Texas AG: Obama Amnesty Would Prompt Massive Changes to Immigration Law Without Congressional Approval

AP Photo/Connor Radnovich

With the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals considering arguments Friday, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton reiterated the coalition of 26 states’ arguments against executive amnesty.

“President Obama’s executive amnesty program would prompt some of the most massive changes to national immigration law in history, all without any input from Congress or the American people. Federal lawyers today even acknowledged several times that this action constitutes a ‘significant policy enactment,’” Paxton, whose state of Texas is leading the coalition, said in a statement Friday.

The Fifth Circuit is slated to decide whether to uphold U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Hanen’s February injunction on Obama’s executive amnesty programs — Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) — that were slated to shield up to five million illegal immigrants from deportation and make them eligible for work permits.

“Our system of checks and balances is intended to prevent the very action that this president has taken,” Paxton added Friday. “This lawsuit isn’t about immigration policy – it’s about the rule of law, and we need to leave lawmaking to Congress, which was entrusted, empowered and elected by the people to do just that.”

The administration’s prospects might not be as good it would hope, however. In May, the same panel of justices considering the merits of the larger appeal declined the government’s request for an emergency stay of Hanen’s ruling to allow the programs to move forward.

Earlier in the week, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest nevertheless expressed confidence.

“This will be an argument before the Fifth Circuit on Friday that’s based on the merits of the case,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said earlier this week. “And the administration continues to have a lot of confidence in the power of those legal arguments,” he said.

The 25 states joining Texas in the lawsuit include 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.