Federal Judge Stalls Obama’s Executive Action on Immigration

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from The Wall Street Journal,

Temporarily blocks plan that could shield millions from deportation.

A federal judge in Texas issued an order late Monday temporarily blocking a federal immigration program that would have potentially shielded millions from deportation.

U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen of Brownsville, Texas, who was nominated by former Republican President George W. Bush , sided with roughly two dozen states that sued to challenge a program backed by President Barack Obama, claiming it exceeded his authority and violated the Constitution.

Judge Hanen’s temporary injunction blocks a program known as Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, which would allow an estimated four million individuals to seek deferred deportation if they have been in the country since 2010, weren’t considered an enforcement priority, and had a son or daughter who was a U.S. citizen or permanent resident as of last year. The program has been heavily criticized by members of Congress.

His temporary injunction also blocks an expansion of the program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which was supposed to allow undocumented immigrants to apply to stay and work in the U.S. starting Wednesday.

Judge Hanen’s order called for the parties to meet again on Feb. 27 and discuss how to proceed with the lawsuit.

“This injunction makes it clear that the president is not a law unto himself, and must work with our elected leaders in Congress and satisfy the courts in a fashion our Founding Fathers envisioned,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a statement late Monday.

In a statement early Tuesday, the White House defended the executive orders issued in November as within the president’s legal authority, saying the U.S. Supreme Court and Congress have said federal officials can establish priorities in enforcing immigration laws.

“The district court’s decision wrongly prevents these lawful, common-sense policies from taking effect and the Department of Justice has indicated that it will appeal that decision,” the White House statement said.

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