Obama’s executive action on immigration took another hit this week as the 5th Court of Appeals upheld a Texas-based courts’ injunction blocking the orders from going into effect.
The executive actions in question would defer deportations for nearly 4 million through the Deferred Action for Permanent Residents (DAPA) and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programs. DAPA would allow undocumented parents of American citizens to stay in the country indefinitely provided they have committed no crimes in the last 5 years), while DACA provides that children who arrive in the U.S. before their 16th birthdays are eligible for work permits and exempt from deportation.
The court decided in a 2-1 decision that they would support the lower courts’ earlier action, rejecting arguments by the administration that states lacked standing to challenge the executive orders, and that the Texas district judge abused his discretion in making his decision.
The sole dissent, filed by Judge Carolyn D. King, argued instead that the executive orders are lawful, citing the limited resources of Homeland Security, and describing the decision not to defer action on some deportations as “quintessential exercised of prosecutorial discretion.”
The initial lawsuit was bought by 26 state governments opposing the executive actions. Another 12 states and many major cities, including Los Angeles and New York, have filed briefs supporting the president’s actions.
Patrick Rodenbush, a spokesperson for the Department of Justice, told AP reporters, “The department is committed to taking steps that will resolve the immigration litigation as quickly as possible in order to allow DHS (Department of Homeland Security) to bring greater accountability to our immigration system by prioritizing the removal of the worst offenders, not people who have long ties to the United States and who are raising American children.” DOJ is expected to appeal to the Supreme Court level.