Jordan Fabian, The Hill, May 26, 2015
A federal appeals court dealt President Obama a defeat on Tuesday as it declined to lift a judge’s order blocking his sweeping executive action on immigration.
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals sided with a Texas judge who issued an injunction preventing the programs from going into effect. The appeals judges ruled 2-1 that the order must stay in place.
“Because the government is unlikely to succeed on the merits of its appeal of the injunction, we deny the motion for stay and the request to narrow the scope of the injunction,” the judges wrote.
The court’s order makes it tougher for Obama to implement what the White House had seen as one of the signature programs of his second term, with just 20 months left to go in his administration.
After Congress declined to pass an immigration overhaul last year, Obama ordered the creation of a new program that allow parents of U.S. citizens or legal resident children to apply for temporary deportation relief and work permits.
He also expanded a similar program, known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), that applies to immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children.
But Texas and 25 other states filed a lawsuit challenging those actions, arguing Obama exceeded his constitutional authority. They also said the programs would overburden state services, such as healthcare, education, and motor-vehicle departments.
“The public interest favors maintenance of the injunction,” the judges wrote.
They also said granting stays of deportation to broad groups of immigrants goes beyond the president’s “prosecutorial discretion.”
Immigrant-rights groups urged the Obama administration to appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court.