A few weeks ago, in Brownsville, Texas, the government was caught lying in Federal Court. It all started when President Barack Obama issued an executive order directing the departments of Justice and Homeland Security to enforce a version of immigration law he made up after Congress declined to pass a similar law.
The president’s plan provided a path to permanent residence in the United States for illegal immigrants who were the parents of children who were born here. This would add between 4 million and 5 million people as lawful residents. That would cost the states where they reside enormous sums of money, because under federal law the state must provide a social safety net including; free health care, free education and free welfare.
Twenty six states sued the federal government, saying that the president exceeded his constitutional powers when he issued his executive orders that would place massive unfunded financial burdens on the states.
A federal judge agreed with the states and stopped the government from enforcing his order. During the oral arguments the judge asked the lawyers from the Department of Justice who were representing the government, whether the executive order had been started. The lawyers replied that they had not.
Two weeks ago it was learned that Homeland Security has secretly accepted applications from more than 100,000 illegal immigrants for permanent residence under the unconstitutional executive orders.
The orders are unconstitutional because a panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, which heard the case against the injunction the judge had ordered, found the executive orders unconstitutional. Those findings have been appealed to the Supreme Court, however with the current deadlock the injunction most likely will stand.
But the real heart of the matter is the fact that the government lawyers lied to the court saying that the programs had not yet begun when the facts were that over 1000,000 applications had been filed and accepted.
We all depend on lawyers to present facts and argue about the law, most of all we rely on government lawyers telling the truth. In this case the lawyers said the programs had not begun, when in fact they had, 100,000 strong.
Lawyers have an obligation of truth to the courts where they appear. That duty is even more serious when the lawyers work for the government. Some lawyers working for defendants are not always totally open but government lawyers should be. The people rely on them, the courts rely on them and certainly the congress relies on them telling the truth.
I wonder does the government still work for us or for themselves. The answer is sad but now is a chance to turn things around, but we have to take a chance, are you up to it?
Mike Young is a retired water and power executive who resides in Mesquite. Graduated from the University of La Verne he has taught communications skills and technical subjects throughout the Western Hemisphere. In addition to writing and editing technical manuals, he has a book titled “Speaking for Effect”. He has received some of the highest awards and recognition from both professional and public organizations. He also serves as Mesquite’s representative on the Overton Power District board of trustees where he servers as Secretary /Treasurer.