Obama Immigration Policy Halted by Federal Judge in Texas
By: JULIA PRESTON Feb. 17, 2015, The New York Time (Excerpt)
A federal judge in Texas has ordered a halt, at least temporarily, to President Obama’s executive actions on immigration, siding with Texas and 25 other states that filed a lawsuit opposing the initiatives.
In an order filed on Monday, the judge, Andrew S. Hanen of Federal District Court for the Southern District of Texas, in Brownsville, prohibited the Obama administration from carrying out programs the president announced on Nov. 20 that would offer protection from deportation and work permits to as many as five million undocumented immigrants.
The first of those programs was scheduled to start receiving applications on Wednesday. The immediate impact of the ruling is that up to 270,000 undocumented immigrants nationwide who came to the United States as children will not be able to apply for deportation protection under an expansion of an existing executive program. A larger new program is scheduled to begin in May.
Judge Hanen, an outspoken critic of the administration on immigration policy, found that the states had satisfied the minimum legal requirements to bring their lawsuit.
The administration said it would swiftly appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans. Some legal scholars said that court was likely to stop the ruling from taking effect while it considers the case.
The White House responded to the judge’s ruling in a statement early Tuesday, saying the president had acted within the law and with decades of legal precedent behind him.
Ken Paxton, the attorney general of Texas, which is leading the states bringing the lawsuit, hailed the judge’s ruling as a “victory for the rule of law in America and a crucial first step in reining in President Obama’s lawlessness.” He said Mr. Obama’s actions were “an affront to everyone pursuing a life of freedom and opportunity in America the right way.”