Boehner: ‘No surprise’ judge blocked Obama on immigration order

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) struck a cautious tone Tuesday but said it was “no surprise” that a federal judge in Texas had temporarily blocked President Obama’s executive actions on immigration.

{mosads}Boehner said in a statement that “at least one court” had agreed with Republicans that the president had overstepped his authority when he took action to shield up to 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation.

“The president said 22 times he did not have the authority to take the very action on immigration he eventually did, so it is no surprise that at least one court has agreed,” Boehner added.

“We will continue to follow the case as it moves through the legal process.”

The injunction by U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen halts the first phase of Obama’s actions, which would allow more immigrants who came to the country illegally as children to remain in the U.S. That phase had been expected to take effect Wednesday.

The White House quickly vowed to appeal the decision.

The Speaker also again tried to ratchet up pressure on Senate Democrats, who have repeatedly filibustered a bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) because it’s tied to provisions that would undo Obama’s immigration actions. The Senate will vote on the same House-passed bill on Monday, after this week’s recess, though the result is largely expected to be the same.

That will move Congress closer to a DHS shutdown on Feb. 28.

“Hopefully, Senate Democrats who claim to oppose this executive overreach will now let the Senate begin debate on a bill to fund the Homeland Security department,” Boehner said.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) said the president’s executive actions pose “a clear and present danger to our Constitution,” adding that the temporary injunction will allow a lawsuit by 26 states against Obama to move forward.

“By acting unilaterally to rewrite our nation’s immigration laws, President Obama has disregarded the will of the American people and violated the Constitution,” Goodlatte said. “We cannot allow one man to nullify the law of the land with either a stroke of his pen or a phone call.”

“We may be delayed, but we will not be deterred,” Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.), a vocal supporter of Obama’s immigration action, said in a statement Tuesday morning.

“In our neighborhoods, this is about defending families and making sure that children who are U.S. citizens grow up with their parents. It is that simple. And there is a great deal of passion and determination in the fight to defend families. I am telling immigrant communities to keep preparing to sign up millions of families for protection from deportation.”

Gutiérrez said there is “no good legal case” to be made by the president’s opponents, adding that the legislation that “hardliners” are putting forward is going nowhere.

“Politically and practically the idea of deporting or driving out 11 million people and their families is absurd,” he said. “But a group of Republicans have not gotten the message that mass deportation and criminalization do not work and that getting people into the system and on-the-books is a more sensible approach. And to attach this to shutting down the Border Patrol, TSA, and Homeland Security when the threats are so real around the world is going to backfire big-time on Republican hardliners.”

Jesse Byrnes contributed to this report, which was updated at 12:17 p.m.

Tags Bob Goodlatte Boehner Immigration John Boehner

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