HOUSTON (AP) - A federal judge in Texas has refused to lift a temporary hold on President Barack Obama's executive action that could shield millions of immigrants from deportation.
U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen turned down the request from the U.S. Department of Justice on Tuesday.
Hanen issued a preliminary injunction on Feb. 16 to halt the immigration action by Obama, who wants to spare from deportation as many as five million people who are in the U.S. illegally. The injunction was sought by a coalition of 26 states, led by Texas, that argued Obama's executive action was unconstitutional.
The Justice Department has already asked the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans to step in. The appeals court is scheduled to hear arguments April 17. A decision could take months.