The state of Texas argued in a court document that President Barack Obama admitted the law doesn't allow going ahead with deportation deferrals during an hourlong immigration town hall last week.
"What we've done is we've expanded my authorities," was among the comments cited by Texas' attorney general and other states' attorneys general in a document filed Tuesday to persuade a federal judge to continue blocking Obama's immigration executive action.
"The president himself recognized that the laws on the books do not authorize his program," the document states.
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Texas was joined by 25 states in suing the federal government after Obama announced executive actions being taken to shield from deportation about 4 million immigrants. Also in that action, the administration revised its deportation policies that assign priorities to immigrants for deportation.
The Department of Homeland Security asked that the judge unblock the programs. The document filed Tuesday was the state's counterargument to the request
The states said stopping the programs known as DACA and DAPA does not prevent the federal government from determining which immigrants here illegally are priorities for removal.
Texas further argued that the president cannot claim a crisis on the basis of his frustration with Congress for failing to pass an immigration reform bill. "Congress' choice not to enact this sweeping, new immigration reform implicitly rejects the notion that an emergency need exists," the state contends.
The states have argued the president violated the Constitution in granting the deportation deferrals.
U.S. District Judge Edward Hanen issued a preliminary injunction last month stopping the administration a day before it was going to start taking the first set of applications for the deportation program for young immigrants, often referred to as Dreamers.
He decided that the government should have written rules for the programs and collected public comment before starting them. He did not rule on whether Obama violated the Constitution.