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President Obama’s Executive Actions on Immigration Blocked!

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A federal Judge in Brownsville, Texas has ordered a temporary injunction to President Obama’s executive actions on immigration. While U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen of Texas did not rule on the specific legality of the executive action he stated that there was enough merit to warrant an injunction while the case is properly adjudicated. Last November President Obama issued an executive action permitting, among other things, undocumented migrants temporary stay in the United States and work authorization without fear of immediate deportation. While many viewed this action as a step in the right direction for immigration reform, it also caused a great deal of controversy over whether or not this action was within President Obama’s Constitutional powers.

In response to the executive action, 26 states led by Texas, sued to block the plan from moving forward arguing that President Obama violated the ‘Take Care Clause’ of the Constitution, which they argue limits the scope of presidential power and violates his presidential duty to faithfully execute the laws. The coalition also argues that the executive action will be difficult to undo once undocumented migrants begin applying for deferred action, and that the action would force increased investment in health care, education, and law enforcement. As a result Judge Hanen put a temporary injunction on Obama’s executive action. In response to Judge Hanen’s order, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has halted preparations for President Obama’s program that would protect parents of U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents, also known as DAPA, that was scheduled to come into effect on February 18th.

Among those supporting President Obama’s executive action is a coalition of 12 states, including the District of Columbia, and law enforcement officials such as the Major Cities Chiefs Association that both filed friend-of-the-court briefs with Judge Hanen supporting the executive action. The briefs argued that the executive action will benefit states, further public interest, and improve public safety by facilitating cooperation between law enforcement officials and undocumented migrants.

The White House defended President Obama’s executive action as constitutionally within the president’s legal authority, and specifically that the U.S. Supreme Court and Congress have stated and maintained the notion that federal officials can establish priorities in enforcing immigration laws. The White House stated that the U.S. Department of Justice will file an appeal that will be heard by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.

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