U.S. Justice Department to seek emergency stay to allow immigration action

WASHINGTON, (Reuters) – The U.S. Justice Department will seek an emergency stay to block a decision by a federal judge and allow eligible immigrants to apply for benefits granted under President Barack Obama’s recent executive actions, the White House said yesterday.

Immigration advocates have called on the Obama administration to take legal step to reverse the injunction issued in Texas on Monday that barred immigration officials from accepting work permit applications under the orders.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters that the Justice Department will file paperwork requesting the stay by Monday.

But the stay must be approved by the same judge who issued the injunction, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen in Brownsville Texas, potentially creating more headaches for the White House.

The Justice Department is concerned that Hanen not only could deny the stay but drag his feet in making a decision. Doing so would delay the filing of a formal appeal in the 5th Circuit, something that would take the case out of Hanen’s hands.

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