Big Win for Immigration Executive Order Opponents

By ACLJ, Special for  USDR

The American Center for Law & Justice (ACLJ) said today a federal court decision granting a request by 26 states – led by Texas – to temporarily block President Obama’s executive action on illegal immigration represents a “significant victory” against the president’s unconstitutional  overreach.

The ACLJ represents 68 Members of Congress – including the two U.S. Senators from Texas – Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn, as well as Representative Bob Goodlatte, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. The ACLJ is deeply involved in the case and filed an amicus brief backing the legal challenge and requesting the court grant the preliminary  injunction.

“This decision represents a significant victory against the unconstitutional overreach by President Obama,” said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ. “We are extremely pleased the court concluded what we have argued from the start: the president overstepped his authority by changing the law and setting new immigration policy. The manner in which the President acted is unconstitutional, unlawful and a violation of the separation of powers. Impatient presidents don’t get to change the  law.”

In granting the preliminary injunction, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen wrote in a memorandum accompanying his order that the lawsuit should go forward and that without a preliminary injunction the states will “suffer irreparable harm in this  case.”

“The genie would be impossible to put back into the bottle,” he wrote, adding that he agreed with the plaintiffs’ argument that legalizing the presence of millions of people is a “virtually irreversible”  action.

In his opinion, Judge Hanen accused Obama administration officials of being “disingenuous” when they said the president’s initiatives did not significantly alter existing policies. In the words of Judge Hanen, the programs were “a massive change in immigration practice” that would affect “the nation’s entire immigration scheme and the states who must bear the lion’s share of its consequences.” Further, he said the executive actions had violated laws that the federal government must follow to issue new rules, and he determined “the states have clearly proven a likelihood of success on the  merits.”

In the amicus brief filed in this case, the ACLJ concluded that the “Plaintiffs are likely to succeed on the merits because the DHS (Dept. of Homeland Security) directive violates the Constitution, disrupts the separation of powers, and amounts to an abdication of their constitutional and statutory  duty.”

A total of 68 Members of Congress – including three U.S. Senators – have signed on to the ACLJ amicus brief. The complete list of lawmakers represented in the amicus brief is  here.

At the same time, the ACLJ also represents more than 70,000 Americans who have signed on to the ACLJ’s Committee to Defend the Separation of  Powers.

In December, Sekulow presented detailed testimony before the House Judiciary Committee explaining why the president’s action on immigration exceeded his executive  authority.

Led by Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow, the American Center for Law & Justice is headquartered in Washington, D.C. and online at

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