The Obama administration plans to ask a federal judge in Texas on Monday to stay his order blocking an immigration executive action from taking effect, the Los Angeles Times is reporting.
Judge Andrew S. Hanen earlier this week issued an injunction preventing the implementation of President Barack Obama’s measure, which includes lifting deportation for three years for undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States before the age of 16, as well as for those who have children who are U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents.
Hanen blocked the order as part of a lawsuit that Texas filed and that now includes 25 other states.
The plaintiffs say the president overstepped his authority, and that giving possibly up to 5 million undocumented immigrants a chance to legally work and live in the United States, even if for a few years, would put undue burden on states.
Hanen largely agreed, saying that the Obama administration intends to “enact a program whereby it not only ignores the dictates of Congress but actively acts to thwart them.”
Many legal experts expect Hansen to deny the administration’s request. The next step, then, for the Department of Justice, which is acting on behalf of the administration in the case, is to file an appeal with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
It could also end up in the U.S. Supreme Court.
What Hanen actually did was pave the way for hearings on the constitutional issues at play in Obama’s executive action.
Hanen’s ruling came about 24 hours before the administration was to begin accepting applications for an expanded version of a 2012 initiative that allowed undocumented immigrants who were brought as minors to have their deportation deferred, and by extension, obtain work permits and driver’s licenses. They could also qualify for many government benefits.
Opponents of the president’s order said it amounted to an end-run around Congress, and would send the message around the world that U.S. immigration laws could be broken with little ramification.
Obama said that after Hanen’s ruling the White House would not keep moving forward with preparation for the millions of applications expected for the deportation deferral programs.
“We are doing the preparatory work because this is a big piece of business,” Obama told reporters this week. “… We want to make sure as soon as these legal issues get resolved, which I anticipate they will in our favor, that we are ready to go.”