U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen of Texas has temporarily blocked President Obama's executive action on illegal immigration by granting a request from 26 states to allow the courts to look at its constitutionality before it is implemented. The lawsuit is being headed by Texas Governor Greg Abbott.
"This case examines complex issues relating to immigration which necessarily involve questions of federalism, separation of powers, and the ability and advisability, if any, of the Judiciary to hear and resolve such a dispute," the temporary injunction, which was issued late Monday night, states. "This temporary injunction enjoins the implementation of the DAPA program that awards legal presence and additional benefits to the four million or more individuals potentially covered by the DAPA Memorandum and to the three expansions/additions to the DACA program also contained in the same DAPA Memorandum. It does not enjoin or impair the Secretary's ability to marshal his assets or deploy the resources of the DHS. It does not enjoin the Secretary's ability to set priorities for the DHS. It does not enjoin the previously instituted 2012 DACA program except for the expansions created in the November 20, 2014 DAPA Memorandum."
For reference, DACA is the program President Obama implemented in 2012 allowing illegal immigrants brought to the United States with their parents to stay. DAPA is President Obama's most recent program issued through a December executive action granting temporary amnesty to nearly five million illegal immigrants. The federal government has been blocked from temporarily implementing DAPA or expanding DACA.
"President Obama abdicted his responsibility to uphold the United States Constitution when he attempted to circumvent the laws passed by Congress via executive fiat, and Judge Hanen's decision rightly stops the president's overreach in its tracks," Abbott said in a statement. "We live in a nation governed by a system of checks and balances, and the president's attempt to by-pass the will of the American people was successfully checked today. The District Court's ruling is very clear -- it prevents the President from implementing the policies in 'any and all aspects.'"
The lawsuit, and evaluation of President Obama's executive action on illegal immigration, will now have a chance to make its way through the courts.
This post has been updated.