Siding with 26 states that filed a lawsuit to block implementation of President Obama’s Executive Orders announced last November, a federal district court judge in Texas issued a temporary injunction yesterday halting the program on the basis that the president overstepped his authority. Although officials at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) acted quickly to comply with the judge’s ruling, the White House said it would appeal the decision. The anticipated appeal would place the preliminary injunction in front of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, according to a report by Reuters.
The ruling places in limbo the fate of millions of undocumented immigrants who stand to gain relief from deportation and obtain work permits should the orders ultimately be upheld on appeal. It also comes at a time when Republican and Democrats in the U.S. Senate are locked in a fierce battle over a House–passed bill that would defund the Department of Homeland Security if Obama’s immigration orders remained in effect. According to CQ Roll Call, Republican leaders might be willing to put an end to the current DHS funding battle and allow the spending legislation to advance without the immigration provisions, at least until the lawsuit is resolved.