By Emily Anne Espinosa |Staff Writer|
President Barack Obama’s executive actions to protect immigrants from deportation has been blocked by the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, causing a setback in the administration’s agenda before the end of Obama’s second term.
The three judge panel of the Court of Appeals voted 2-1 in Texas v. United States, upholding a lower court injunction and temporarily blocking implementation from the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA), two immigration reform programs that play a key role in Obama’s second-term initiative on reforming immigration, according to the National Immigration Law Center.
The judges of the Fifth Circuit were Carolyn King, Jerry Smith, and Jennifer Elrod. Elrod and Smith ruled against the executive action, while King ruled for it, according to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals files.
Smith stated, “the INA (Immigration and Naturalization Act) flatly does not permit the reclassification of millions of illegal aliens as lawfully present and thereby make them newly eligible for a host of federal and state benefits, including work authorization,” according to The Atlantic.
Texas and 25 other states are challenging the immigration initiative. The chance of the administration’s executive actions being implemented now depends on an appeal to the Supreme Court, according to CNBC.
The Justice Department said that it disagreed with the court’s ruling and will seek review from the Supreme Court, but if the Supreme Court declines to hear the case, final resolution could come under a new president, according to The Atlantic.
The states argued that the federal government exceeded its authority in demanding whole categories of immigrants be protected, according to CNBC.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton stated, “throughout this process, the Obama Administration has aggressively disregarded the constitutional limits on executive power, and Texas, leading a charge of 26 states, has secured an important victory to put a halt to the president’s lawlessness.”
There are others who want an appeal to the Supreme Court against the Court of Appeal’s decision.“The most directly impacted are the five million U.S. citizen children whose parents would be eligible for temporary relief from deportation,” stated Marielena Hincapie of the National Immigration Law Center in a press release.
The Justice Department said that Obama’s action would, “allow DHS 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,” according to Fox News.
The program’s DAPA, created by the administration, would enable about 4.3 million otherwise removable undocumented immigrants to be eligible for work authorization and associated benefits, and DACA, expanded by the administration, would allow non-citizens who were brought here as children to apply for work authorization and protection from deportation for three years, according to CNN.