A federal court issued an order Monday keeping the Obama administration from implementing the president’s controversial executive action to give legal status to millions of illegal immigrants in the United States.
The order, signed by U.S.District Judge Andrew Hanen in Brownsville, Texas, also allows the lawsuit filed last month by 26 states to proceed on its merits, according to Fox News.
In his 50-page opinion, Hanen wrote that “it has been recognized that the resources of the states are drained by the presence of illegal immigrants,” and that “these damages unquestionably continue to grow.”
He also stated that the Obama executive action “genie would be impossible to put back into the bottle” once released.
The court’s injunction comes in the nick of time for the states. If left unchecked, the president’s executive action would have taken effect Wednesday, when immigrants could have applied for legal status.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who filed the original lawsuit and led the charge joined by the other 25 states while he was still serving as attorney general, announced the decision at 10:15 Monday night, according to the Statesman.
“President Obama abdicated 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,” the Republican 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.’”
Abbott also announced the court’s decision on Twitter, which received appropriate replies of congratulations:
— MNMVR (@repMNM) February 17, 2015
— Silence is Consent! (@NoSilentConsent) February 17, 2015
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest issued a statement claiming that President Obama’s action was within the purview of his constitutional powers as chief executive.
“The Supreme Court and Congress have made clear that the federal government can set priorities in enforcing our immigration laws-which is exactly what the President did when he announced commonsense policies to help fix our broken immigration system,” Earnest said, later adding “The district court’s decision wrongly prevents these lawful, commonsense policies from taking effect and the Department of Justice has indicated that it will appeal that decision.”
Such an appeal would be heard by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.
The states that joined Texas in its lawsuit are: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin.
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