The exceedingly conservative 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled against an Obama administration plan that would have allowed millions of undocumented families to remain in the country. On Monday night, the 5th agreed with a lower court, ruling that the immigration plan couldn’t be enforced while 26 states are busy suing the federal government over it.
What we’re talking about is actually two immigration plans: Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA), and Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The president announced both in November of last year; DAPA is designed are designed to allow law-abiding undocumented parents of American citizens to stay in the country for an indefinite amount of time, provided they have committed no crimes for the previous five years. DACA lets people who entered the country before their 16th birthday and before June 2007 apply for a two-year work permit and also exempts them from deportation.
Twenty-six states with Republican governors are suing the Obama administration, arguing DACA and DAPA exceed federal authority. The 5th Circuit, the federal appellate court based in New Orleans, best known for their work rubber-stamping every restrictive abortion law ever, ruled Monday night that the disgruntled states are likely to succeed at trial. They ruled 2-1 that a lower court didn’t overstep its bounds by putting an injunction on the enforcement of the immigration plans.
In other words, they’re blocked from taking effect until the lawsuit is resolved. The Department of Justice said Tuesday that they will immediately ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case, which could be heard as soon as this coming year.
That’s cold comfort to the people who will once again have to constantly fear deportation while doing things like trying to get a pap smear. But the Republican states, naturally, are very pleased: Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issued a preening press release last night congratulating himself and Governor Greg Abbott for challenging the president: “Texas, leading a charge of 26 states, has secured an important victory to put a halt to the president’s lawlessness.”
Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., right, speaks with Lenka Mendoza, of Dumfries, Va., who is originally from Peru and has two children who qualified for DACA, during a rally in support of executive action addressing immigration reform, Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014, in front of the White House. Mendoza fasted for 17 days to call attention to immigration reform. Photo via AP Images