Wall Street Journal
By Nathan Koppel
February 23, 2015
The Obama administration on Monday asked a federal court to allow it to continue implementing the president’s immigration plan, which was temporarily blocked last week by a Texas judge.
The Department of Justice filed a request with a Texas federal judge to stay his earlier injunction, which temporarily blocked the Department of Homeland Security’s rollout of its immigration program, while it appeals the ruling. The program would allow about four million people currently in the country illegally to apply for deferred deportation and work authorizations.
The stay, if granted, would allow the administration to continue laying the groundwork for its Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents program.
Last week, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen blocked the administration from implementing the program in response to a lawsuit from 26 states, which allege President Barack Obama has overstepped his executive authority in creating the program announced in November.
The Obama administration on Monday filed a separate appeal of the decision to the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. The fight could quickly move to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott last week issued a statement saying Judge Hanen should deny a request to stay his injunction. “A stay is typically granted to have the status quo maintained,” he said. “Here the status quo is the immigration law passed by Congress, not the executive action by the president that rewrites immigration law.”
The Obama administration in the request also asked that the injunction be limited to Texas, should the court decide to leave it in place.
The Justice Department said 12 other states and the District of Columbia filed briefs saying they would benefit from the administration’s immigration plan—and that they therefore would be harmed if it were delayed while Texas presses its case at trial before Judge Hanen.
Last week Judge Hanen found that Texas met the legal requirements to get the claim into court, because the state would incur costs for processing driver’s licenses for individuals benefiting from the program.
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