Court may ultimately decide fate of Obama’s executive actions

Congress continues to debate President Barack Obama’s executive actions that seek to protect millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation, but the fate of the president’s actions may ultimately rest in the hands of a federal court in Texas. U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen, who was appointed by then-President George W. Bush in 2002, was scheduled to hear oral arguments in Brownsville, Texas, on Thursday in a case that will decide whether Obama exceeded his legal authority when he issued a series of executive actions on immigration in November. This comes a day after House Republicans approved measures to block funding for Obama’s executive actions and to essentially end a 2012 deferred action program for undocumented youth. Attorneys representing the 25 states that filed the lawsuit against Obama’s executive actions say the president overstepped his legal authority when he bypassed Congress and acted alone on immigration. More specifically, they say Obama’s move “tramples” the Constitution’s Take Care Clause that mandates the president to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” “This lawsuit is not about immigration,” the sates argue in their lawsuit. “It is about the rule of law, presidential power, and the structural limits of the U.S. Constitution.” SEE ALSO: List of states suing Obama over his immigration actions grows Meanwhile, White House officials argue that Obama acted within the confines of his authority to try to reform as much of the nation’s broken immigration system as he possibly could. Cecilia Muñoz, the White House domestic policy director, repeated that message Wednesday during a conference call with reporters. “This administration is going to continue to implement the executive actions because the president believes they are not only well within his legal authority, but they are the right way to fix what he can fix of our broken immigration system,” Muñoz said. Obama’s actions would shield up to 5 million undocumented immigrants—including parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents—from deportation. It would also expand the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that allows undocumented youth to stay and work in the United States. Marielena Hincapie, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, said she is confident that the federal court in Texas will ultimately determine that Obama’s executive actions on immigration are “legally sound.” She also spoke in a conference call with reporters Thursday about the role the court will have in deciding the fate of Obama’s actions. “The impact is tremendous,” she said. “This means that a court—in this case the Brownsville, Texas, judge—will have the power to decide at least temporarily whether to block the program from going forward or not.” SEE ALSO: House votes to block Obama’s executive actions, end DACA Joining Hincapie in the conference call were several immigration supporters, including Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas who revealed he’s undocumented in a New York Times Magazine article in 2011. He said Obama’s executive actions would allow him to reunite with his mother in the Philippines for the first time in two decades. Salt Lake City Police Chief Chris Burbank told reporters that Obama’s executive actions would help improve public safety by allowing undocumented immigrants to come out of the shadows and report crimes without fear of deportation. “When criminals know that their victims are afraid or unwilling to cooperate with the police, then they enjoy that. And, in fact, crime thrives,” he said. Meanwhile, Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.) said Thursday’s hearing in Texas was “the latest attack” by opponents in their efforts to block Obama’s executive actions on immigration. “But I’m here to say that no matter the result today, they will not be successful,” she said. Former Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, who’s now a member of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, also joined the call. She cited a study by researchers at UCLA’s North American Integration and Development Center that found Obama’s executive actions on immigration would lead to an increase in tax revenues and jobs in California. “Clearly, bringing hardworking and honest undocumented immigrants and their families out of the shadows is the right thing to do because of the values and principles of our country,” Solis said. “It’s also highly beneficial for the national and local economy.” SEE ALSO: White House issues veto threat on DHS funding billThe post Court may ultimately decide fate of Obama’s executive actions appeared first on Voxxi.

A federal judge in Texas was set to hear oral arguments Thursday over a lawsuit challenging President Obama’s executive actions on immigration. (Shutterstock photo/Alex Staroseltsev)

Congress continues to debate President Barack Obama’s executive actions that seek to protect millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation, but the fate of the president’s actions may ultimately rest in the hands of a federal court in Texas.

U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen, who was appointed by then-President George W. Bush in 2002, was scheduled to hear oral arguments in Brownsville, Texas, on Thursday in a case that will decide whether Obama exceeded his legal authority when he issued a series of executive actions on immigration in November. This comes a day after House Republicans approved measures to block funding for Obama’s executive actions and to essentially end a 2012 deferred action program for undocumented youth.

Attorneys representing the 25 states that filed the lawsuit against Obama’s executive actions say the president overstepped his legal authority when he bypassed Congress and acted alone on immigration. More specifically, they say Obama’s move “tramples” the Constitution’s Take Care Clause that mandates the president to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.”

“This lawsuit is not about immigration,” the sates argue in their lawsuit. “It is about the rule of law, presidential power, and the structural limits of the U.S. Constitution.”

SEE ALSO: List of states suing Obama over his immigration actions grows

Meanwhile, White House officials argue that Obama acted within the confines of his authority to try to reform as much of the nation’s broken immigration system as he possibly could. Cecilia Muñoz, the White House domestic policy director, repeated that message Wednesday during a conference call with reporters.

“This administration is going to continue to implement the executive actions because the president believes they are not only well within his legal authority, but they are the right way to fix what he can fix of our broken immigration system,” Muñoz said.

Obama’s actions would shield up to 5 million undocumented immigrants—including parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents—from deportation. It would also expand the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that allows undocumented youth to stay and work in the United States.

Marielena Hincapie, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, said she is confident that the federal court in Texas will ultimately determine that Obama’s executive actions on immigration are “legally sound.” She also spoke in a conference call with reporters Thursday about the role the court will have in deciding the fate of Obama’s actions.

“The impact is tremendous,” she said. “This means that a court—in this case the Brownsville, Texas, judge—will have the power to decide at least temporarily whether to block the program from going forward or not.”

SEE ALSO: House votes to block Obama’s executive actions, end DACA

Joining Hincapie in the conference call were several immigration supporters, including Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas who revealed he’s undocumented in a New York Times Magazine article in 2011. He said Obama’s executive actions would allow him to reunite with his mother in the Philippines for the first time in two decades.

Salt Lake City Police Chief Chris Burbank told reporters that Obama’s executive actions would help improve public safety by allowing undocumented immigrants to come out of the shadows and report crimes without fear of deportation. “When criminals know that their victims are afraid or unwilling to cooperate with the police, then they enjoy that. And, in fact, crime thrives,” he said.

Meanwhile, Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.) said Thursday’s hearing in Texas was “the latest attack” by opponents in their efforts to block Obama’s executive actions on immigration. “But I’m here to say that no matter the result today, they will not be successful,” she said.

Former Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, who’s now a member of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, also joined the call. She cited a study by researchers at UCLA’s North American Integration and Development Center that found Obama’s executive actions on immigration would lead to an increase in tax revenues and jobs in California.

“Clearly, bringing hardworking and honest undocumented immigrants and their families out of the shadows is the right thing to do because of the values and principles of our country,” Solis said. “It’s also highly beneficial for the national and local economy.”

SEE ALSO: White House issues veto threat on DHS funding bill

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