Judge refuses to lift immigration reform injunction

Immigration reformOn Tuesday the federal judge who slapped an injunction on President Obama’s executive action on immigration reform refused to rescind his order after a request from the White House.US District Judge Andrew Hanen said that the order, which would protect almost five million undocumented immigrants from the threat of deportation, would remain under the injunction he placed on February 16th.

Officials from Texas and 25 other states went to court to try to prevent the president’s immigration reform going ahead, saying that Obama was overreaching his authority and breaching the Constitution. The matter has already been appealed to the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals by the Justice Department, with oral arguments set to commence at the end of next week.

Judge Hanen declared that he was still convinced that his decision in February was the correct one. In a separate ruling, also on Tuesday, Hanen ruled that the states were allowed to begin discovery into another of their claims: that the Obama administration began implementing some aspects of its immigration program improperly late last year, despite allegedly promising the judge that that would not happen. Ken Patton, the attorney general of Texas, says that once the president’s program begins, it will be “virtually impossible to reverse”.

“We emphatically disagree with the district court’s order regarding the government’s statements,” declared Emily Pierce, a spokeswoman for the Justice Department. “We will continue to pursue the appeal of the district court’s injunction in the 5th Circuit.”