United States President Barack Obama’s administration once again tried to convince the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans to allow executive orders to take affect that would defer the deportation of roughly 5 million undocumented immigrants. US District Court Judge Andrew Hanen had blocked the actions via a preliminary injunction handed down on February 16. Obama administration later failed to get the injunction removed on May 26 this year.
Obama’s administration lawyers told the three panel of federal judges on Friday that immigration is federal realm and states can not block it. Benjamin C. Mizer, principal deputy assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Civil Division said, “Texas believes it can hail the federal government into court and prevent it from making changes to immigration policy.” “When the states operate in the realm of immigration policy, they are operating in a realm that is exclusively a federal one,” Mizer argued.
Benjamin Mizer further argued, “We understand that the states feel the impact of federal immigration policy, particularly on the border,” he said, “but that doesn’t mean they can block it.”
Texas Solicitor General Scott Keller, however, countered that that argument and said, “We are not trying to block federal statutes. Quite the contrary, we are trying to get the executive to abide by congressional statutes.”
President Obama expanded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programme, through executive orders creating a new programme, Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA), allowing allow some immigrants who are parents of US citizens and lawful permanent residents to apply for work permits and a reprieve from deportation.
If Obama is unable to get the executive order unblocked, the legal battle will then go to the Supreme Court for a lengthy litigation process to obtain a ruling. It is unlikely that DAPA will become effective before the end of Obama’s term in White House next year.
Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) was created after Congress did not approve the Comprehensive Immigration Reforms Bill.