Immigration Law

Obama's executive action on immigration blocked for now by federal judge

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A federal judge in Texas has temporarily blocked executive action by President Obama that would defer deportation for about 4.7 million immigrants living illegally in the United States.

U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen issued an injunction on Monday in Brownsville, saying the law mandates deportation of the immigrants covered by the executive action. The Washington Post, the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times have coverage.

The immigration program, announced by Obama in November, offered deferred deportation and work permits to immigrants who had lived here at least five years and were the parents of U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents. The program also expanded deportation deferrals for immigrants here illegally who came to the United States as children.

Hanen enjoined immigration officials from implementing the changes after finding that at least one plaintiff—Texas—had standing to sue out of 26 states that challenged the immigration actions.

In his opinion (PDF), Hanen wrote that the Department of Homeland Security “cannot reasonably claim that, under a general delegation to establish enforcement policies, it can establish a blanket policy of non-enforcement that also awards legal presence and benefits to otherwise removable illegal aliens.”

“The DHS secretary is not just rewriting the laws; he is creating them from scratch,” Hanen said.

The Times says the ruling on Monday is not Hanen’s first opinion criticizing immigration policies. Previously he “excoriated the Obama administration’s immigration policies in several unusually outspoken rulings,” the newspaper says.

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