of those have since returned their amnesties, and USCIS Director Leon Rodriguez said they may be reissued two-year amnesties since they’re belatedly in compliance.

“USCIS will determine on a case-by-case basis whether to restore deferred action and employment authorization for these individuals,” he said in court filings.

Homeland Security had faced criticism from immigrant-rights advocates who’d said canceling the amnesties was too harsh a punishment, particularly since it was the government’s fault that the erroneous cards were sent out.

In his court declaration Tuesday, Mr. Rodriguez indicated part of the problem might be that the illegal immigrants had moved without reporting their new addresses and phone numbers, so they couldn’t be properly warned about needing to turn over their wrong cards.

Of the 10 illegal immigrants who could be reinstated, six of them returned their cards, while the other four insisted their cards were lost, stolen or destroyed and cannot be returned.

Judge Hanen will hold a hearing Wednesday to get an update on the cases.

The erroneous amnesties were issued because of a confusing automated approval process, and weren’t intended to flout the court’s order, Homeland Security’s inspector general concluded in a report earlier this month.

Still, investigators said the system is so messy that they cannot be certain how many incorrect amnesties may actually have been issued.

Mr. Rodriguez, in his new filings Tuesday, acknowledged there could be others they still haven’t discovered, but he described extensive efforts to try to track down which ones might be out there.

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