Court rejects Mississippi suit against Obama immigration orders

Judges on the Fifth Circuit federal court in New Orleans weighing the merits of the case against President Obama’s executive orders on immigration today threw out Mississippi’s suit, finding the alleged harms the state would suffer as a result of the orders were speculative and unconvincing.

“We conclude that neither the agents nor the state of Mississippi has demonstrated the concrete and particularized injury required to give them standing to maintain this suit,” the judges wrote.

President Obama, acting to assist the nation’s limping immigration system in the face of a gridlocked Congress, issued orders to streamline and prioritize enforcement of laws around deportation and work permits. His orders would have affected nearly 4 million people, halting deportations of immigrants without documentation who were brought here as children or who are parents of U.S. citizens. But the orders were suspended in February after Texas federal Judge Andrew Hanen ruled in favor of a lawsuit brought by Republican officials in 26 states.

The Fifth Circuit is beginning to weigh the Obama administration appeal of Hanen’s ruling. A hearing is scheduled for later this month.

The Conservative Treehouse was quick to post a concise summary of today’s decision with the full text available at document-hosting site Scribid.

[blockquote]Mississippi had argued that immigrants granted work permits through DACA would have raised costs for the state associated with schools, healthcare programs and law enforcement. Mississippi cited a 2006 study estimating the net cost of illegal immigration at $25 million per year.

But the district court that originally rejected the case determined that the study didn’t provide sufficient evidence because it was conducted six years before DACA began. The appeals court agreed that Mississippi’s allegation based on that study was “purely speculative.”[/blockquote]

The National Day Laborer Organizing Network put out a release celebrating the decision and holding it up as a sign that the alleged harm driving the suits filed in the case by other states similarly will be found meritless.

“We have long known that the injuries suffered by ICE agents and nativist politicians in Mississippi and Texas are fictional,” said Jessica Karp Bansal, the group’s litigation director. “What is not fictional is the suffering of the thousands of mothers and children languishing in immigration detention centers, the 2-million-plus people who have been deported from their homes since President Obama took office, and the 11 million individuals who continue to live in fear of deportation every day.

“The Court’s decision has important implications for the pending appeal… Many legal observers believe the Appeals Court is likely to hold that, just like Mississippi, Texas and other state plaintiffs lack standing to challenge deferred action because they cannot show that granting relief from deportation to hard-working students and families will injure them in any way. Such a holding would… clear the way for immediate implementation of the President’s deferred action programs, bringing relief to millions.”

Photo by writ RHET.