Immigration Executive Action Blocked: Texas Judge Pauses Obama’s Immigration Actions Ahead of New DACA Application
A Texas judge has temporarily blocked President Barack Obama's immigration executive actions, which affects his two deferred action programs: the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA).
Judge Andrew Hanen of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas' Brownsville Division ruled the State of Texas and its coalition of 25 fellow U.S. states provided the required elements to maintain the lawsuit against the immigration executive action and, as a result, grant a Temporary Injunction.
With the Temporary Injunction, the Obama administration cannot move forward with DACA and DAPA until either an appeal is filed to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals or the U.S. Supreme Court or pending Hanen's his final verdict. According to Hanen, the injunction was granted due to the defendants -- referring to the U.S. federal government -- not complying with the Administrative Procedure Act.
Hanen's order halts the U.S., agencies, department, officers and select individuals from implementing "any and all aspects or phases" of the DACA expansion or DAPA. He also tells Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson -- whose department manages the three federal immigration agencies including the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which handles the DACA and DAPA application process -- to not move forward with the executive actions until further notice.
Obama announced the expanded DACA and DAPA programs during a prime-time address on Nov. 20, 2014. His executive actions would help approximately 4.9 million undocumented immigrants to temporarily avoid deportation for three renewable years by applying for deferred action programs and providing the opportunity to obtain work permits, participating in the job market or continuing their education.
As Latin Post reported, then-Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, who has since become the state's governor, filed a lawsuit to block Obama's immigration executive actions. Since Abbott became Texas governor, new Attorney General Ken Paxton continued the lawsuit. Twenty-five states have since joined the Texas lawsuit, including Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest issued a statement early Tuesday morning. He said, "The Supreme Court and Congress have made clear that the federal government can set priorities in enforcing our immigration laws -- which is exactly what the president did when he announced commonsense policies to help fix our broken immigration system. Those policies are consistent with the laws passed by Congress and decisions of the Supreme Court, as well as five decades of precedent by presidents of both parties who have used their authority to set priorities in enforcing our immigration laws."
According to Earnest, the Justice Department, immigration experts, legal scholars and the Washington, D.C., district courts have previously acknowledged Obama's immigration executive actions are "well within his legal authority." He also noted the economic benefits the executive actions would provide. As Latin Post reported, the U.S. economy is estimated to increase by at least $90 billion by 2024, including $39.2 billion among the 26 states seeking to block the executive actions. Texas has been projected to see the highest GDP growth with the executive actions with $8.2 billion.
"The district court's decision wrongly prevents these lawful, commonsense policies from taking effect and the Department of Justice has indicated that it will appeal that decision," Earnest said.
For the latest updates, follow Latin Post's Michael Oleaga on Twitter: @EditorMikeO or contact via email: email@example.com.
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