Tags: obama | immigration | fight

Obama Lawyers May Face Favorable Court in Immigration Fight

Friday, 17 April 2015 07:45 AM

Attorneys for President Barack Obama will have a chance on Friday to defend his executive action meant to help undocumented immigrants before a federal appeals court, where they may find a friendlier audience than they have had before.

In a crucial test of Obama's efforts to overhaul immigration law without action from Congress, administration lawyers will ask the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans to temporarily lift an injunction blocking his executive action.

That injunction was issued in February by U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Hanen, of Brownsville, Texas. It halted programs that were unveiled by Obama in November and that promised to shield 4.7 million undocumented immigrants from deportation.

The programs infuriated many Republicans who accused the president of executive overreach and granting amnesty to lawbreakers.

The Fifth Circuit made a decision last week that some lawyers said shows the three-judge panel may be inclined to stay Hanen's injunction. Such a step would let the administration proceed with implementing Obama's landmark immigration action.

On April 7, the Fifth Circuit ruled that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers and the state of Mississippi lacked standing to sue over a separate immigration action issued by Obama in 2012 that allowed immigrants brought to the United States as children to stay.

In its published opinion, the court said it was "purely speculative" that Mississippi had sustained fiscal injury as a result of the 2012 action.

The 26 states, including Texas, that sued over Obama's November 2014 action, leading to Hanen's injunction, made claims like those in Mississippi's case over the 2012 action.

"The court's decision in the Mississippi case definitely signals that Texas and the other states may have a less friendly audience than they did with Hanen," said Michael Kagan, an immigration law professor at University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Still, it was not at all certain the Obama administration would win in the Fifth Circuit, which is known among lawyers as one of the most conservative courts in the country.

Whether or not the judges grant a stay and lift Hanen's injunction, one thing is certain: The case will not end there.

The Fifth Circuit is due to hear a full appeal by mid-2015 to permanently undo Hanen's decision. Both sides may go to the Supreme Court if they do not like the Fifth Circuit outcome.

© 2019 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

   
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Attorneys for President Barack Obama will have a chance on Friday to defend his executive action meant to help undocumented immigrants before a federal appeals court, where they may find a friendlier audience than they have had before. In a crucial test of Obama's efforts...
obama, immigration, fight
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2015-45-17
Friday, 17 April 2015 07:45 AM
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