A Texas judge has blocked US President Barack Obama’s executive order that would shield millions of illegal immigrants from deportation, instigating a legal fight likely to hit a federal appeals court in New Orleans.
Judge Andrew Hanen, a district judge in Brownsville, Texas, which sits just on the north side of the US border with Mexico, placed an injunction on Mr Obama’s executive order that prevents the federal government from carrying out the order, Reuters reported.
“Judge Hanen’s decision rightly stops the president’s overreach in its tracks,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said.
Mr Obama announced the immigration action on 20 November. The order would allow 4.7 million of the 11 million illegal immigrants in the US to stay in the country without fears of deportation. The president said his motive was to help the estimated 4.4 million illegal immigrants whose children are legal residents.
The immigration order has been met with strong opposition in the US, though Mr Hanen’s injunction is the strongest yet. The White House said it will appeal the action, which would go before the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.
The injunction could impact debate in Congress over the funding of the Department of Homeland Security. The deadline for funding the department is 27 February and the Republican-controlled Congress has said it will pass a spending bill only if the immigration order was removed.
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