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States to Judge: Keep Blocking Obama's Immigration Action

Attorneys for states opposing President Barack Obama's immigration executive action say there's no emergency need for a judge to reconsider his ruling blocking deportation deferrals for millions of immigrants here illegally.

The Department of Justice asked U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen for a reply by close of business Wednesday asking that he set aside a temporary injunction he ordered to block the deportation deferrals. The Department of Homeland Security had said it could not properly carry out its national security duties and the public would be effected if the deportation deferrals remained blocked while its appeal is pending.

But the states's attorneys have countered that the federal government waited a full week from the judge's ruling - delivered last Monday - to ask him to speed up a decision on whether to grant the "emergency" stay. If the government had any compelling claim that there would be harm from blocking the deferrals, they would have asked have acted earlier, the states said in a court document filed Monday.

The states said they should get the normal 20 days to respond to the federal government's latest request, or at least the same week that it took DOJ to ask for an emergency stay.

The president's executive action last November led to plans to shield from deportation young immigrants who have been in the country illegally since before they were 16 as well as undocumented parents of children who are citizens or legal residents. The executive action would allow them to work under three-year permits. The states that sued have said Obama went beyond his constitutional authority with the programs.

The president penned a statement defending the actions he took and criticizing the GOP for failing to govern responsibly. "I am confident that all the steps I’ve taken on my own to fix our broken immigration system will eventually be implemented," he wrote.

On Monday, a group of mothers tried to confront some of the governors suing to stop the deportation deferrals, while governors were holding their winter meeting at a hotel in Washington, D.C. They were stopped by security.


--Suzanne Gamboa