Obama to Seek Emergency Court Order to Resume Illegal Immigrant Protection Program

| Feb 21, 2015 03:41 PM EST

The White House will seek an emergency court order to allow President Obama's executive immigration actions to move forward, officials said Friday.

The announcement is in response to a ruling issued Monday by a federal judge that stopped the government from issuing work permits and indefinitely shielding millions of illegal immigrants from deportation.

Department of Justice officials plan to file for an emergency stay that would undo the Texas-based judge's injunction. White House press secretary Josh Earnest said the department will file the request by "Monday at the latest," reported The Hill.

"We will seek that appeal because we believe when you evaluate the legal merits of the arguments, that there is a solid legal foundation for the president to take the steps he announced last year to help reform our immigration system," Earnest said.

Texas, along with 25 other states, filed a lawsuit claiming that Obama's immigration actions were an abuse of executive action that would leave the states with significant financial burdens.

Judge Andrew S. Hanen of Federal District Court for the Southern District of Texas agreed, saying that the administration's programs could indeed impose major burdens on the states and result in strained budgets, reported The New York Times.

While Hanen hasn't yet ruled on the legitimacy of the states' complaints, he said that their case is significant enough to place the president's immigration programs on hold until the legal challenges are resolved.

The ruling came just one day before hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens were to start applying for work permits and legal protections, leaving the administration with no choice but to postpone its efforts.

According to Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, putting an end to overreaching executive actions "isn't about Republicans or Democrats; it's about respecting and restoring the rule of law."

"This is why it's even more important that Senate Democrats stop playing politics with the Constitution and stop blocking House legislation that would halt the president's executive overreach," Smith said, reported The Hill.

In response to the administration's request for an emergency stay, Smith said it's "no surprise that the most partisan and imposing Department of Justice of our time would rush to defend the president's lawless actions."

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