17 States Sue Obama Over Immigration Actions

By Krishnadev Calamur | NPR | December 3, 2014

Seventeen states, led by Texas, are suing the Obama administration over its recent executive actions on immigration.

"The Constitution prescribes immigration policy be fixed by Congress not by presidential fiat," Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, the state's governor-elect, said at a news conference in Austin.

Abbott filed a lawsuit today in federal court in the Southern District of Texas. His state is joined in the lawsuit by Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

President Obama's Nov. 20 announcement would shield from deportation up to 5 million people who are in the country illegally. Congressional Republicans said the move essentially killed any prospect of passing comprehensive immigration reform.

In a separate statement, Abbott said that Obama's action "tramples" the Constitution.

The Associated Press has more on the lawsuit:

"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 rule-making 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.'"
In an emailed statement, White House spokeswoman Brandi Hoffine said the executive actions were within the president's powers.

"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," she said.