Federal Judge Halts Obama’s Executive Action On Illegal Immigration

President_Barack_ObamaU.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen delivered a major blow to President Barack Obama’s unilateral executive action on immigration with a preliminary injunction in Brownsville, Texas. The case involves a challenge by 26 states and, to succeed, the states had to meet a high standard that they were likely to prevail on the merits in the case. Hanen found that, absent an order, the states will “suffer irreparable harm in this case.” The ruling sets up an appeal that could move the case more rapidly through the system in yet another challenge to the President’s unilateral actions. [For the purposes of full disclosure, I have previously testified against the President’s unilateral actions and I am currently serving as lead counsel to the House of Representatives in its challenge to such actions taken with regard to the Affordable Care Act.]

The case enjoins some provisions scheduled to take effect this week. For example, Obama ordered the expansion of a program that to protect young immigrants from deportation if they were brought to the U.S. illegally as children. The case also deals with an order extending deportation protections to parents of U.S. citizens and permanent residents who have been in the country for some years.

Judge Hanen wrote that “The court finds that the government’s failure to secure the border has exacerbated illegal immigration into this country. . . Further, the record supports the finding that this lack of enforcement, combined with the country’s high rate of illegal immigration, significantly drains the states’ resources.”

Hanen has previously expressed frustration with the lack of border and immigration enforcement. In December 2013, he handled an immigration smuggling case where he expressed dismay over the Administration essentially facilitating conspiracies to violate federal law by reunited families and not deporting violators. In one case involving the sentencing of a smuggler, Hanen lashed out at the federal government and noted that “[i]nstead of arresting (the child’s mother) for instigating the conspiracy to violate our border security laws, the (Homeland Security Department) delivered the child to her — thus successfully completing the mission of the criminal conspiracy.” Hanen added “DHS has simply chosen not to enforce the United States’ border security laws.”

The Justice Department always has the advantage in such appeals given past cases deferring to the Executive Branch on immigration, though the opinion below raises some significant concerns.

The case will now likely go to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans (where I clerked after law school).

Here is the lengthy opinion: Immigration Opinion

Source: NY Times

107 thoughts on “Federal Judge Halts Obama’s Executive Action On Illegal Immigration”

  1. Our country permits WAY TOO MUCH EXECUTIVE discretion. Article I, Section 8, Clause 4: To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;


  2. John Yoo has addressed the APA issue and predicts that Hanen ruling will be reversed on appeal. Google “Judge Hanen’s Flawed Ruling.”

  3. Nobody seems to have pointed out that the basis of the judge’s decision was that he found the administration’s policy required notice and comment under the Administrative Procedure Act.

  4. I remember there was a protest in CA years ago where all the illegals went on strike to show us how dependent CA is on illegal labor. It was AWESOME! The freeways were completely clear! No rush hour! I wanted them to go on strike every day.

  5. randy – “So people need to realize that it is ordinary Americans who are affected and getting screwed by illegals, and that illegals are NOT committing a victimless CRIME!”

    You are absolutely right, and the majority of people who do not live in border states have absolutely no idea. My husband, who follows the law, has a very difficult time competing with the illegal crews who can then underbid everyone. He’s been called to fix some really scary safety issues from these kinds of unlicensed, untrained crews.

    And yet often attempts to educate are met with cries of “racism!” It’s very frustrating to watch Obama plow ahead, illegally. I cannot wrap my mind around why he would do this, if for no other reason than the fact that black youth unemployment was at 26% last time I checked, and people are settling for part time jobs, or cobbling together part time jobs to make ends meet. To release a flood of people competing for entry level jobs at such a time seems heartless.

  6. Randy – I agree with you that Ted Kennedy would have sung a different tune if he was directly affected by illegal aliens. I think all politicians would behave that way.

    Good news that eVerify will catch fraudulent use of SSNs. Although I suspect it wouldn’t catch all of it, anything is progress. Considering the hoops that people in the construction industry have to jump through to obey the law, it would be nice if the government would set up sting operations, posing as homeowners, and then asking for ID of every man who shows up on the job. But that would NEVER happen in Liberal CA. It would be deemed racist. So, similar to immigration, those who follow the law are screwed and cannot compete.

    1. Karen, A few years ago, I needed a new roof. I got the insurance to pay for it, but since most of the contractors were using illegals for labor, the amount the insurance company gave would only pay what the crooked contractors were charging. Those contractors who played by the rules had to charge 50% more in their bids. So I was forced to go with the crooks, or pay thousands more.

      The next time I needed a new roof, I finally bit the bullet and had to divert money from one part of the hurricane settlement to the roof alone to ensure only legal labor did the job. I am not happy at all about this. Plus I got a nasty letter from the IRS accusing me of tax fraud since I did not list my wife’s income of several thousands of dollars on our return. Turns out, they thought gay marriage was legal in Texas since the name of the worker was Jose something! He had stolen or made up a number that was my wife’s SS number. So that is why I got dunned for his taxes. So people need to realize that it is ordinary Americans who are affected and getting screwed by illegals, and that illegals are NOT committing a victimless CRIME! They cost us billions of dollars in return for very little. The studies that purport to show a plus to illegals are simply lies since they refuse to factor in the costs.

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