On Monday, a federal Texas judge said that he will not rule on the judicial block on President Obama’s immigration plans for at least 10 more days. But, currently, about a dozen of states plan to ask an appeals court to lift the ban on the immigration plans.
Although President Obama’s executive orders designed at protecting millions of illegal immigrants from deportation have been criticized by Republicans as being unilateral, unconstitutional, and an excess of power, several states support the new measures. which are in their “economic interest.”
Allowing nearly 5 million of illegal aliens receive work papers would bring important revenues to the state budgets, supporters of the President’s actions say. Additionally, tens of thousands of immigrant families will be shielded by current practices of deporting a family member that is most of the times the bread winner.
However, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen in Brownsville, Texas, argued in its February decision that had blocked the executive orders on immigration that the administration’s plans would result in major financial burdens on the states, would encourage illegal immigration, and strain the state budgets. Judge Hanen also said that Obama administration had failed to comply with the legal procedures required for changing the rules on immigration.
Obama’s plan is unconstitutional
On Monday, the Texas judge delayed to rule on any pending motions on the case until March 19, when the next court hearing is scheduled. Judge Hanen also asked the government attorneys to explain the administration’s move on providing about 100,000 undocumented immigrants with three-year work permits and exemptions from deportation under the deferred action policy.
However, the issue seems to have split the U.S. states in two – 25 states plus Texas are against president’s deportation relief plan, while nearly a dozen want to back the move. This could result in courts lifting the Texas injunction in some states while in other states the legal battle over the issue will continue.
Barack Obama’s immigration plan that was supposed to shield millions of immigrants from deportation, while it would also grant them access to work permits, driver licenses, and other benefits, was brought to a court because 26 states said it was unconstitutional.
Texas district court judge Andrew Hanen from Brownsville, which is located on the U.S.-Mexico border, blocked President’s Obama actions from proceeding, but failed to rule over their unconstitutionality. Judge Hanen argued that the executive actions would irreparably harm the budgets of the states, which will have to cover for all those benefits granted to immigrants.
California and New York to back Obama
But judge Hanen put on hold the executive actions indefinitely, leaving millions without temporary work permits and legal protection. However, the government announced that it would appeal the ruling to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, where it will ask the judges to overturn Judge Hanen’s decision on Tuesday. Additionally, at least a dozen states announced their plans on filing a brief in the case with the 5th Circuit court.
Those states will very likely include California, New Mexico, and New York, which were the same states that submitted along with Washington State another brief requesting the lift of the injunction on Obama administration actions. In that brief, the states argued that the blocking harmed them both economically and socially since no tax money where flowing into their budgets while many immigrant families were broken up by deportations.
Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson recently expressed his hope that there will be more states that will fill in the brief than last time, while the original states will maintain their position.
A dozen of states don’t want the Texas injunction
The Texas district court judge’s injunction on immigration programs had a nationwide effect, but the way in which this situation happened will give the appealing states a solid basis for arguments.
The states argue that, although Texas and 25 more states claimed that the federal actions were harming their economy, they are also harmed by the injunction on those actions both economically and socially. As a result, the latter states will argue at the 5th Circuit in New Orleans that the Texas injunction should be lifted at least partially, for them, while the court battles will continue in other states.
Additionally, California and the others claim that only Texas proved that President Obama’s actions on immigration would inflict harm upon its budget and communities. So, applying the injunction nationwide is inappropriate, they argue.
“Our fallback position is, don’t force us to live under an injunction we don’t want, based on other states’ inaccurate claims that they will suffer,”
recently said the solicitor general for Washington state.
Law experts believe that the 5th circuit could release a number of states from the injunction while the dispute on the constitutionality of President Obama’s executive actions will be solved within the next months.
According to the 2013 statistics, the U.S. hosted more than 41 million immigrants which was a record level for the nation. Additionally, about 20 percent of international migrants chose the U.S. as their second home, although the U.S. is accounted for less than 5 percent of the planet’s population, with its 316 million residents.