A federal judge in Texas has put a hold on Obama’s amnesty order as millions of illegal immigrants will now face the threat of deportation once again. According to The New York Times, Judge Andrew Hanen ruled in favor of Texas and 25 other states that joined in Texas Governor Abbott’s fight against Obama’s immigration actions.
Judge Hanen said Obama’s amnesty order would impose major burdens on states, unleashing illegal immigration, and straining state budgets. Hanen also pointed out that the administration had not followed required procedures for changing federal rules.
Another decision point for Hanen was that Obama went beyond “prosecutorial discretion” in deeming that certain illegal immigrants will not be the target of deportation to providing benefits which are not an enforcement action.
The Washington Times reports that Obama’s amnesty order would qualify illegal immigrants to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), according the John Koskinen, IRS Commissioner. The price tag for this alone could be in the billions of dollars.
The Atlantic also included the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) as another benefit illegal immigrants will be able to claim additional tax benefits. The Treasury Department put the costs of the ACTC for illegal immigrants only at $4.2 billion in 2010. Additional benefits that illegal immigrants will be able to claim can include food stamps, childcare, and even Medicaid.
Response to Hanen’s decision has been swift.
Governor Abbot of Texas hailed it as a victory for the rule of law. Ted Cruz took to Twitter to announce his feelings.
Despite having circumvented Congress in the first place in issuing his amnesty order, CNN reports that Obama has vowed to abide by the court order while the Department of Justice is already preparing to appeal.
Obama has also directed the Department of Homeland Security to continue preparing to implement his amnesty order while the appeals process is underway. Anticipating a favorable ruling in the appeals process, Obama provided his justification.
“The law is on our side, and history is on our side.”
While supporters correctly point out that other presidents, Democrat and Republican alike, have initiated similar actions in prosecutorial discretion, they do not mention that those actions were always implemented after Congressional action. This is a common practice to address operational issues that were not anticipated in the original law.
That is where Obama’s amnesty order makes a stark change from executive actions by previous presidents. Obama said he issued his order because Congress did not provide comprehensive immigration reform. Congress’s inaction is a decision that they have the constitutional authority to make. Opponents of Amnesty claim Obama cannot enact what amounts to a new law just because Congress did notdo what he wanted.
In the meantime, Obama’s amnesty order has been delayed while the appeals process plays out, which could take an indefinite length of time.
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