HR Management & Compliance

Appeals court keeps hold on Obama’s immigration orders

No quick resolution is in sight to the uncertainty surrounding President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration. On May 26, a three-judge panel of the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals refused to lift a temporary hold on Obama’s actions, which were designed to ease deportation worries for millions of undocumented immigrants who have been in the United States for years.

“Employers will have to wait possibly months, or years, for the courts or Congress to resolve the status of undocumented immigrants who would have been eligible for work permits under President Obama’s executive action,” said Elaine C. Young, an attorney with the Kirton McConkie law firm in Salt Lake City and an editor of Utah Employment Law Letter.

“In other words, they will continue to live with the status quo, which is that there are millions of people working for American employers without proper work authorization and few alternatives for employers or employees in industries that typically rely on undocumented workers,” she said.

The three-judge panel ruled 2-1 not to lift a temporary injunction blocking Obama’s executive actions. The actions were issued in November 2014.

U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen in Brownsville, Texas, issued the injunction in response to a lawsuit in which 26 states challenged Obama’s authority to take the actions.

The suit challenges Obama’s authority to implement the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) and to expand the existing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programs.

Hanen ruled that allowing the actions to be implemented before a full trial would cause irreparable harm to the states needing to provide services to the undocumented immigrants eligible for the programs.

Besides Texas, the other states challenging Obama’s action are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

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