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What Court Ruling On Obama’s Immigration Action Means In San Diego

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A federal appeals court ended any hopes Tuesday of President Barack Obama’s immigration actions moving forward this month, which would have saved millions of people from deportation.

The judges from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals refused to lift a hold on Obama’s Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and an expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which went into effect in 2012.

At the heart of the delay is a lawsuit, supported by 26 states, which claims that the new programs will put an economic burden on the states. The lawsuit also claims Obama does not have the authority to make such sweeping changes to immigration enforcement policies.

Ev Meade, director of the University of San Diego's Trans-Border Institute, said a merits hearing will be held on July 5.

“It looks like the end is nowhere in sight,” Meade told KPBS Midday Edition on Wednesday. “It could go to the Supreme Court.”

But Meade said Obama’s executive order isn’t unique.

“Almost every president since Eisenhower has used their executive discretion to give people some kind of lawful presence in the United States,” he said.

Lilia Velasquez, an immigration and naturalization attorney and an adjunct professor at California Western School of Law, said Tuesday’s ruling was disappointing for the immigrant community in San Diego.

“(Obama) was compelled to do something for the immigration community, especially when he promised immigration reform,” Velasquez said. “Maybe too much faith was placed in Obama.”

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