Federal Judge in Texas Places Injunction on Obama Immigration Plan

Immigration rights groups are slamming the ruling by a federal judge in Texas who has ordered a preliminary injunction against a set of immigration policy changes put forth by the Obama administration in an executive order last year.

In a ruling handed down late Monday, Judge Andrew Hanen of the U.S. District Court in Brownsville, Texas said that the administration’s attempt to expand protections against deportation for certain segments of the immigrant population would cause “dramatic and irreparable injuries” to the 26 states who joined together in a lawsuit against the president’s action.

The White House vowed to appeal Hansen’s decision, likely to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, as both the Justice Department and supporters of the president’s measures said the legal arguments against are simply cover for political opposition to any kind of immigration reform.

“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,” a statement from the White House said.

According to the Associated Press:

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According to the complaint filed by the 26 states, “This lawsuit is not about immigration. It is about the rule of law, presidential power, and the structural limits of the U.S. Constitution.”

However, in a statement made to Reuters, Melissa Crow, legal director of the American Immigration Council, said her group believes the decision in Texas is “more about politics than law.”

“We firmly believe that these programs will be implemented,” Crow added, “and whether it’s now or several months from now, we have no question that the president was well within the bounds of his executive authority.”

Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, expressed disappointment, but also described the ruling as a short-term roadblock for the president’s plan.

Judge Hansen’s ruling, Hincapié said, puts the court “far outside the legal mainstream and away from public opinion, which supports the step President Obama took toward finally beginning to fix our dysfunctional immigration system.” Her statement continued:

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