WASHINGTON (AP) – A federal judge in Pittsburgh is declaring that President Barack Obama's recent executive actions on immigration are unconstitutional.
U.S. District Judge Arthur Schwab says Obama's order in November designed to spare millions living illegally in the United States from deportation amounts to "unilateral legislative action" in violation of the Constitution. Schwab issued his opinion Tuesday in a criminal case involving an immigrant here illegally from Honduras.
The administration has said the new policy does not apply to criminal cases. The Justice Department called Schwab's analysis "flatly wrong" and said he had no basis for his opinion because no one in the case had challenged the constitutionality of the president's actions.
Schwab's opinion puts forth some of the same arguments made by Texas and 23 other states in their challenge to Obama's actions on immigration. Schwab was appointed by President George W. Bush.
Case Western Reserve University law professor Jonathan Adler says he's skeptical that Schwab's opinion will stand.
Omar Jadwat, an expert in immigration law at the American Civil Liberties Union, said the opinion would have no effect on the administration's immigration policy. "It's really just the judge taking the opportunity to state his personal views," Jadwat said.