OTHER NEWS SOURCES: Washington Post: May 26, 2015 on Obama's DAPA and Expanded DACA

The Associated Press reports “A federal appeals court refused Tuesday to lift a temporary hold on President Barack Obama’s executive action that could shield as many as 5 million immigrants illegally living in the U.S. from deportation. The U.S. Justice Department had asked the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse a Texas judge who agreed to temporarily block the president’s plan in February, after 26 states filed a lawsuit alleging Obama’s action was unconstitutional. But two out of three judges on a court panel voted to deny the government’s request.” While not a ruling on the merits, the court’s ruling required a finding that it was not likely the administration would succeed on the merits. “Without regard to whether the content of the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) would be a wise policy if enacted by Congress, it is an incredibly far-reaching and questionable assertion of unilateral power by President Obama, especially since Obama denied he had that power several times in the years leading up to his reversal of course,” comments Todd Gaziano of the Pacific Legal Foundation. “Two federal courts now agree with President Obama’s initial view that his DAPA policy is illegal.” Specifically, the federal district court and a majority of the appellate court have now held, Gaziano points out: “(a) the 26-state challenge to DAPA is judicially reviewable, (b) that the 26-state challenge is likely to succeed in striking it down, and (c) that it is necessary to order the administration to stop the DAPA program to prevent irreparable injury to the states, or at least one of them (Texas).” At the heart of a ruling is a finding that the president laid down a blanket rule that confers benefits; he did not merely announce a decision to refrain from enforcement on a case-by-case basis. The court found: “DAPA modifies substantive rights and interests—conferring lawful presence on 500,000 illegal aliens in Texas forces the state to choose between spending millions of dollars to subsidize driver’s licenses and changing its law.” In rebuking the administration and adhering to a nationwide injunction, the court affirms critics’ argument that the president overstepped his legal authority. It is a victory for the rule of law and executive restraint. “I think it is unlikely that five justices of the Supreme Court will lift the stay and allow the administration to proceed prior to the district court’s final ruling on the merits,” Gaziano says. “Thus, it is quite possible the DAPA program will remain enjoined for the remainder of Obama’s presidency.” One of the president’s major “accomplishments” is effectively voided, a proper result for a president who promulgated the notion that if Congress didn’t act he had a right to. He doesn’t. By wiping the slate clean, the court allows this president or the next to work in concert with Congress to enact meaningful immigration reform. House Republicans would be well advised to pass something while the GOP has majorities in both houses.

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