Immigration News Today: Immigration Executive Action Lawsuit Decision Date Unknown, Fate Rests on 3 Judges
The fate of President Barack Obama's deferred action executive actions rests with three judges, appointed by three different presidential administrations.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit heard arguments, for and against, on Obama's deferred action programs on April 17. The deferred action programs -- Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) - would provide approximately 4.9 million eligible undocumented immigrants a temporary but renewable three-year stay in the U.S. pending requirements instructed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
While DACA has existed since 2012, Obama announced new guidelines last November. The updated DACA guidelines and the DAPA programs, however, have been blocked by a district court judge in Texas, citing Obama overreached his executive privileges.
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals heard two-hour arguments on April 17, plaintiffs and defendants given one hour each. The plaintiffs, representing the U.S. Department of Justice, are attempting to lift the temporary injunction placed by Judge Andrew Hanen after 26 U.S. states sought to block the deferred action programs. As the New York Times noted, the one-hour time frame was twice the amount usually given to lawyers making their case at the Supreme Court.
The three judges in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals did not provide a date for when they would announce their decision. One judge, Jennifer Elrod, was appointed by President George W. Bush. Fellow Fifth Circuit Court Judge Stephen Higginson was appointed by Obama. The third judge, Scott Keller, was appointed by President Ronald Reagan.
The lawsuit, created by then-Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and now led by current-Attorney General Ken Paxton, emphasized that Obama's immigration executive actions were unconstitutional. In a statement released on April 17, Paxton said the executive branch cannot create new laws and the Obama administration defied the separation of powers.
"The Obama administration defied this foundational principle when it bypassed our elected leaders to re-write national immigration policy, granting federal and state benefits to law-breaking immigrants, and when it misled a federal judge over the premature implementation of executive amnesty," added Paxton. "The rule of law matters, and we are confident in our arguments before the Fifth Circuit [last Friday] as we continue to defend our citizens against President Obama's unconstitutional amnesty plan."
Meanwhile, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton tweeted in support of the deferred action programs. She tweeted, "As court hears immigration case today, at stake are stronger families, communities, [and] economy. Parents & Dreamers shouldn't live in fear."
Republican presidential candidates Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio have opposed Obama's immigration executive actions. Both have also called for the end of DACA.
As Latin Post reported, Rubio has identified DACA as an important program since there are people currently benefiting from it. He continued, "[DACA] is going to have to end. It can't be the permanent policy of the United States, and I don't think that's what they're asking either. I think everyone prefers immigration reform."
The other 25 states with Texas in the lawsuit are Alabama, 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.
For the latest updates, follow Latin Post's Michael Oleaga on Twitter: @EditorMikeO or contact via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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