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What happens after federal judge refuses to lift immigration injunction?

Back in February, our blog discussed how a federal judge in Texas issued an injunction spoiling plans to start rolling out programs designed to realize the objectives spelled out in President Obama's historic executive order that would prevent the deportation of as many as five million undocumented immigrants.

The injunction was sought by the Attorneys General of 26 states who successfully argued that the President had exceeded his authority such that the executive order was unconstitutional.

For their part, the Obama Administration filed a motion requesting that the injunction be lifted while an appeal was pursued, arguing that among other things that the 26 states lacked legal standing.

In recent developments, the federal judge refused to lift the injunction in a ruling handed down last Tuesday.

What did the ruling say?

In his ruling, the judge indicated that the President had indeed exceeded his constitutional authority. Furthermore, he held that his actions in the executive order were violative of established administrative procedures and therefore could not be allowed to move forward during the pendency of the litigation.

Simply put, he refused to lift the injunction on the grounds that doing so would result in irreparable harm.

It is worth noting that he also called out Justice Department attorneys for misrepresenting the facts concerning whether any part of the President's executive order had already been implemented.

What happens next?

The Justice Department has filed an appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit requesting that it lift the injunction and allow the immigration programs to roll out. Oral arguments are scheduled for later this week.

Any indication as to how the appeals court might decide the issue?

Legal experts are indicating that the appeals court might actually lift the injunction in light of a decision it made last week concerning a 2012 challenge filed by state officials and immigration agents concerning the President's executive order creating the Dream Act.

Here, the court found the arguments by state officials that allowing undocumented immigrants to remain in the U.S. resulted in considerable expense and the arguments by immigration agents that they were legally unable to detain undocumented immigrants unpersuasive. Specifically, they found that these plaintiffs suffered no harm because of the executive order and therefore lacked the legal standing to challenge it.

Legal experts say that this is significant given that the arguments heretofore made by the 26 AGs in the present matter are very similar to those made by the states and immigration agents.

Stay tuned for updates ...

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