Court refuses to lift hold on Obama’s immigration executive actions

26 May 15

UNITED STATES

A federal appeals court has refused to lift a block on President Obama’s immigration executive actions. The ruling, which was issued today, leaves the actions that are being challenged in the lawsuit temporarily on hold.

The executive actions would allow an estimated 4.3 million undocumented immigrants to delay deportation and obtain work authorization under an expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and creation of the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program.

The actions have been on hold since Feb. 16, when a Texas judge granted an injunction. The Justice Department appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, asking the court to lift the injunction and let the executive actions take effect while the court decides the underlying issues.

In the underlying lawsuit, 26 states have sued to permanently stop the executive actions, contending that they unlawfully skirt rulemaking procedures and impose new costs on states that would be required to issue benefits such as driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants.

In a 2-1 decision, the appeals court found that DOJ was unlikely to succeed in showing that the states lacked standing to bring the lawsuit. It also found that the government did not make a strong showing that the executive actions are not subject to judicial review, or that DAPA is exempt from notice-and-comment procedures required by the Administrative Procedure Act.

The court also denied the government’s request to narrow the scope of the injunction so that it only applies to Texas or the other states that brought the lawsuit. Therefore, the injunction remains in effect nationwide.

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