• US judge blocks order to defer deportations

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    TEXAS: A federal judge in Texas has issued a preliminary injunction blocking President Barack Obama’s program that would defer deportation for up to 5 million people living in the United States illegally.

    Federal immigration officials have been temporarily barred from implementing “any and all aspects” of the deferred action program that Obama announced in November, according to an order issued Monday (Tuesday in Manila) by US District Judge Andrew Hanen of the Southern District of Texas.

    Hanen wrote that he issued the preliminary injunction “due to the failure of [the government]to comply with the Administrative Procedure Act.”

    The order applies to both the deferred action plan for parents of lawful permanent residents, also known as DAPA, and expansions to the deferred action for childhood arrivals, known as DACA, announced in November.

    Texas and 16 other states sued the federal government and immigration agencies in December, claiming Obama’s order was unconstitutional. Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas, then the state’s attorney general, called Obama’s immigration program “an executive decree that requires federal agencies to award legal benefits to individuals whose conduct contradicts the priorities of Congress.”

    In a statement after the injunction was issued, Abbott said the decision “rightly stops the president’s overreach in its tracks.”

    “We live in a nation governed by a system of checks and balances, and the president’s attempt to bypass the will of the American people was successfully checked today,” Abbott said.

    According to Hanen’s order, the Obama administration could challenge the injunction “for good cause,” if, for instance, Congress passed legislation authorizing the deferred action program.

    TNS

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