Originally published on April 11, 2016 on Think Progress by Ian Millhiser.
Brownsville, Texas, is nowhere near the state capital in Austin. To get there one needs to take a five hour trip down the interstate to the southern-most tip of Texas. Go any further, and you are in Mexico. And yet the Texas Attorney General’s office opted to file their complaint in a major immigration case far away from their Austin office in the town of Brownsville.
It’s not hard to guess why. On the day their case was filed, just one active judge, Judge Andrew Hanen, sat in Brownsville. Hanen has a history of using his opinions tocriticize the nation’s immigration policies as insufficiently harsh — he once accused the federal government of engaging in a “dangerous course of action” because it permitted an undocumented mother to be reunited with her child without facing criminal charges. Not long after Texas filed its case, Hanen handed down a sweeping, nationwide order blocking Obama administration policies that potentially offered relief to nearly 5 million undocumented immigrants.
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