Tags: Immigration | Obama | amnesty | Texas | Andrew Hanen

NYT: Obama Set to Challenge Judge's Order Halting Amnesty

Image: NYT: Obama Set to Challenge Judge's Order Halting Amnesty
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Thursday, 19 Feb 2015 09:55 AM

The White House is mulling over how to challenge a federal judge's ruling blocking President Barack Obama's executive order giving amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants, according to The New York Times.

A leading administration official said that the Department of Justice has not yet decided whether to apply for an emergency court order to allow the president's immigration directives to become law during an appeal process.

But a Justice spokeswoman vowed that the agency would fight any and all challenges to the president's executive actions, reported the newspaper, which noted that, whatever the outcome in court, Obama's immigration policy now faced "months of delay."

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said the administration's legal team was studying its options and planned to decide within days how it would counter the 123-page ruling by U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen in Brownsville, Texas.

The order, issued on Monday, temporarily halts Obama's unilateral actions, which would make nearly 5 million undocumented immigrants eligible for three-year deportation delays as well as stays and work permits.

The president's immigration directives, which have been scorned by Republicans, are mostly aimed at immigrants who've been in the country five years and have children who are citizens born in the U.S. or are legal permanent residents.

The application forms for the first phase of Obama's order were due to go out this week, allowing up to 300,000 immigrants who came here illegally as children to seek amnesty under a recent expansion of Obama's 2012 program aimed at younger immigrants known as Dreamers.

As the clock counts down on Obama's presidency, the legacy of his landmark immigration policy hangs in the balance, with legal pundits saying that both sides of the controversial case have merits.

"I think it's a significant threat," said David Bernstein, a law professor at George Mason University. "My guess is that this reflects some real concern that's out there."

He was specifically referring to Judge Hanen's comment in his ruling that Obama had failed to properly seek public comment before launching his amnesty program, according to the Times.

Hanen said the president had likely violated the Administrative Procedure Act, which has various steps that must be completed in full before changes in federal agencies' policies can go into effect.

But Eric Posner, a law professor at the University of Chicago, said Hanen's argument was basically "trivial," while noting, however, that "in practice, notice-and-comment rule-making can take years."

Walter Dellinger, a former acting solicitor general in the Clinton administration, also said that there are serious flaws in Hanen's opinion, the Times reported.

"He barely mentions the fact that Congress has directed the (Department of Homeland Security) to set priorities for immigration enforcement," Dellinger said.

But other legal scholars maintained that the ruling was strong enough to give the administration plenty of concern.

"I have always thought that the administration and their supporters were greatly underestimating the likelihood that this would all get struck down in court," said Michael McConnell, a law professor at Stanford University.

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The White House is mulling over how to challenge a federal judge's ruling blocking President Barack Obama's executive order giving amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants, according to The New York Times.
Obama, amnesty, Texas, Andrew Hanen
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2015-55-19
Thursday, 19 Feb 2015 09:55 AM
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