There were few positive signs for the White House Friday as President Barack Obama’s latest executive actions on immigration were debated in front of a federal appeals court.
During more than two hours of oral arguments before the 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in New Orleans, Obama’s own statements about his immigration moves were used by a Republican-appointed judge to put a Justice Department lawyer on the defensive.
And the sole Democratic appointee on the three-judge panel repeatedly argued for the legality of the president’s actions by turning to an argument that the administration fears could discourage illegal immigrants from applying for programs that offer them quasi-legal status and work permits.
By the time the court session wrapped up, it appeared likely the appeals judges will rule, 2-1, against the administration’s request for a stay of a district court injunction barring Obama from going forward with an expansion of a program offering quasi-legal status to illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children and with a new program offering the same benefits to illegal immigrant parents of U.S. citizens.
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