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Obama Administration Appeals Executive Amnesty Hold, Files Brief To Fifth Circuit

The Obama administration filed its legal brief with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. It’s seeking to overturn a federal judge’s hold on President Obama’s executive amnesty.

Twenty-six states have challenged Obama’s executive amnesty in court. U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Hanen of Brownsville, Texas blocked the executive actions in February.

The Justice Department is appealing his decision to the higher court, by filing a 69-page brief ahead of next month’s court hearing.

In its brief the Obama administration argues that the judge’s hold harms the government and “the public interest by disrupting the Secretary’s comprehensive effort to most effectively marshal the agency’s limited resources to protect national security, public safety, and border security, while deferring low-priority removals of aliens that would impose undue humanitarian costs.” The government adds that the states “will suffer no cognizable harm if the injunction is lifted.”

The brief further argues that the government has the authority of prosecutorial discretion and claims the states lacked standing to challenge the actions in the first place. It notes as well that the government thinks the injunction is too broad, covering states that aren’t participating in the challenge.

“Absent a finding that any State other than Texas would suffer any identifiable financial injury, the scope of the injunction should be confined to Texas. Failing that, the injunction should not extend beyond the plaintiff States,” the brief reads.

The states in the matter have argued that Obama’s executive amnesty is unconstitutional and would impose a financial burden on the plaintiffs.

“The rule of law is at the very heart of our case against President Obama’s lawless immigration action,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who is leading the 26-states’ court challenge, said last week after the court set a date for oral arguments. “We are a nation of laws, and we are proud to lead a bipartisan coalition of 26 states fighting this Administration’s unilateral and unconstitutional use of executive power.”

Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia, and Wisconsin are joining Texas in the challenge to executive amnesty.

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