Federal Judge Halts Obama's Immigration Actions

Late Monday night, a federal judge in Texas temporarily blocked President Obama's executive actions on immigration, including a legal reprieve for undocumented parents of U.S. citizens and the expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, The New York Times reported.

Obama issued an executive order last fall that would expand the DACA program, which provides temporary relief from deportation to young undocumented immigrants who meet certain qualifications as well as some undocumented parents. More than two dozen states, including Texas, sued to block the move.

Federal District Court for the Southern District of Texas Judge Andrew S. Hanen on Monday issued a ruling this week in favor of Texas and 25 other states, arguing that the administration's programs would impose major burdens on states, unleashing illegal immigration and straining state budgets, and that the administration had not followed required procedures for changing federal rules. Though the original DACA program is not affected by the judge's new decision, the injunction has temporarily halted the program's expansion, which was supposed to begin this week.

The Obama administration postponed executive actions on immigration indefinitely on Tuesday – one day before hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants were to begin applying for work permits and legal protection. The president vowed to appeal the court ruling and expressed confidence that he would prevail in the legal battle to defend his signature domestic policy achievement, the New York Times reported. "The law is on our side, and history is on our side," he declared.

White House officials said the government would continue preparing to put Obama's executive actions into effect but would not begin accepting applications from undocumented workers until the legal case was settled. In the meantime, the president urged lawmakers to return to negotiations on a broader overhaul of immigration laws.

 

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The New York Times

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/18/us/obama-immigration-policy-halted-by-federal-judge-in-texas.html