U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen has temporarily blocked Pres. Obama's executive amnesties, saying the action "substantially changes both the status and employability of millions" of illegal aliens. The ruling came in response to the lawsuit filed by 26 states against the administration that argues that Obama's amnesties will place an undue burden on state budgets.
Judge Hanen did not rule on the legality of Pres. Obama's executive amnesties, but said there was sufficient merit in the states' challenge to warrant the temporary injunction.
The federal government was set to begin accepting applications for the expanded DACA program on Wednesday, but the ruling delays both that action and the larger actions that would grant work permits to 4-5 million illegal aliens.
"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," Texas Governor Greg Abbott said in a press release. Gov. Abbott initiated the lawsuit last year when he served as Texas' attorney general.
"Today's ruling reinforces what I and many others have been saying for a long time: that President Obama acted outside the law when he went around Congress to unilaterally change our nation's immigration laws," Sen. John Cornyn said. "Today's victory is an important one, but the fight to reverse the President's unconstitutional overreach is not over. The President must respect the rule of law and fully obey the court's ruling."
In his ruling, Judge Hanen wrote, "The ultimate question before the Court is: Do the laws of the United States, including the Constitution, give the Secretary of Homeland Security (DHS) the power to take the action at issue in this case?" He then explained what factored into his decision. "(1) Whether the States have standing to bring this case; (2) whether the DHS has the necessary discretion to institute the DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents) program; and (3) whether the DAPA program is constitutional, comports with existing laws, and was legally adopted." Judge Hanen ruled that at least one of the states adequately addressed all three criteria.
The Obama administration is expected to appeal the decision.
Texas is joined by 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, and Wisconsin on the lawsuit.
Updated: Wed, Oct 11th 2017 @ 3:32pm EDT