By Marion Algier – AskMarion
Seated, from left, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick participate in a Feb. 18, 2015, news conference in Austin on a Texas judge’s decision to block the president’s executive action on immigration.
KXAS-TV ^ | February 18, 2015 Published at 3:57 PM CST
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, Sen. Ted Cruz, Attorney General Ken Paxton and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick addressed Wednesday a Texas judge’s decision this week to block the president’s executive action on immigration.
A ruling Monday by U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen put on hold President Barack Obama’s orders that could spare from deportation as many as five million people who are in the U.S. illegally.
Hanen wrote in a memorandum accompanying his order that the Texas-led lawsuit by a coalition of 26 states should go forward and that without a preliminary injunction the states would “suffer irreparable harm in this case.”
“The genie would be impossible to put back into the bottle,” he wrote, adding that he agreed that legalizing the presence of millions of people is a “virtually irreversible” action….
Republican Gov. Greg Abbott predicted Wednesday that Texas and 25 other states would keep prevailing against President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration but refused to put a deadline on when National Guard troops will leave the border with Mexico.
Flanked by U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz and other top Texas conservatives to celebrate an early court victory against Obama’s deportation-relief program, Abbott shifted to defending his decision this week to indefinitely extend the Texas National Guard mission that began last summer.
About 200 guard members had been scheduled to leave the Rio Grande Valley next month, but Abbott now says an unspecified number will remain until Texas hires and trains hundreds of new state troopers to replace the guard.
He would not put a timeframe on how soon that could happen, but Texas Department of Public Safety leaders have said that getting started would take a year. Unlike state troopers or Border Patrol agents, guard members do not have arrest authority and are limited to being lookouts.
“It is our goal to ensure that only those who are authorized to cross the border, are the ones who are crossing the border,” Abbott said.
A federal judge in Brownsville late Monday temporarily blocked Obama’s plan to shield more than 4 million immigrants living in the country illegally from deportation. One program to help immigrants brought to the country as children was scheduled to kick in Wednesday.
Obama said this week that the law and history are on his side, and that he was confident the orders were within his authority. The Obama administration could seek a stay of the judge’s order in addition to appealing to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.
Last summer, then-Gov. Rick Perry deployed 1,000 guard troops to the Rio Grande Valley as Border Patrol agents were overwhelmed with the arrival of tens of thousands of unaccompanied children from Central America pouring across the border. Those numbers have since declined sharply, but Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said that the implementation of Obama’s actions would set off “a new wave of thousands coming here hoping to achieve amnesty.”
Immigrants and Democrats disappointed with the court decision accused Abbott and Republican leaders of being hostile toward Hispanics.
“Law enforcement likes to know who is here,” Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez said. “And if people are hiding in the shadows, it’s hard to distinguish between those who are harmful and those who are not.”