A federal judge in South Texas on Thursday pushed an attorney representing the federal government to explain the authority behind President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration, which a coalition of 25 states has sued to stop.
U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen heard arguments during a hearing on a request by the coalition for a preliminary injunction, which would put Obama’s action on hold until the lawsuit makes its way through the courts. The first of Obama’s orders is set to accept applications Feb. 18.
While Judge Hanen grilled U.S. Department of Justice attorney Kathleen Hartnett to detail how the federal government can justify legal action which could spare from deportation 5 million people in the U.S. illegally, the judge was measured and cordial throughout the over three-hour hearing as he questioned lawyers from both sides.
Judge Hanen said he would not issue a ruling on the injunction request before Jan. 30.