[JURIST] The US Department of Justice [official website] on Monday urged [brief, PDF] the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit [official website] to reverse the injunction blocking the president’s immigration executive action. The government is challenging the preliminary injunction [JURIST report] issued last month that placed a hold on the executive action that could spare millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation. States in favor of the injunction claim that this executive action could have immense negative economic consequences within their respective state borders.
US immigration law [JURIST backgrounder] continues to be a controversial and heavily politicized area of law at both the state and federal levels. In November a judge for the US District Court for the District of Arizona [official website] struck down [JURIST report] an Arizona law that made smuggling immigrants a state crime because it conflicts with federal laws governing immigration. In August 2013 the Obama administration released [JURIST report] a policy directive known as the “Family Interest Directive,” emphasizing that Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents should apply “prosecutorial discretion” towards undocumented immigrant parents of minors to limit detaining parents and to safeguard their parental rights. In June 2013 the US Senate approved [JURIST report] a bill which would create new pathways to US citizenship for the more than 11 million undocumented immigrants now living in the US. That bill was subsequently not approved by the House.