The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has officially filed an emergency motion to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals asking to overrule a decision temporarily blocking President Barack Obama's deferred action programs.

The Justice Department asked the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals for an "immediate stay" against U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Hanen of the Southern District Of Texas' Brownsville Division, who ruled in favor of 26 U.S. states, led by Texas, seeking to block the expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) programs.

As Latin Post reported, the Obama administration instructed Hanen with a March 9 deadline to lift his temporary injunction decision. Hanen did not change his ruling, stating, "Due to the seriousness of the matters discussed therein, the Court will not rule on any other pending motions until it is clear that these matters, if true, do not impact the pending matters or any rulings previously made by this Court."

According to the DOJ appeal, signed by the department's Civil Division attorney William Havemann, the temporary injunction "undermines" the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its secretary, Jeh Johnson. The DHS is responsible for the three federal immigration agencies: the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The three federal immigration agencies have been tasked to prioritize the removal of undocumented immigrants following Obama's Nov. 20 immigration executive action announcement and determine who may be eligible for the deferred action programs.

Havemann added that the temporary injunction affects Johnson's authority to enforce U.S. immigration laws by "disrupting" his "comprehensive effort to effectively allocate limited enforcement resources."

"The district court's order is unprecedented and wrong," the DOJ appeal continued. "The Constitution does not entitle States to intrude into the uniquely federal domain of immigration enforcement. Yet the district court has taken the extraordinary step of allowing a State to override the United States' exercise of its enforcement discretion in the immigration laws."

The appeal offered two options for the Fifth Circuit of Appeals to consider. The first is to lift the temporary injunction entirely across the 50 states or, second, at least for the 24 states not participating in the lawsuit. The 25 states joining Texas in the lawsuit include 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.

In response to the DOJ's appeal request, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton reiterated the claim Obama's immigration executive actions were unconstitutional and how the president's decision sets a "dangerous precedent that threatens" the U.S.

"The most pressing issue at hand is the extent to which the Obama administration has already issued expanded work permits to illegal immigrants, in direct contradiction to what they told the district court," Paxton added. "Further, as the court noted in granting a preliminary injunction, any implementation of President Obama's directives will be difficult, if not impossible, to reverse. The State of Texas and a bipartisan coalition of 25 other states will continue to oppose the President's unilateral and lawless actions, and we expect the federal government to fully explain its contradictions in court next week."

The implementation of DAPA and the expanded DACA programs would provide temporary protections, including avoiding deportation for three years, for approximately 4.9 million undocumented immigrants and an opportunity to obtain a work permit.


For the latest updates, follow Latin Post's Michael Oleaga on Twitter: @EditorMikeO or contact via email: