Obama: 'The law is on our side'
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President Obama on Tuesday said he's confident his executive action on immigration will withstand a legal challenge after a federal judge temporarily blocked its implementation. 

“I disagree with it. I think the law is on our side and history is on our side,” Obama said in the Oval Office following a meeting with his new Secretary of Defense, Ash Carter. 


“This is something we necessarily have to make choices on,” Obama said, adding that it was unrealistic to deport the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants currently living in the United States. 

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced Tuesday it was not accepting new applications for deportation deferrals after a federal judge in Texas halted the executive actions until their constitutionality is confirmed. 

U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen’s temporary injunction late Monday came after Texas and 25 other states sued the Obama administration, alleging the president overstepped his executive authority in November to shield up to 5 million illegal immigrants from deportation and expand access to work visas.

Obama argued his actions were “well within” his prosecutorial authority and that the Department of Justice would appeal the court ruling.

“I think the American people overwhelming recognize that to pretend we're going to ship them off is not realistic and not who we are,” Obama said.

The ruling halts Obama’s expansion of earlier executive actions from 2012 that gave legal status to certain young people who entered or stayed in the United States illegally. Obama announced an expansion of that program last year that would apply to other immigrants, including relatives of those given protection by the first program, known as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

This story was updated at 5:52 p.m.