A federal judge for the Southern District of Texas granted an injunction tonight blocking the implementation of President Obama’s sweeping executive action on immigration from November, which offered a form of temporary legal status and work authorization to millions of illegel immigrants. The judge, Andrew Hanen, is considering a case brought by the attorney generals of 26 states, which alleges that the executive action is improper and unconstitutional, and will harm the states by forcing them to pay for some benefits granted to newly legal immigrants, such as drivers’ licenses, and for higher law-enforcement costs.
The federal government is expected to immediately ask for a stay of the injunction. That would allow the feds to resume the process of preparing to grant quasi-legal status to millions of illegal immigrants — applications for one category of the president amnesty were to open this week. For now, that can’t happen; the decision from a higher court will probably take a few weeks.
Whatever the final decision is, this ruling should a bit of ammunition for Republicans who are currently trying to force some Democrats into agreeing to a government-funding bill in Congress that blocks the implementation of the order, which many Democrats once opposed.
Such an injunction isn’t granted unless the judge feels the plaintiffs have “a substantial likelihood of success on the merits.” Hanen’s ruling offers analysis of whether the states have standing to sue (on a number of grounds, he says they do), and whether they have a good chance at success.
The ruling does not reach Obama’s violation of executive powers, unfortunately. According to Brennan, it merely has to do with legal arcana concerning rulemaking without jumping through the necessary hoops.
You’ll find no original analysis in this here post. Call me lazy, but I don’t feel inclined right now to go read 100 pages of legal yapping that doesn’t even address the central problem with Obama’s action.
But I’ll take what I can get, for as long as it lasts. We’ll see how long that is, I guess.
FLASHBACK: Regular readers might remember Judge Hanen from this post of mine in June 2014. In that post, I quoted a Washington Times piece by Ernest Istook, which quoted Judge Hanen’s criticism of the Obama administration’s actions regarding immigration:
“The Department of Homeland Security, instead of enforcing our border security laws, actually assisted the criminal conspiracy [of child-smuggling] in achieving its illegal goals,” writes a federal judge in a court order.
U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen in Brownsville, Texas, issued the order in December. It explains and condemns how today’s crisis was created by President Barack Obama’s laxity and refusal to enforce our immigration laws. . . [A] s Judge Hanen’s order states: “Time and again this court has been told by representatives of the government and the defense that cartels control the entire smuggling process … the government is not only allowing [those paying the child-smugglers] to fund the illegal and evil activities of these cartels, but is also inspiring them to do so.”
“The DHS policy is as logical as taking illegal drugs or weapons that it has seized from smugglers and delivering them to the criminals who initially solicited their illegal importation. Legally, this situation is no different,” he wrote.
. . . .
Judge Hanen described that the pattern is the same in other cases: “In each case, the DHS completed the criminal conspiracy, instead of enforcing the laws of the United States, by delivering the minors to the custody of the parent illegally living in the United States.”
The lefties (by which I mean Big Media) are going to treat this judge like a partisan hack. Mark my words.