A federal judge in Texas has blocked the executive actions on immigration of President Barack Obama. The judge and 25 other states are opposing protection plans for around 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation.
The Obama administration has been stopped from carrying out policies announced after the November elections. An order filed on Monday by U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen in Brownsville, Texas, sued the administration along with other states.
It was ruled satisfactory to requirements for bringing a lawsuit, blocking Obama from carrying out the order while the legal battle plays out.
Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott has commented on a number of online platforms.
“This is a victory for the Constitution. This ruling defends the Constitution and protects the rule of law.”
A statement was also issued by U.S. Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas.
“Today’s ruling reinforces what I and many others have been saying for a long time: that President Obama acted outside the law when he went around Congress to unilaterally change our nation’s immigration laws. The fight to reverse the President’s unconstitutional overreach is not over.”
The Obama administration said it would appeal the ruling and White House spokesman Josh Earnest commented.
“The Department of Justice, legal scholars, immigration experts, and the district court in Washington, D.C. have determined that the President’s actions are well within his legal authority. The district court’s decision wrongly prevents these lawful, commonsense policies from taking effect.”
This ruling could become the latest weapon in a Congress face off between Republicans wanting to overturn Obama’s orders and up to now united Democrats opposed to the idea of even debating the issue.
Obama’s November directives reprieving about 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation have been undone by a House-passed bill on which the Senate has already voted three times.
This ruling clearly opens a nasty can of worms for President Obama, representing the stark divisions on immigration, an issue which remains inflammatory and controversial across many developed western nations.
Also commenting publicly was Cristina Jimenez, managing director of United We Dream, a Washington, D.C.-based immigrant advocacy group.
“Judge Hanen’s ruling is not permanent and we are confident that it will be repealed in a higher court,” “Republican attacks like this lawsuit do not scare us, they just focus our resolve to make these programs even more successful.”
President Obama has been supported on the issue by about a dozen states, led by Washington state’s attourney general Bob Ferguson. Other groups representing cities filed friend-of-the-court briefs in support of Obama’s actions, while mayoral backing included New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston and Philadelphia.
As the first strike in what could prove a lengthy legal saga, this marks a seriously frustrating blow for the Obama administration. Probably more frustrating than what opponents think of the recent range of Obama selfies.