Lawyers for the Justice Department argued in front of the Fifth Circuit Court on Friday in defense of their appeal of President Obama’s November 2014 executive actions for immigration reform. The actions have been blocked by a lawsuit by 26 states, led by Texas, as forcing an onerous burden on the states and the roll-out halted by an injuction placed in February.
But even though the judges issued no decision on Friday, it seemed highly probable that the administration would lose. By a stroke of bad luck for Mr. Obama and good fortune for the states bringing the lawsuit, two judges on Friday’s panel — Judge Jerry E. Smith and Judge Jennifer Elrod — are the same conservatives who ruled against the administration in May. Court officials said both panels had been randomly selected, well before the administration even brought its case to the Fifth Circuit.
A setback now would be decisively damaging to the president’s argument that he has full authority to carry out the vast programs nationwide and would leave the administration little choice but to take the case to the high-stakes and slow-moving deliberations of the Supreme Court and to hope for a favorable ruling before the end of its term in June of next year.
Referring to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, Judge Elrod asked, with a note of incredulity, “So the secretary has boundless discretion to give work authorization to whomever he wants and it is not constrained by congressional law?”
The appeal is playing out at a time of heightened national debate over various approaches to immigration reform. Donald Trump has brought the issue to the fore with inarticulately worded condemnations of illegal aliens and calls for the building of a border fence, increased border enforcement, and a comprehensive plan to deal with illegals currently in the country.
Part of Trump’s stump speech has evolved into highlighting recent headline-making crimes committed by illegals, many of whom had been deported numerous times. In a speech Saturday Trump brought Jamiel Shaw Sr. on stage to tell the story of the ruthless murder of his son by an illegal alien who had been released from jail only hours earlier.
For their part the Republican led House has voted to defund Obama’s appeal of the executive actions.
[New York Times][Image: Breitbart]