The 5th Circuit Court on Tuesday agreed to hear an expedited appeal of a ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Hanen of Texas late last year that blocked President Barack Obama’s immigration amnesty by Executive Action from moving forward.
Arguments are scheduled next month on the question of whether President Obama can unilaterally change immigration law by indefinitely deferring the deportation of 5.5 million immigrants living in the country illegally.
The president’s order would grant illegal immigrants access to Social Security, Medicaid, ObamaCare benefits… access to public schools… earned income tax credit refunds of up to $24,000… work permits… and identification documents that could be used to obtain a driver’s license and, conceivably, give illegal immigrants the ability – but not the legal right – to vote in federal, state and local elections.
The 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals will hold two hours of oral argument in New Orleans on April 17. The hearing will determine whether the president’s Executive Action can move forward pending the outcome of the administration’s appeal of Judge Hanen’s order through the federal courts.
It was learned that between the time the president issued his Executive Action and Judge Hanen’s injunction suspending its implementation, deportation deferments had already been granted to more than 100,000 illegal immigrants.
Legal experts described the appeals court’s decision to hold a public session focusing on a stay as extraordinary. University of Richmond Law Professor Carl Tobias said the court’s decision to hold such a hearing was “extremely rare” and that stays “are almost always addressed just on the papers and very quickly….I guess they just see this as such a huge issue between states and administration they’re giving it full-dress treatment.”
White House reporter Josh Gerstein writing for Politico said:
“The appeals court also granted the federal government’s motion for an expedited appeal in the case that pits the administration against 26 states challenging the legality of Obama’s immigration actions.”
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, the leading litigator in the case, said in a statement responding to the court’s announcement that:
“The rule of law is at the very heart of our case against President Obama’s lawless immigration action…” “We are a nation of laws, and we are proud to lead a bipartisan coalition of 26 states fighting this Administration’s unilateral and unconstitutional use of executive power. We will vigorously oppose the president’s illegal amnesty plan in court.”