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Appeals Panel Hears Arguments On Obama Immigration Action

Marjorie Kamys Cotera
The Texas Tribune
mmigration reform protesters walked up Congress Avenue toward the Texas Capitol on Feb. 22, 2013.

A federal appeals court in New Orleans is set to hear arguments over President Barack Obama's plan to protect as many as 5 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. from deportation.

Republicans criticized the plan as an illegal executive overreach when Obama announced it in November. 26 states challenged the plan in court.

A federal judge in Texas sided with those states and issued an injunction, which the Obama administration appealed. A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals hears arguments today. The panel isn't expected to rule immediately.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins issued this statement:

“Faith, labor, business, immigration rights and community groups like the Texas Organizing Project have all organized in support of President Obama's executive order granting DAPA and DACA. I stand with them and urge the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans to support the President’s Administrative Relief programs because it is time to bring the 5 million people out from the shadows. Doing so would add $23 billion annually to our national economy, and help make Texas and America safer and stronger. It's important to note that this lawsuit brought last year by then Attorney General Greg Abbott has successfully delayed relief from deportation for more than 5 million undocumented immigrants, who could have come out from the shadows and contributed more fully to our state and nation's economy and culture. Expanding DACA and instituting DAPA will have a positive impact on cities, states, and the country as a whole. Governor Abbott is responsible for the delay and the delay is hurting Texas families.”

Supporters of the president's action scheduled a morning rally outside the 5th Circuit building in New Orleans.

This report was provided by the Associated Press.