President Obama signs documents linked to his executive actions on immigration on Air Force One upon his arrival in Las Vegas, Nov. 21, 2014. Obama’s orders removed the threat of deportation for millions of undocumented immigrants. (Photo: Reuters)

NOTE: U.S. District Judge Hanen is in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, which is the Federal district court with jurisdiction over the southern part of Texas. Appeals from cases brought in the Southern District of Texas are taken to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

(by Neil Munro, The Daily Caller) – On Monday, a federal judge in Texas blocked President Barack Obama’s unilateral and unpopular November plan to award work permits to four million illegal immigrants, starting this week. …

The lawsuit was filed by 26 states, and is expected to be decided by the Supreme Court in 2016.

[The coalition of states, led by Texas and made up of mostly conservative states in the South and Midwest, argues that Obama has violated the “Take Care Clause” of the U.S. Constitution, which they say limits the scope of presidential power. They also say the order will force increased investment in law enforcement, health care and education.

In their request for the injunction, the coalition said it was necessary because it would be “difficult or impossible to undo the President’s lawlessness after the Defendants start granting applications for deferred action.”

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton called the decision a “victory for the rule of law in America” in a statement late Monday. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who as the state’s former attorney general led the state into the lawsuit, said Hanen’s 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,” he continued.

The 123-page judgement ruled that Obama’s November amnesty violated the Administrative Procedure Act by ignoring Congress’s laws.

The amnesty also improperly imposed burdens on the states, ruled Judge Andrew Hanen, of the Federal District Court in Brownsville. “The court finds that the government’s failure to secure the border has exacerbated illegal immigration into this country… [and] the record supports the finding that this lack of enforcement, combined with the country’s high rate of illegal immigration, significantly drains the states’ resources.”

Hanen was nominated in 2002 by then-President George W. Bush.

The injunction is needed, Hanen declared, to stall the amnesty while the lawsuit is debated by various appeals courts.

“The court agrees … any subsequent ruling that finds DAPA* unlawful after it is implemented would result in the states facing the substantially difficult – if not impossible – task of retracting benefits or licenses already provided” to beneficiaries, he wrote. [*DAPA – Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents is the executive action announced by President Obama in November that will begin May 20. It will allow parents of US Citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents to request deferred action and obtain work authorization, so long as they meet certain requirements, including: Have continuously resided in the U.S. since January 1, 2010; are the parent of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident born on or before November 20, 2014; and are not an enforcement priority for removal from the U.S.]

Obama’s executive order is intended to award work permits, tax rebates, Social Security cards, and a quick route to citizenship to four million of the 12 million illegal immigrants in the United States. The process would have helped the four million – and their children and spouses – gain deeper roots in the United States.  The Department of Homeland Security was supposed to begin the amnesty process on Feb. 18.

The decision also blocked Obama’s announced expansion of his 2012 policy of awarding work permits to younger illegal immigrants. So far, Obama’s 2012 amnesty has allowed almost 700,000 illegals to compete against Americans for jobs in a lagging economy.

But the judge’s decision didn’t reverse Obama’s effort to largely end repatriation [deportation] of illegal immigrants. The decision “does not enjoin or impair the [Department of Homeland Security] secretary’s ability to marshal his assets or deploy the resources of the DHS,” wrote the judge. …

[Among those supporting Obama’s executive order is a group of 12 mostly liberal states, including Washington and California, as well as the District of Columbia. They filed a motion with Judge Hanen in support of Obama, arguing the directives will substantially benefit states and will further the public interest. Attorneys General from California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Vermont and the District of Columbia” joined Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson in a “friend of the court” brief.]

Reprinted here from The Daily Caller for educational purposes only.  May not be reproduced on other websites without permission from dailycaller.com.


NOTE TO STUDENTS: This is a controversial issue for many Americans. Be polite to those with whom you disagree when discussing these types of issues and always give the other person a chance to explain his/her point of view. Also, learn how to recognize when it is no longer productive to discuss an issue on which you strongly disagree.

1. The first paragraph of a news article should answer the questions who, what, where and when. List the who, what, where and when of this news item. (NOTE: The remainder of a news article provides details on the why and/or how.)

2. Who filed the lawsuit challenging President Obama’s executive action granting amnesty? Be specific.

3. a) How did the judge rule?
b) How did he explain his ruling? Be specific.

4. What is President Obama’s November 2014 executive action intended to do?

5. a) List the 12 states that filed a friend of the court brief in support of President Obama’s executive action.
b) Which side does your state support?
c) Ask a parent: do you agree with our state attorney general? Why or why not?

6. Consider Judge Hanen’s reason for his ruling. Does his ruling make sense to you? Explain your answer.


The lawsuit was filed in 2014 by state attorneys general and governors challenging the constitutionality of President Obama’s executive amnesty. After filing the federal suit, Texas Attorney General and Governor-elect Greg Abbott wrote in a statement that President Obama’s executive amnesty “tramples the U.S. Constitution’s Take Care Clause and federal law.”

Also included in Attorney General Abbott’s statement were the states’ legal challenges to President Obama’s executive action:

  • The executive action on immigration conflicts with the President’s constitutional duty to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” The Take Care Clause limits the scope of presidential power and ensures that the chief executive will uphold and enforce Congress’s laws – not unilaterally rewrite them under the cover of “prosecutorial discretion.”
  • The DHS Directive failed to comply with the Administrative Procedure Act’s required notice and comment rulemaking process before providing that legal benefits like federal work permits, Medicare, and Social Security be awarded to individuals who are openly violating immigration laws.
  • The executive action to dispense with federal immigration law will exacerbate the humanitarian crisis along the southern border, which will affect increased state investment in law enforcement, health care and education.

The other states involved in the suit include: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Arizona joined the lawsuit. In a statement, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer said, “President Obama has exceeded his power as clearly defined in the United States Constitution and federal law and deliberately ignored the will of the American people. Such federal overreach cannot stand.”

Florida joined the lawsuit. In a statement, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi said, “The President repeatedly said he would not violate the law, then decided to do just that. The powers granted to the President are expressly laid out in the United States Constitution, yet President Obama has decided to ignore those parameters.”

As of January 26, Nevada has joined the suit, bringing the total number of states to 26. “Our immigration system is broken and clearly needs to be fixed,” said Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt, who vowed to fight the president’s executive action shortly after it was announced in November. “The solution must be a permanent, legal result that includes, not ignores, the other branches of government and their constitutional roles.”

Since 2009, existing immigration laws and Obama’s decisions have added roughly 11 million foreign workers to the U.S. labor force, despite stalled wages and high unemployment.

In November 2014, one in every five U.S. jobs was held by a foreign-born worker, up from one-in-six jobs in January 2010, according to federal data highlighted by the Center for Immigration Studies.

Each year, four million young Americans begin competing for jobs against at least 10 million unemployed Americans, two million annual new immigrants, and a resident pool of roughly two million guest workers. (from the article above)


Read the Nov. 2014 article on President Obama’s executive order to implement amnesty:

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