The decision by a federal judge to block the executive action taken by President Obama with regard to immigration reform has disappointed the immigrant advocates working tirelessly to help implement the program; however, the move by conservative Texas judge Andrew Hanen, who was appointed by Obama’s predecessor George W Bush, has not come as a great surprise.
Hanen has long been a vocal critic of the immigration policies pursued by the Obama administration and late on Monday he ruled that the administration could be sued by plaintiffs over the President’s executive action, thus preventing the program from coming into effect while the case is taking place. Advocates were further infuriated by Hanen’s decision being made just one day before the first part of the president’s plan was due to come into effect.
“We knew that the likelihood of the judge doing what he did was very high – we expected this decision earlier,” admits advocacy organization Mi Familia Vota Education Fund executive director Ben Monterroso. “Unfortunately, he decided to wait until the last minute.” Monterroso added that the late decision is a deliberate “piece of the plan that conservatives have, which is to confuse the community and disappoint them with the aims of people not participating.”
Since Obama’s executive action was announced back in November, advocacy groups have gone out of their way to educate eligible undocumented immigrants on how to submit their applications for the new deferred action programs.