Dem senators: Overturn injunction on Obama’s immigration actions

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Four Democratic senators are urging an appeals court to let the Obama administration move forward on immigration.

{mosads}Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) on Tuesday filed an amicus brief that calls on the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn an injunction blocking implementation of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) deferred deportation programs.

“President Obama’s executive action on immigration was well within his legal authority and was a step towards reforming our broken immigration system,” the senators said in a statement. “The Senate has an interest in ensuring that when Congress gives the Executive Branch the authority and responsibility to execute America’s immigration laws in a humane and thoughtful manner, the federal courts respect Congress’s decision.”

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals is expected to hear oral arguments next week on the administration’s push to overturn a ruling by District Court Judge Andrew Hanen, who put a temporary hold on Obama’s attempts to slow deportations and grant benefits to some people in the country illegally.

The senators said that it would be a “disaster” if Hanen’s decision is upheld.

“It will be a disaster not just for immigration law but for federal governance generally,” they said. “If a judge can stop the Secretary of Homeland Security from providing commonsense guidance on immigration officials’ exercise of prosecutorial discretion, not only will it be impossible to have a reasoned immigration policy in this country, it will be impossible for other federal agencies to operate in a manner that is consistent and rational.”

The senators’ brief follows a brief from 181 House Democrats.

Stephen Kinnaird, the counsel of record and co-chair of the appellate practice of Paul Hastings LLP, pointed out that the senators are all past or present chairmen or ranking members of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s administrative law committee.

“Core principles of administrative law hang in the balance,” Kinnaird said in a statement. “The Senators have urged the Fifth Circuit to vindicate those principles and preserve the powers of agency heads to give structured guidance to their subordinates in exercising enforcement discretion.”

Tags Chris Coons Immigration Mazie Hirono Richard Blumenthal Sheldon Whitehouse

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