NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A federal appeals court has refused to lift a temporary hold on President Barack Obama's executive action that could shield millions of immigrants from deportation.
A 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel issued the 2-1 ruling Tuesday.
The U.S. Department of Justice had asked the court to reverse a Texas judge's decision temporarily blocking the president's plan, after 26 states filed a lawsuit. It wasn't immediately clear if the DOJ would appeal.
The states say Obama's action is unconstitutional. The White House says the president acted within his powers to fix a "broken immigration system."
The president's plan, which includes protecting the parents of U.S. citizens from deportation, could help as many as 5 million immigrants illegally living in the U.S.