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Federal Judge Temporarily Blocks Obama's Executive Action On Immigration


In a move cheered by conservatives, a federal judge in Texas has temporarily halted implementation of President Barack Obama's controversial executive action on immigration.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen comes as lawmakers in Washington continue to squabble over a bill linking funding for the Department of Homeland Security to blocking the president's immigration action.

In the ruling, Hanen argued that the Obama administration violated the Administrative Procedure Act, which calls for a more elaborate rulemaking process before taking action.

Hanen subsequently determined that a lawsuit filed by Texas and 25 other states challenging Obama's immigration action can go forward.

The judge said a preliminary injunction was necessary to prevent the action from doing "irreparable harm" to the states while the case moves through the legal process.

Hanen, who was appointed by President George W. Bush, also argued that the immigration action would be "virtually irreversible" once implemented.

A number of Republican lawmakers released statements applauding the ruling, including House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.

"The president said 22 times he did not have the authority to take the very action on immigration he eventually did, so it is no surprise that at least one court has agreed," Boehner said.

He added, "Hopefully, Senate Democrats who claim to oppose this executive overreach will now let the Senate begin debate on a bill to fund the Homeland Security department."

However, a statement from the White House argued that Obama's executive actions on immigration are well within his legal authority.

"Top law enforcement officials, along with state and local leaders across the country, have emphasized that these policies will also benefit the economy and help keep communities safe," the White House said.

The statement added, "The district court's decision wrongly prevents these lawful, commonsense policies from taking effect and the Department of Justice has indicated that it will appeal that decision."

The action Obama unveiled in November would temporarily shield up to 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation, including the parents of U.S. citizens.

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