|Judge Issues Temporary Restraining Order Against Emperor's Edict|
AP - A federal judge in Texas on Monday temporarily blocked President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration, giving a coalition of 26 states time to pursue a lawsuit that aims to permanently stop the orders.
U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen’s decision comes after a hearing in Brownsville, Texas, in January. It puts on hold Obama’s orders that could spare as many as five million people who are in the U.S. illegally from deportation.
The federal government is expected to appeal the ruling to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. Neither the White House nor the Justice Department had any immediate comment early Tuesday.
The first of Obama’s orders — to expand a program that protects young immigrants from deportation if they were brought to the U.S. illegally as children — was set to start taking effect Wednesday. The other major part of Obama’s order, which extends deportation protections to parents of U.S. citizens and permanent residents who have been in the country for some years, was not expected to begin until May 19.
Joaquin Guerra, political director of the Texas Organization Project, called the ruling a “temporary setback.”
"We will continue getting immigrants ready to apply for administrative relief," he said in a statement.
In a 2013 ruling in a separate case, Hanen suggested the Homeland Security Department should be arresting parents living in the U.S. illegally who induce their children to cross the border illegally.
The coalition of states, led by Texas and made up of mostly conservative states in the South and Midwest, argues that Obama has violated the “Take Care Clause” of the U.S. Constitution, which they say limits the scope of presidential power. They also say the order will force increased investment in law enforcement, health care and education.
"Judge Hanen’s decision rightly stops the President’s overreach in its tracks," Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said in a statement.
In their request for the injunction, the coalition said it was necessary because it would be “difficult or impossible to undo the President’s lawlessness after the Defendants start granting applications for deferred action.”