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Texas-led battle over Obama's executive order on immigration continues

By
Andrew V. Pestano

BROWNSVILLE, Texas, March 19 (UPI) -- A federal court is set to hold a hearing on Thursday as part of the Texas-led lawsuit over President Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals immigration reform.

U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen issued a preliminary injunction in February that blocked the implementation of Obama's immigration reform. In the hearing in the city of Brownsville, Texas Hanen expects the government to "fully explain" the circumstances surrounding implementation of the immigration action.

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Texas and 25 other states filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration in hopes to block the executive order, which seeks to give renewable work permits and deportation exemption to millions of undocumented people in the United States who met certain criteria.

Government attorney Kyle Freeny told Hanen that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services approved the orders for people who registered between Nov. 24 and Hanen's injunction. The hearing hopes to determine the circumstances surrounding the implementation of the order during that time.

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Texas Republican Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz support the lawsuit and joined San Antonio Republican Lamar Smith and the American Center for Law and Justice in filing an amicus brief supporting the federal judge's decision.

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"As I have said all along and a federal court affirmed, President Obama exceeded his authority when he went around Congress to unilaterally change our nation's immigration laws," Cornyn said.

Obama previously criticized the opposition to his executive order during a funding dispute for the Department of Homeland Security.

"This is just one federal judge. We have appealed it very aggressively. We're going to be as aggressive as we can," Obama said. "We said to Republicans... 'Instead of trying to hold hostage funding for the Department of Homeland Security, which is so important for our national security, fund that and let's get on with passing comprehensive immigration reform.'"

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