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Friday, May 24, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

White House Fights|for Immigration Relief

WASHINGTON (CN) - The White House said Friday that it would seek an emergency order from the 5th Circuit to allow the federal government to issue work permits and legal protections for hundreds of thousands of immigrants while it appeals a judge's order blocking its programs.

U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen on Monday granted Texas and 25 other Republican-controlled states an injunction stopping enforcement of President Obama's Nov. 24, 2014 executive orders on immigration.

The executive orders on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) would suspend deportation, during Obama's term, of immigrants whose parents brought them here as children, who graduated from school, stayed out of trouble, passed background checks and met other qualifications.

Texas claimed the executive orders illegally bypassed Congress, and that allowing qualifying applicants to seek Texas driver's licenses would burden the state with the cost of processing them.

"Under current Texas law, applicants pay $24.00 to obtain a driver's license, leaving any remaining costs to be absorbed by the state," Hanen wrote in his 123-page ruling.

"If the majority of DAPA beneficiaries currently residing in Texas apply for a driver's license, it will cost the state $198.73 to process and issue each license, for a net loss of $174.73 per license."

Critics immediately blasted Hanen's ruling as forum-shopping and political grandstanding by a judge who is an outspoken critic of the Obama administration's immigration policies.

The Department of Justice said it would submit its request to the 5th Circuit by Monday.

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