The White House is fuming at a Texas court’s decision late Monday to block President Obama’s immigration executive actions, while the No. 2 Republican in the Senate said it just reinforced what the GOP has been saying all along about the legality of the actions.
U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen of Federal District Court in Brownsville blocked the administration’s execution of the orders as lawsuits are pending from 26 states.
According to the New York Times, Hanen “said the Obama administration had failed to comply with basic administrative procedures for putting such a sweeping program into effect” and the states opposing the actions had “satisfied the minimum legal requirements to bring their lawsuit.”
“The Supreme Court and Congress have made clear that the federal government can set priorities in enforcing our immigration laws—which is exactly what the president did when he announced commonsense policies to help fix our broken immigration system,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said in a statement issued before 3 a.m. “Those policies are consistent with the laws passed by Congress and decisions of the Supreme Court, as well as five decades of precedent by presidents of both parties who have used their authority to set priorities in enforcing our immigration laws.”
“The Department of Justice, legal scholars, immigration experts, and the district court in Washington, D.C. have determined that the president’s actions are well within his legal authority,” Earnest continued. “Top law enforcement officials, along with state and local leaders across the country, have emphasized that these policies will also benefit the economy and help keep communities safe. 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.”
Texas Sen. John Cornyn (R), the majority whip in the upper chamber, said the 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.”
“Today’s victory is an important one, but the fight to reverse the president’s unconstitutional overreach is not over,” Cornyn added. “The president must respect the rule of law and fully obey the court’s ruling.”
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), though, said Hanen’s ruling “betrays a strong potential bias against the president’s action.”
“This federal trial court order blocking the president’s immigration directives is deeply and destructively wrong, and should be reversed immediately,” Blumenthal said. “Misguided both legally and factually, it apparently presumes legal standing for states that suffer no direct harm, let alone the irreparable harm the law requires for this court order. This ruling is deeply flawed and should be immediately overturned. Whatever the legal outcome, Congress must act to correct our failed immigration system.”
The expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program was set to begin accepting applications tomorrow.