In the first legal ruling about the President’s recent executive actions on immigration, a federal judge in Pennsylvania has said the move to defer deportation for millions of people in the United States illegally was an unconstitutional action that violated the separation of powers under the Constitution.
Citing the President’s own words that he acted because Congress had not approved immigration reform legislation, Judge Arthur Schwab concluded President Obama had overstepped his authority with an unconstitutional “unilateral action.”
“President Obama’s statements evidence that prior to November 20, 2014, he viewed an Executive Action, similar to the one issued, as beyond his executive authority” wrote Schwab, who was put on the bench by President George W. Bush.
While the ruling does not invalidate the President’s executive actions, it certainly raises legal questions, as a group of states led by Texas officially challenge the Obama changes on deportation.
“President Obama’s unilateral legislative action violates the separation of powers provided for in the United States Constitution as well as the Take Care Clause, and therefore, is unconstitutional,” Judge Schwab wrote.
The opinion came in a run-of-the-mill immigration case, about a Honduran man who had already been deported and then was arrested again in the United States.
On his own, Judge Schwab said he should review the matter in light of the executive actions made by the President.