ST. GEORGE – One day before hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants were to begin applying for work permits and legal protection, Judge Andrew S. Hansen, of United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, issued an Order of Temporary Injunction Tuesday in the lawsuit joined by 25 states, including Utah, challenging President Obama’s unilateral executive action regarding immigration policy.
The judge said the administration’s programs would impose major burdens on states and strain state budgets, and that the administration had not followed required procedures for changing federal rules.
Attorney General Sean D. Reyes reminded citizens of Utah that the lawsuit is based on a constitutional challenge to the President bypassing Congress and exceeding his executive authority. Additionally, to the extent he had any rule making authority, the lawsuit addresses how President Obama failed to comply with statutory requirements, which bind his administration.
Reyes said in a press statement issued Tuesday:
The President exceeded his constitutional authority, plain and simple, and the states brought suit so their representatives in Congress could debate and pass much needed immigration reform. It is clear that the District Court understands that this multiple state action is not about immigration policy, but about the rule of law. We believe Judge Hanen is correct in granting the injunction due to failure of the Defendants to comply with the Administrative Procedure Act. Our purpose is not to frustrate debate and action on immigration issues. To the contrary, we are urging our congressional delegation to pass laws related to immigration.
Let me say this again. We did not join this lawsuit to address immigration policy. Whether you agree or disagree with some, all or none of the President’s proposal is not the point. The process of how President Obama overstepped his legal authority is what is being challenged. Regardless of how you feel about the policy, it does not justify implementation in an unconstitutional manner. We are encouraged that the courts are reviewing this action and that this temporary injunction has been ordered.
The Texas-led coalition of states in the legal challenge are 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, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
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