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Texas Leading 17 State Lawsuit Against President Obama’s Executive Order on Immigration

December 4, 2014  |  Posted by: Giovanni DePhillips
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Greg Abbott, the new Texas’ elect governor announced Wednesday that his state is leading a 17-state coalition suing the Obama administration over the president’s executive actions on immigration.

The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Texas on Wednesday, and names the heads of the top immigration enforcement agencies as defendants.

In a news conference in Austin, Abbott said the “broken” immigration system should be fixed by Congress, not by “presidential fiat.”

Abbott said that President Obama’s recently announced executive actions, which would spare as many as 5 million people living illegally in the United States from deportation, “directly violate the fundamental promise to the American people” which violates the Constitution.

“The ability of the president to dispense with laws was specifically considered and unanimously rejected at the Constitutional Convention,” he said.

Abbott says the suit will argue that Article 2, Section 3 of the Constitution which states the president “shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.”

The lawsuit asks the court to require the Obama administration to go through Congress before enforcing laws, “rather than making them up himself.”

A White House official defended the actions as perfectly within the president’s authority.

“The Supreme Court and Congress have made clear that federal officials can set priorities in enforcing our immigration laws, and we are confident that the President’s executive actions are well within his legal authorities,” the official told Fox News.

The announcement opens a new front in the roiling debate across the country over the immigration actions.

The legal action comes as a separate legislative battle plays out on Capitol Hill. Some Republicans want to use a must-pass spending bill as leverage to defund the president’s immigration initiatives. But House Speaker John Boehner is trying to push off that battle until next year, when his party will control both chambers.

Under Obama’s order, announced Nov. 20, protection from deportation and the right to work will be extended to an estimated 4.1 million parents of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents who have lived in the U.S. for at least five years and to hundreds of thousands more young people.

In the lawsuit, Texas is joined by 16 other, mostly southern and Midwestern states, including Alabama, Georgia, Idaho and Indiana.

Abbott argued Wednesday that Obama’s action “tramples” portions of the U.S. Constitution.

The lawsuit raises three objections: that Obama violated the “Take Care Clause” of the U.S. Constitution that limits the scope of presidential power; that the federal government violated rulemaking procedures; and that the order will “exacerbate the humanitarian crisis along the southern border, which will affect increased state investment in law enforcement, health care and education.”

Wednesday’s announcement marks the 31st time the Texas attorney general has brought action against the federal government since Obama took office in 2009.

Other state joining the lawsuit include, Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

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