Judge’s ruling spurs legitimacy fight on immigration

The Washington Examiner — A federal judge’s decision blocking President Obama’s executive action to shield up to 5 million immigrants from deportation undercuts a White House push to play down concerns about the legitimacy of the directive.

Regardless of whether the temporary injunction late Monday by U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen stands — the United States Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit in New Orleans will soon decide how to proceed — it did lasting damage to a sales pitch already met with suspicion from illegal immigrants who would qualify for new protections.

The administration has been scrambling in recent weeks to convince those living in the U.S. illegally to come “out of the shadows.” The White House had planned on launching sign-ups Wednesday for the expansion of Obama’s program granting deportation deferrals to illegal immigrants who moved to America as children.

Instead, the White House and its defenders were forced to recalibrate their message as Hanen effectively put the brakes on the implementation of the most sweeping overhaul to the immigration system in decades.

“Don’t panic,” Debbie Smith, associate general counsel at the Service Employees International Union, said in a direct appeal to those considering enrollment in the Obama immigration programs. “We think this is a time out, a bump in the road.”

“Preparation for executive action is going full steam ahead,” insisted Cristina Jimenez, managing director of United We Dream, the nation’s largest immigrant youth-led organization.

However, uncertainty persists at a time when the Obama administration was banking on clarity.

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