The Justice Department plans to appeal to the Supreme Court in a bid to preserve President Obama’s immigration executive actions, after a federal court delivered another blow to the administration’s plan. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans upheld a federal judge’s injunction blocking the measure by a 2-1 decision. On Tuesday, the DOJ issued a statement saying it would go to the Supreme Court. “The Department of Justice remains committed to taking steps that will resolve the immigration litigation as quickly as possible in order to allow DHS to bring greater accountability to our immigration system by prioritizing the removal of the worst offenders, not people who have long ties to the United States and who are raising American children. The Department disagrees with the Fifth Circuit’s adverse ruling and intends to seek further review from the Supreme Court of the United States.”
Appeals over the injunction could take several months, and depending on how the case unfolds, the injunction could even go back to the Texas federal court for more proceedings. The administration has argued that the executive branch was within its rights in deciding to defer deportation of selected groups of immigrants, including children who were brought to the U.S. illegally. However the 70-page majority opinion by Judge Jerry Smith, joined by Jennifer Walker Elrod, rejected administration arguments that the district judge abused his discretion with a nationwide order and that the states lacked standing to challenge Obama’s executive orders. In a 53-page dissent, Judge Carolyn Dineen King said the administration was within the law, casting the decision to defer action on some deportations as “quintessential exercises of prosecutorial discretion,” and noting that the Department of Homeland Security has limited resources. In the dissent, Judge King noted “Although there are approximately 11.3 million removable aliens in this country today, for the last several years Congress has provided the Department of Homeland Security with only enough resources to remove approximately 400,000 of those aliens per year.”
We at North County Immigration feel that there is still a great chance for this appeal when it likely heads to the Supreme Court.