A ruling is forthcoming on whether California attorney and dentist Orly Taitz can legally seek to stop the government from sending undocumented immigrants from South Texas to other states and a travel ban to Ebola hot spots in Africa.
This is in connection with the complaint that Taitz filed July 14 in federal court in Brownsville against President Barack Obama, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell and the U.S. Border Patrol’s Rio Grande Valley Sector. She accuses them of “trafficking illegal aliens.”
Taitz is requesting court orders that undocumented immigrants not be moved to other states, or in the alternative, that they be either deported or held in quarantine for two months because they spread epidemics of scabies, tuberculosis, measles, whooping cough, swine flu, dengue fever, the Ebola virus and lice, and pose a threat to national security and safety.
As an option to a travel ban to Africa hot spots, Taitz seeks that all individuals coming from Ebola-affected regions be quarantined.
She maintains that she has standing to sue the government because of the threat of injury and because she has been injured in that she suffers from respiratory concerns, a cough that she alleges to have contracted from treating immigrants in her dental practice. She maintains that she requires the use of an oxygen machine.
As allowed by U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen, Taitz and the U.S. government filed their supplemental arguments and summaries this month.
Although he had not decided if Taitz has standing, Hanen held a hearing in late October, allowing Taitz to introduce arguments and testimony regarding the Ebola virus, also, so that Taitz would have “her day in court.”
Hanen cautioned her that it was “doubtful” that she would have standing to sue based on the Ebola virus.
In the supplemental arguments filed this month, U.S. government attorney Colin A. Kisor said that, “Dr. Taitz has had her day(s) in court, and has presented this court with all of the evidence she is able to muster, and still has fallen far short of demonstrating the requisite standing requirements.”
The government states that despite the various issues in Taitz’s filings, the only serious and substantive issue in the case does not concern the spread of the Ebola virus, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, the government’s alleged obstruction of justice, any future amnesty for aliens, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) statutes or whether, as Taitz has also claimed, it is widely believed that each district court and each U.S. Attorney’s Office has individuals who are embedded in these offices and who are working for the National Security Agency in order to tamper with records.
“Rather, the only issue that this Court need examine in depth is whether or not Dr. Taitz’s cough establishes standing sufficient to survive the Government’s motion to dismiss,” Kisor stated in the government’s supplemental brief.
“It does not and cannot,” Kisor said, adding that Taitz has not filed a claim with any government agency, and thus has not exhausted administrative remedies, has not presented facts to explain how the harm she suffered was attributable to the unlawful conduct by the defendants, and that federal law prohibits the court from issuing the kind of injunction that Taitz requests.
Kisor also contended that Hanen must resolve the standing issue first, but that moreover, Hanen cannot enjoin the operation of immigration laws or substitute his judgment for that of the president and the federal agencies charged with administering immigration laws, and cannot rewrite immigration laws in accordance with Taitz’s preferences.
Based on observations that Hanen made at October’s hearing, Taitz, in her supplemental brief, said that it appears that Hanen had not read all of her pleadings.
She pointed to all her pleadings, arguments and exhibits regarding precedents on the issue of standing based on injury, threat of injury and as a taxpayer, as well as standing as it relates to defamation and RICO.
“This court should not reward the defendants for their obstruction of justice and refusal to provide evidence of infectious diseases among illegal aliens trafficked by the government from Texas to the other 49 states,” Taitz stated in her supplement brief.
She claims that she still suffers from the persistent cough that started in July of this year, and referred to testimony from her witness epidemiologist Vera Dolan who testified that Taitz’s infection happened in the summer and coincided with a surge of immigrants into the United States.
“The infection did not happen in winter during the flu season, it did not happen in spring, during the allergy season, it happened in summer coinciding with the trafficking of illegal aliens,” Taitz said in her brief.
“The defendants are obstructing justice, they are trafficking sick illegal aliens or illegal aliens who have been in contact with sick illegal aliens, while they were in detention camps, they infected the plaintiff and others,” she maintains.
“Defense should not (be) rewarded for its refusal to provide information and records of sick illegal aliens trafficked by the defendants all over the country, they should not be rewarded for their obstruction of justice and the motion to dismiss due to alleged lack of standing should be denied,” she added.
Taitz said that even if she cannot point to a specific person who infected her, she still has standing to seek a ban on travel and quarantine to stop re-infection under the threat-of-injury theory.
She also contends that Hanen has a duty to issue a quarantine order for all individuals arriving from Ebola hot zones of Liberia, Sierra Leon and Guinea.
At October’s hearing, Taitz attempted to argue that terrorists might be using the Ebola virus as a terroristic tool, but Hanen stopped her from proceeding with that argument.
During the hearing, Hanen queried Dolan who had testified that the transmission of Ebola through particles in the air, such as droplets from sneezing and coughing, is a real possibility. Dolan also testified that quarantine is a good solid foundation of public health.
Hanen summed up Dolan’s testimony, which was that the safest course of action would be a travel ban, the next most effective would be quarantine and “the most risky is to leave things the way they are,” Hanen said.
“Are there other options?” Hanen asked. Dolan could not immediately think of another.
Hanen told Taitz: “If I could, I would bubble South Texas and protect everyone,” noting, however, that he might not have the authority “to create my own travel ban.”