Obama's Immigration Order Blocked by Federal Judge
Policy + Politics

Obama's Immigration Order Blocked by Federal Judge

© Sam Hodgson / Reuters

A federal Judge in Texas last night temporarily blocked the Obama administration’s plan to offer a reprieve from deportations to millions of illegal immigrants.

The order by Judge Andrew S. Hanen in Brownsville, Tex., came in response to a lawsuit filed by the state of Texas and 25 other Republican governors and attorneys general. It purports to delay implementation of President Obama’s order until a trial can be held on their legality.

Immigration authorities were set to begin accepting applications on Wednesday from immigrants seeking relief under the program, which was announced Nov. 20, 2014, to a chorus of angry criticism from Republicans, who argued the president was exceeding his constitutional authority. Presumably the government will appeal the order.

Hanen did not issue a ruling on the merits of the challenge or offer an opinion on the constitutional issue. Rather, he based his temporary injunction on his belief that the administration failed to comply with the Administrative Procedure Act, the law that governs the issuance of government regulations.

The order was made public by Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott (R), who filed the suit on Dec. 3, when he was the state’s attorney general.

“President Obama abdicated his responsibility to uphold the United States Constitution when he attempted to circumvent the laws passed by Congress via executive fiat,” Abbott said in a statement, “and Judge Hanen’s decision rightly stops the President’s overreach in its tracks. We live in a nation governed by a system of checks and balances, and the President’s attempt to by-pass the will of the American people was successfully checked today.’”

This article appeared in The Washington Post on February 17, 2015.

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