Texas Federal Judge Andrew Hanen issued a temporary injunction halting the Executive Amnesty program announced last year by President Barack Obama. Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton responded to the late night decision by the judge.
The ruling came in response to a lawsuit filed on December 3rd, 2014, by then Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott (now Governor Abbott) on behalf of the State of Texas. At the time of the filing, Texas was joined by sixteen other states. That number has increased to twenty-six states, more than half of the country.
In the ruling (attached below), Judge Hanen wrote, “The ultimate question before the Court is: Do the laws of the United States, including the Constitution, give the Secretary of Homeland Security (DHS) the power to take the action at issue in this case?” The judge laid out three issues to answer in this ruling: “(1) whether the States have standing to bring this case; (2) whether the DHS has the necessary discretion to institute the DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents) program; and (3) whether the DAPA program is constitutional, comports with existing laws, and was legally adopted.”
The Judge ruled that “at least one plaintiff has satisfied all the necessary elements to maintain a lawsuit and to obtain a temporary injunction.” This means that, not only can the lawsuit continue, but the judge has ordered that the President or the Secretary of Homeland Security cannot take action on the DAPA program.
“The United States of America, its departments, agencies, officers, agents and employees and Jeh Johnson, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security; R. Gil Kerlikowske, commissioner of United States customs and Border Protection; Ronald D. Vitiello, deputy chief of United States Border Patrol, United States Customs and Border Protection; Thomas S. Winkowski, acting director of United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement; and Leon Rodriguez, director of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services are hereby enjoined from implementing any and all aspects or phases of the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents,” the injunction read.
Governor Abbott responded to the ruling handed down late Monday night. “President Obama abdicated his responsibility to uphold the United States Constitution when he attempted to circumvent the laws passed by Congress via executive fiat, and Judge Hanen’s decision rightly stops the President’s overreach in its tracks,” Abbott wrote in a press release obtained by Breitbart Texas. ‘We live in a nation governed by a system of checks and balances, and the President’s attempt to by-pass the will of the American people was successfully checked today. The District Court’s ruling is very clear — it prevents the President from implementing the policies in ‘any and all aspects.’”
Attorney General Paxton also responded to the injunction stating, “This decision is a victory for the rule of law in America and a crucial first step in reining in President Obama’s lawlessness. The President’s action, both unilateral and unconstitutional, was an affront to everyone pursuing a life of freedom and opportunity in America the right way. This injunction makes it clear that the President is not a law unto himself, and must work with our elected leaders in Congress and satisfy the courts in a fashion our Founding Fathers envisioned.”
The other states joining Texas in the lawsuit are: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin.