Court blocks Obama’s plan to protect undocumented immigrants
US President Barack Obama’s executive action to protect millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation has received a legal setback.
A federal appeals court on Monday rejected Obama’s bid to give quasi-legal status and work permits to the illegal immigrants.
The 2-1 ruling from the New Orleans-based 5th Circuit dealt a serious blow to the Obama administration, preventing it from moving forward with a series of executive actions he announced in 2014.
Obama’s plan has been opposed by Republicans and challenged by 26 states all led by Republican governors who said the federal government exceeded its authority in demanding whole categories of immigrants be shielded.
“Today’s decision from the federal appeals court is a victory for the Constitution and the American people,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), whose panel oversees immigration policy, said on Monday night.
“President Obama’s decision to ignore the limits placed on his power and act unilaterally to rewrite our nation’s immigration laws is an affront to the Constitution,” Goodlatte said.
Also, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said the Monday ruling meant the state, which has faced the legal challenge, “has secured an important victory to put a halt to the president’s lawlessness.”
The Obama administration said it has the right to ask the Department of Homeland Security to use discretion before forcing nonviolent migrants with US family ties to leave the country.
Obama has been using the case to move forward with his efforts in order to change US immigration policy.
After no progress was made on legislative reform in Congress, Obama announced last November that he would take executive action to help the immigrants.
Nearly 10,000 immigrant families and unaccompanied children were arrested while crossing the US-Mexico border in August.
Over 35,000 children traveling on their own and more than 34,500 families, mostly mothers and children have been arrested since the start of the fiscal year in October.