Federal Judge Andrew S. Hanen issued an order Monday to halt President Barack Obama’s Executive Amnesty suspending deportation proceedings against more than 5.5 million illegal aliens living in the United States.
Judge Hanen, appointed to the federal bench by President George W. Bush for the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, sided with a coalition of 26 states to block implementation of President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration while a coalition lawsuit filed by the states works its way through the federal courts.
Governor Greg Abbott (R-TX) one of the leading states in the lawsuit released a statement saying:
“President Obama abdicated his responsibility to uphold the United States Constitution when he attempted to circumvent the laws passed by Congress via executive fiat, and Judge Hanen’s decision rightly stops the President’s overreach in its tracks.
We live in a nation governed by a system of checks and balances, and the President’s attempt to by-pass the will of the American people was successfully checked today. The District Court’s ruling is very clear — it prevents the President from implementing the policies in ‘any and all aspects.”
Judge Hanen said President Obama exceeded his authority in trying to grant legal status and “benefits and privileges” to millions of illegal immigrants throwing White House plans to issue applications for legal status to illegals into chaos just before the February 18 start date for beginning the amnesty process.
The White House said it would appeal Judge Hanen’s decision to the Federal Appeals Court in New Orleans or take the unusual step of appealing the order directly to the Supreme Court on an expedited emergency basis.
In issuing his injunction against the implementation into illegal amnesty, Judge Hanen wrote:
“The DHS was not given any ‘discretion by law’ to give 4.3 million removable aliens what the DHS itself labels as ‘legal presence,’ . . . In fact, the law mandates that these illegally-present individuals be removed.
“The DHS has adopted a new rule that substantially changes both the status and employability of millions. These changes go beyond mere enforcement or even non-enforcement of this nation’s immigration scheme.”
The far-reaching implications of the injunction cannot be underestimated. The order prevents President Obama from issuing Social Security numbers, work permits and other identification papers that could have been used by illegal immigrants to receive IRS tax refunds, register to vote and legally work within the United States.
The implications also extend to Congress were funding for the Department of Homeland Security, which will run out on February 28 if legislation isn’t passed into law, had been suspended in a political standoff between the White House and congressional Republicans who are seeking to remove funding for Executive Amnesty from the appropriations bill.
House Speaker John A. Boehner said Tuesday that a judge’s decision to stop President Obama’s deportation amnesty would only strengthen efforts by GOP leaders to fund homeland security through the end of the fiscal year on October 1. The Speaker is quoted as saying:
“The president said 22 times he did not have the authority to take the very action on immigration he eventually did, so it is no surprise that at least one court has agreed . . . Hopefully, Senate Democrats who claim to oppose this executive overreach will now let the Senate begin debate on a bill to fund the Homeland Security Department.”
On Tuesday, White House press secretary Josh Earnest angrily dismissed Judge Hanen’s ruling saying:
“The district court’s decision wrongly prevents these lawful, commonsense policies (Executive Amnesty) from taking effect and the Department of Justice has indicated that it will appeal that decision.”
This may be the first crack in the dam on President Obama’s doctrine of “Pen and Phone” style of governance.