Blow to US immigration reform from federal judges’ ruling

Judges says executive orders must be delayed until lawsuit by 26 states is resolved

US president Barack Obama: executive orders would allow five million undocumented immigrants remain in the country. Photograph: Zach Gibson/The New York Times

US president Barack Obama: executive orders would allow five million undocumented immigrants remain in the country. Photograph: Zach Gibson/The New York Times

 

US president Barack Obama’s bid to make overhauling immigration policy a second-term victory was dealt a serious blow as federal judges ruled the effort must remain on hold while 26 states sue to overturn it.

Mr Obama’s executive orders, which would allow five million undocumented immigrants to remain in the country, must be delayed until the lawsuit is resolved, the US court of appeals in New Orleans ruled.

The contentious case has drawn opposition from hundreds of members of Congress, and more than a few presidential contenders. For years, Congress has been unable to agree on a revised law to address an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants, including thousands of Irish, in the US.

Mr Obama said he acted because the House has refused to take up a bipartisan measure passed by the Senate in 2013 that would create a path to citizenship for many of those immigrants.

To qualify under his deferral programme, undocumented immigrants must have been in the US for at least five years and have a child who is a citizen, or have been brought here as children themselves. They must also pass a criminal background check. – (Bloomberg)