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Feds Appeal To End Judge's Block On Deportation Protections

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The federal government asked the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals Thursday to end a Texas judge's temporary block on programs that would shield millions of immigrants from deportation.

The Department of Justice said the temporary injunction ordered by federal Judge Edward Hanen on Feb. 17 in a lawsuit filed by Texas and joined by several states is unprecedented and wrong.

The order stopped programs authorized by President Barack Obama that would grant deportation deferrals and work permits to millions of immigrants illegally here.

"The court should stay the injunction in its entirety, or at the very least, stay it with respect to implementation in states other than Texas, or states that are not parties to this suit," the government said.

The federal government argues in its filing that the Constitution does not entitle states to intrude in the "uniquely federal domain" of immigration enforcement. "Yet the district court has taken the extraordinary step of allowing a state to override the United States' exercise of its enforcement discretion in the immigration laws," the federal government argues.

DHS also argued that the court's injunction was "overbroad" because the judge kept the department from implementing the programs, known as DACA and DAPA, nationwide. States that unopposed to the programs have not been able to move forward with them.

The federal government had asked Hanen to respond by this past Monday to its request that he do away with the preliminary injunction, but Hanen did not take action.


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--Suzanne Gamboa