November 10, 2015 - 12:52 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - President Barack Obama's plan to protect from deportation an estimated 5 million people living in the United States illegally suffered another setback Monday, November 9, in a ruling from a New Orleans-based federal appeals court, the Associated Press reports.
In a 2-1 decision, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a Texas-based federal judge's injunction blocking the administration's immigration initiative.
Republicans had criticized the plan as an illegal executive overreach when Obama announced it last November. Twenty-six states challenged the plan in court.
The administration argued that the executive branch was within its rights in deciding to defer deportation of selected groups of immigrants, including children who were brought to the U.S. illegally.
The ruling further dims prospects of implementation of the executive action before Obama leaves office in 2017. Appeals over the injunction could take months and, depending on how the case unfolds, it could go back to the Texas federal court for more proceedings.
The administration could ask for a re-hearing by the full 5th Circuit but the National Immigration Law Center, and advocacy group, urged an immediate Supreme Court appeal.
Justice Department spokesman Patrick Rodenbush said in a statement they were reviewing the opinion to determine how best to proceed.
Part of the initiative included expansion of a program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, protecting young immigrants from deportation if they were brought to the U.S. illegally as children. The other major part, Deferred Action for Parents of Americans, would extend deportation protections to parents of U.S. citizens and permanent residents who have been in the country for years.