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Immigration Reform Takes a Big Hit in Court

May 26, 2015

People standing in a row holding up papersOn Tuesday, May 26th, a United States federal appeals court upheld an injunction preventing President Obama’s proposed immigration programs from going into effect. The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 that the order must stay in place. Immigration reform was expected to be a key aspect of Obama’s second Presidential term, but the ruling makes it likely the reform will not begin, if it happens at all, until after he leaves office.

After Congress failed to pass an immigration bill, President Obama ordered the implementation of a new program that would allow parents of U.S. citizens or legal resident children to apply for temporary deportation relief and work permits. President Obama also announced the expansion of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals); a program which grants work permits to immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children. The President’s executive actions would shield an estimated 5 million immigrants from deportation

Shortly after the program was announced, a hold was placed on the programs after Texas and 25 other states filed a lawsuit challenging the President’s actions. The legal challenge claims the President’s action was unconstitutional and exceeded his constitutional authority. The White House said the action was essential to fix a “broken immigration system”.

The latest decision keeps immigration plans on hold while the states’ legal challenge proceeds. It is not clear yet whether the Obama administration will appeal. The Justice Department is now evaluating its next steps. Foley Law Offices fully supports the President’s plan and would still like to see comprehensive immigration reform. The President’s executive action offers an avenue of relief and gives individuals an opportunity to work legally, earn a legal wage and contribute to the United States by paying taxes.

Foley Law Offices is closely following the situation and remains hopeful the federal court will offer a path for many of our clients to live and work in the U.S. If you have questions or concerns about your immigration situation, call Foley Law Offices and speak with an immigration attorney.