A Texas Judge has placed a preliminary hold on the two initiatives announced by President Obama last November that would expand the two-year-old Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)  and Deferred Action for Parents of U.S. Citizens and Legal Permanent Residents (DAPA). These two programs would provide temporary relief from deportation to approximately 5 million undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States.  The order issued overnight, and two days before the government was set to begin the DACA expansion, bars federal immigration officials from implementing “any and all aspects” of these programs.

This is only the first chapter in a long legal battle as the U.S. government will likely file an emergency stay to allow the initiatives to continue. When Obama issued his executive orders last November, 136 law professors explained how the President acted well within his legal authority to grant deferred action.

Update: White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said in a statement that President Obama’s executive action on immigration are “commonsense policies to help fix our broken immigration system.” They are consistent, he said, with “laws passed by Congress and decisions of the Supreme Court, as well as five decades of precedent by presidents of both parties who have used their authority to set priorities in enforcing our immigration laws.” Earnest added, “The district court’s decision wrongly prevents these lawful, commonsense policies from taking effect and the Department of Justice has indicated that it will appeal that decision.”

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