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Abbott Leads 17-State Coalition Suing President Obama On Immigration

Ryan E. Poppe
Texas Public Radio

Still working as Texas Attorney General, Governor-elect Abbott has announced Texas will serve as the lead in a lawsuit filed by a group of states against the President’s executive order concerning immigration. 

Greg Abbott said President Obama’s order, which will allow an estimated 4.4 million undocumented immigrant parents of legal residents to stay in the country without the threat of deportation, “tramples the U.S. Constitution’s Take Care Clause.” He said the President is allowed to enforce laws passed by Congress but not re-write them.

“The Constitution prescribes immigration policy be fixed by Congress, not by Presidential fiat,” said Abbott.

Focusing on previous news interviews given by the President, Abbott said Obama himself had admitted it was wrong for him to act independently on the issue of immigration. Abbott argued against the reasoning that the President was standing on sound legal ground because of prosecutorial discretion, meaning the president can suspend existing laws for an individual, or a group of people.

“Prosecutorial discretion means not prosecuting someone for wrongdoing, it doesn't mean providing benefits to those accused of wrongdoing,” said Abbott.

He added that those legal benefits could also include the right to legally work in the country. At this point, Abbott said he was only asking the federal court to reverse the President’s executive action and wasn't seeking financial damages. The lawsuit filed in Texas included Republican-led states from all across the country