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Judge says Homeland Security chief, others don't have to attend hearing in immigration lawsuit

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HOUSTON — Top immigration enforcement officials won't have to attend a federal court hearing in Texas over problems that led to work permits being mistakenly awarded under President Barack Obama's executive immigration action after the judge had put the plan on hold.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and four other officials previously were ordered by U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen in Brownsville, Texas, to attend an Aug. 19 hearing. Hanen had threatened to hold the officials in contempt of court for the problems.

But in a court order Tuesday, Hanen said the officials don't have to attend the hearing.

Last month, the Justice Department said in court documents the federal government now complies with Hanen's preliminary injunction that suspended Obama's immigration plan after a lawsuit was filed.

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