Posted on May 21, 2015

Obama Says Immigration Case May Force State Fights on Courts

Laurel Brubaker Calkins, Bloomberg, May 18, 2015

President Barack Obama warned that courts will be stuck deciding immigration disputes between states if his plan to let as many as 5 million undocumented migrants stay in the U.S. remains on hold.

The Obama administration asked the U.S. Court of Appeals in New Orleans Monday to set aside a court order blocking the program while 26 states fight to throw it out completely. The White House repeated its insistence that the president has exclusive authority to enforce immigration laws and can adjust policies as he sees fit.

Fourteen states have sided with the White House in the case, arguing the benefits of immigration outweigh its costs. {snip}


The appeals court is already considering an earlier White House request to lift Hanen’s temporary hold so immigration agents can start processing paperwork immediately. Obama’s latest bid doubles down by asking the appeals court to throw out Hanen’s ruling or at least allow the program to begin in states that aren’t suing to stop it.

The White House urged the court to reject the states’ complaints that, if Obama’s immigration initiative is later overturned, they’ll be forced to provide hundreds of millions of dollars in benefits and services to people in the country illegally, with little hope of recovering those expenditures.

The Obama administration argued in Monday’s filing that any increased spending would be offset by an estimated $845 million yearly increase in state and local taxes paid by immigrants who “come out of the shadows” and enter the legal workforce.

Without a provable injury, the states have no legal basis to sue, the U.S. said.