The Obama administration has set Wednesday as the date by when it wants a federal judge to reverse his own injunction blocking the implementation of an executive order on immigration.
But an attorney for Texas, which filed the lawsuit against the executive order, is urging U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen not to act hastily on the administration’s request for an emergency stay, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Texas assistant attorney general Angela Colmenero filed a letter with the court saying that Texas and the other 25 states that joined the lawsuit should have at minimum one week to formulate challenges to the administration’s request.
The states are asserting that by unilaterally suspending deportation for three years for an estimated 5 million undocumented immigrants – a move that also qualifies them for work permits and federal benefits – the president is violating the Constitution and putting an undue burden on states.
“What we had here is a situation where the president has violated the rule of law and really contradicted the Constitution by actually making up the law and imposing his own standards on the immigration system,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said in a CBS interview on Sunday.
Obama’s executive order called for providing deportation deferral 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.
“Leaving the injunction in place would work immense harm to the public interest by undermining … efforts to encourage illegal aliens with significant ties to the community and no serious criminal record,” the administration’s motion said, “to come out of the shadows and to request the ability to work legally.”
The administration also is challenging the judge’s decision in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
The plaintiffs in the case say the president overstepped his authority. Hanen largely agreed, saying that the Obama administration “cannot enact a program whereby it not only ignores the dictates of Congress but actively acts to thwart them.”
The administration's request to Hanen stated that deportations fall within the jurisdiction of the Department of Homeland Security, and that it is not a state matter. If states are given a say in deportations, it argued, they would be able to “challenge countless individual decisions to grant immigration relief or status,” the Times reported.
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