Judge Halts Obama's Immigration Order

Feb 16, 2015

President Barack Obama speaking in Austin on Thursday, May 9, 2013.
Credit Tamir Kalifa/Texas Tribune

Editor's note: read Judge Andrew Hanen's ruling in three parts here, here and here.

Gov. Greg Abbott hailed a federal judge's decision Monday to halt President Obama’s executive action on immigration — a decision that gave the state of Texas an initial victory in its battle against what state leaders call federal overreach.

U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen ruled that the Obama administration did not "comply with the Administrative Procedure Act" when the executive action was announced in November. The policy seeks to give as many as 5 million undocumented immigrants — including some 1.46 million in Texas, a work permit and temporary relief from deportation.

Abbott, the state's former attorney general, filed the lawsuit in December before being sworn in as governor. He accused the president of violating several provisions of the U.S. Constitution, including one that gives Congress jurisdiction over immigration laws. Abbott also argued that Texas would be irreparably harmed by the action. He cited as proof last summer’s surge of undocumented immigrants from Central America who entered Texas illegally through the Rio Grande Valley.

"President Obama abdicated his responsibility to uphold the United States Constitution when he attempted to circumvent the laws passed by Congress via executive fiat," Abbott said in a statement, "and Judge Hanen’s decision rightly stops the President’s overreach in its tracks."

Attorneys for the federal government will probably file an appeal.