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Federal judge rules in favor of Alabama, blocks Obama’s ‘executive amnesty’

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange
Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — A panel of 5th Circuit Court of Appeals Judges Monday evening upheld the blocking of a key component of President Obama’s executive actions on amnesty, which would have granted protection from deportation to approximately 5 million illegal immigrants. Alabama joined 25 other states in filing the lawsuit.

The move by the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upholds a ruling made in February of this year by U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen of Texas after an appeal was made by the White House.

“The ruling is a resounding victory for the rule of law in America,” said Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange (R) in a press release Tuesday morning.  “The federal appeals court upheld the argument advanced by Texas, Alabama and 24 other states that President Obama has no legal authority to unilaterally grant amnesty to nearly five million undocumented aliens without the consent of Congress or the review of the states.  This is precisely what the president has done in this case and his actions have been halted by the courts.”

The injunction specifically halts the program Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA), because the President bypassed lawfully-required rules and procedures to implement the amnesty program.

“At its core, this case is about the Secretary’s decision to change the immigration classification of millions of illegal aliens on a class-wide basis,” the federal court wrote. “The states properly maintain that DAPA’s grant of lawful presence and accompanying eligibility for benefits is a substantive rule that must go through notice and comment, before it imposes substantial costs on them, and that DAPA is substantively contrary to law.”

The White House has yet to officially comment on the decision, but administration officials speaking off the record with The Washington Post expressed concern that the upheld ruling, which is expected to be appealed to the Supreme Court, means the issue won’t be decided before Obama leaves office in 2017.

Attorney General Strange and the top law enforcement officers of the other states involved in the challenge are celebrating the ruling as a victory for the rule of law.

“Alabama and the 25 other states took president Obama at his word when he challenged Congress to sue him if it did not like his attempts to circumvent the limits on his executive authority,” said Attorney General Strange.  “The states took the president to court and have succeeded in stopping his usurpation of the law.  No one, not even the president, is above the law.”