Legal Experts: Ruling Blocking Immigration Action 'Deeply Flawed'

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A group of 104 legal scholars and immigration law instructors signed a statement calling the Texas judge’s decision that blocked President Barack Obama’s immigration executive action “deeply flawed.”

In their statement provided to NBC News and made public Friday, the group argued that the executive action programs that would have shielded millions from deportation and provided them permission to work “are well within the legal authority of the federal executive.”

Their statement was issued a day after the Department of Justice asked the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to free the programs, known as DACA and DAPA, that were temporarily blocked by U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen.

Some of the points made by the group:

--There is strong legal authority for deferred action in general, and for DACA and DAPA particularly, as forms of deferred action, which is recognized in law as a form of prosecutorial discretion.

--The immigration system has more than 20 forms of prosecutorial discretion used by the Department of Homeland Security.

--Hanen confused deferred action with work authorization. Deferred action has provided for work authorization in the past.

--Hanen is mistaken to suggest a person cannot obtain lawful presence through programs like DACA and DAPA. He wrongfully conflates lawful status and lawful presence.

The statement, not part of the ongoing legal cases, is similar to two others that were signed by some of the same scholars and instructors as the president’s immigration executive actions have been debated.

IN DEPTH

--Suzanne Gamboa

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