The federal district court judge who will hear the challenge to President Obama's immigration actions has a distinctly conservative bent on immigration matters, writes Ian Millhiser of ThinkProgress
Judge Andrew Hanen, a George W. Bush appointee, heard a 2013 case involving a woman who pleaded guilty to trying to smuggle a 10-year-old girl from El Salvador into the U.S. to live with her undocumented mother.
The woman was arrested but government officials chose to reunite the girl with her mother in the U.S. instead of deporting the pair, per a settlement agreement, Flores v. Reno.
A 1997 settlement agreement requires the federal government to “release a minor to his or her parent, guardian, or relative, among others, in an order of preference established by the settlement documents."
Hanen objected, saying the government had taken a "dangerous course of action." Despite the fact that the case before Hanen was about the woman who accompanied the child, Hanen went out of his way to object to the government's decision to reunite the girl and her mother.
“There is nothing in this settlement,” he complains, “that prohibits the [federal government] from arresting” the mother. Or, barring that, “from at least initiating deportation proceedings.”
Hanen concludes that by failing to arrest or deport, the government has essentially collaborated in a "criminal conspiracy."
Millhiser takes this as a very bad sign for the case Judge Hanen will hear Thursday, weighing whether President Obama has acted within his constitutional authority in providing deportation relief for up to 5 million undocumented immigrants.
The Obama Administration might as well attempt to defend its policy before Judge Ted Cruz.