Fifth Circuit panel declines to lift immigration executive order injunction



A federal appeals court in New Orleans has denied a request to lift an injunction blocking President Barack Obama’s executive action to protect millions of immigrants from deportation.

In a split decision, two of three judges on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled to leave the injunction in place, finding that Justice Department attorneys had not done enough to disprove that Texas and 25 other states suing the government lack standing.

The Texas-led lawsuit argues that Obama unconstitutionally sidestepped Congress in his November 20 plan on immigration to shield up to 5 million immigrants from deportation. And if his policies are allowed to take effect, attorneys for Texas argued that states would bear the financial burden of investment in health care, education and law enforcement.


“This ruling comes as no surprise,” said prominent immigration attorney David Leopold, and a former national president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. “The 5th Circuit Appeals court is considered by many to be the most conservative in the county and the two judges who refused to lift the stay are among the most conservative judges on the court. The opinion is very narrowly tailored and focused on Texas’ claim that it will incur harm by increased drivers license costs and the states’ APA claims.”

See here and here for the background. Indeed, as noted in that second link, people assumed the fix was in when the three judges were named. The Obama administration can go to the full Court to reconsider, and there’s still the appeal of the original ruling itself, which is a completely separate matter. This ruling means that the injunction stays in place until that appeal is settled. It’s usually a bad sign for the side on the wrong end of the injunction, which is to say the Obama administration. I’m not going to give up hope just yet, though. A statement from the Texas Organizing Project is beneath the fold, and Daily Kos and the Current have more.

The following is a statement from Joaquin Guerra, political director of the Texas Organizing Project, on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision today denying to lift the injunction against implementation of DAPA and expanded DACA.

“This baseless lawsuit led by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott keeps millions of immigrant families living in fear and on the margins, and it robs our state of more than $300 million in tax revenue over the next five years. Today’s court ruling is far from being the final word on the Obama administration’s historic and constitutional executive action.

“We remain confident that President Obama’s executive action will be implemented just like the 2012 DACA, which was ruled constitutional by the Fifth Circuit. Meanwhile, we are continuing to help people get ready to apply for administrative relief. Already we have helped more than 2,000 Texans get informed and ready.

“We’ve found that instead of being discouraged by Gov. Abbott’s lawsuit, Texas’ Latino and immigrant families are more ready than ever to fight back and hold him accountable for his deplorable efforts to continue separating families.”

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