WASHINGTON, DC — A federal judge in Texas has temporarily blocked President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration, which has drawn opposition from 26 states across the nation.
United States District Judge Andrew Hanen ruled late Monday night to block executive actions Obama took late last year to shield as many as 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, which calls for the White House to afford a longer notification and comment period before taking action.
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.”
Attorney General Eric Holder called the ruling just an “interim step” in a legal process that will take some time to play out.
“This is a decision by one federal district court judge,” Holder said Tuesday at the National Press Club, adding that the Justice Department is reviewing the ruling to determine the next step.
Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, whose department would be responsible for implementing the executive orders, said he “strongly” disagrees with the judge’s decision.