Obama Administration Seeks To Put Judge's Immigration Ruling On Hold

By Jude Joffe-Block
February 23, 2015

PHOENIX - The Obama administration has taken the first steps in its efforts to reverse a Texas judge’s ruling that blocked the president’s executive actions on immigration.

The administration is both appealing the decision and asking the judge to put his ruling on hold during that appeal.

Last week, U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Hanen in Brownsville ruled in favor of Texas and 25 other states, including Arizona, that sued the Obama administration over its programs that would grant work permits to more than 4 million immigrants who are in the country illegally.

The Attorneys General of the District of Columbia and 12 states, including California and New Mexico, filed an amicus brief in support of the president's immigration actions. 

The programs were announced in November. One would have expanded the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program to grant work permits and a reprieve from deportation to a larger number of immigrants who came to this country illegally as children. Another would grant the same benefits to immigrants here without papers who are the parents of U.S. citizen children.

Hanen’s ruling on Feb. 16 temporarily blocked the programs from taking effect. That meant that the expanded DACA program did not begin accepting applications on Feb. 18 as planned.

The Obama administration appealed Hanen's ruling to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday.

Separately, the federal government is asking Hanen to allow the immigration programs to take effect while the case is appealed.

In a brief filed Monday, the Obama administration argued Hanen should at least restrict his ruling just to Texas and allow the programs to proceed in other states or, at a minimum, in the states that did not join the lawsuit.

Many experts belief this matter could wind up at the U.S. Supreme Court.