Obama’s executive action faces federal court

Wooden gavel from the court on white backgroundArguments are set to be heard in a federal court today regarding the executive action on immigration reform taken by President Obama in November last year. The-two hour hearing, which is being held in New Orleans, will not be about whether the president’s actions were constitutional; instead, it will be about whether the injunction slapped on his deferred action programs by a federal judge in February should be put aside.

26 states, led by Texas and including Arizona, brought a lawsuit against the immigration reform executive action, claiming that it is against the Constitution and will only result in further illegal immigration. The day prior to the new deferred action program being implemented, which would have granted millions of undocumented immigrants work permits and protection from deportation, Judge Andrew Hanen slapped an injunction on the program going ahead in response to the states’ lawsuit. He later rejected a request from the Justice Department for an emergency stay, which would have allowed the program to proceed until a final decision had been made.

This request will be heard by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals today and no one seems sure which way the court will rule. In Arizona alone the president’s action, if allowed, could protect as many as 135,000 undocumented immigrants from the threat of deportation. This is around 45% of the total number of such immigrants currently living in Arizona, according to the Pew Research Center.