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U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen's Immigration Ruling Creates Setback for Obama's Reforms

U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen's Immigration Ruling Creates Setback for Obama's Reforms

WASHINGTON, D.C. - United States District Judge Andrew Hanen in Texas has blocked President Barack Obama's executive action on immigration, which has drawn opposition from 26 states across the nation.

Judge Hanen ruled to block Obama's executive actions that protected nearly 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation. In delaying the ruling, Hanen halted Obama's executive action, ruling that the administration had failed to comply with the Administrative Procedure Act. The act calls for the White House to afford a longer notification and comment period before taking action, according to The Wall Street Journal. 

The Obama administration promised to appeal the injunction in the Texas case, which argued that the President overstepped his authority with his executive action. 

Jeh Johnson, Homeland Security SecretaryBut while top officials expressed confidence they would ultimately come out on top in the courts, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said his department, which oversees immigration enforcement, wouldn’t accept applications for the programs while the district-court order is in place, according to CNN. The government was set to begin accepting some applications Wednesday.

The 26 states bringing the suit say the President’s immigration actions would cause an increase in the number of undocumented immigrants, forcing them to incur added costs to provide education, health care and other services, CNN writes. The White House has said the executive action falls within the President’s legal authority, and it said the U.S. Supreme Court and Congress have recognized executive-branch discretion over enforcing immigration laws.

The White House said in a statement early Tuesday that Obama's actions "are well within his legal authority" and that the Justice Department has indicated "that it will appeal that decision."

"The district court's decision wrongly prevents these lawful, commonsense policies from taking effect," the White House said in a statement. "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.”

Barack Obama, President of the United StatesObama said Tuesday he's confident that a Texas court's injunction against his executive order delaying deportations for millions of immigrants will ultimately be overruled, and is preparing to implement the order under that assumption, writes The Wall Street Journal. 

The programs at issue are deferred action programs for undocumented parents of Americans and lawful residents and expansions to the program protecting illegal immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children -- known as DAPA and DACA, respectively. Neither program had gone into effect.

The Texas court decision leaves people who would qualify for the Obama program in legal limbo at a time when immigration-rights groups have been urging people to apply. White House officials said they hope and expect that applications will be vigorous once the program has legal clearance to begin.

Stay tuned to AndNowUKnow for continuing updates on this story.