The Obama administration is caught up in a tangle of lawsuits that should decide the fate of the President’s sweeping executive actions on immigration. So far this week, the administration has received both good and bad news.
On Tuesday Texas District Court Judge Andrew Hanen, responding to a motion by government attorneys to reconsider the injunction that is temporarily halting the President’s executive orders, therebye allowing the immigration measures to move forward.
As anticipated, the judge’s response was to reaffirm the injunction. Judge Hanen has made many statements to the press indicating that he is infuriated with the administration’s failure to inform him, that DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) programs had already extended work authorization to 3 years from the prior 2 years.
The judge maintained his previous decision to enjoin ( temporarily freeze Obama’s immigration executive actions.) Obama’s executive order announced this past November. The Order would provide temporary legal status and protection from deportation to as many as 5 million undocumented immigrants. Following the Judge’s denial of the motion to reconsider, the case now heads to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, for arguments next week.
In what seems to be an improbable coincidence, the same 5th Circuit court, on the same day, issued a ruling on another immigration executive order case. This decision concerned Obama’s first executive action on immigration, announced in 2012 called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Certain people who came to the United States as children and meet several guidelines may request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal. They are also eligible for work authorization. The conservative-leaning bench dismissed an objection to DACA because it found that the state of Mississippi, which brought the lawsuit did not have the legal standing to sue the federal government.
This decision indicates that the Obama administration may yet be successful in continuing with the executive orders of 2014.
In a lengthy decision, Judge W. Eugene Davis opined that neither the agents nor Mississippi “demonstrated the concrete and particularized injury required to give them standing to maintain this suit.”
This case is important for a many reasons. The latest group of executive orders currently under attack in the federal courts were shaped by the 2012 DACA program. DACA has endured other legal contests in the courts. The administration is hopeful that a similar decision will be reached next week. Legal experts, throughout the United States, are of the opinion that due to the reason that Mississippi was defeated as an excellent sign for the president’s immigration measures. In this case, Mississippi argued similarly to Texas, that that the state would suffer considerable costs directly associated with the execution of DACA. The Court did not agree and found Mississippi without standing.