Washington: US Justice Department said on Tuesday it would ask the Supreme Court to review Monday's ruling by a federal appeals court against US President Barack Obama's immigration executive action.
A ruling from the Supreme Court could represent a last-gasp effort to salvage Obama's signature achievement, Xinhua reported.
In a statement, Justice Department spokesman Patrick Rodenbush said the department plans to appeal the ruling by the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals which upheld a Texas federal judge's injunction to block Obama's immigration executive action of protecting an estimated 5 million illegal immigrants from deportation.
"The Department disagrees with the Fifth Circuit's adverse ruling and intends to seek further review from the Supreme Court of the United States," the statement said.
"The Department of Justice remains committed to taking steps that will resolve the immigration litigation as quickly as possible in order to allow DHS (Department of Homeland Security) to bring greater accountability to our immigration system by prioritizing the removal of the worst offenders, not people who have long ties to the United States and who are raising American children," it said.
In a controversial move last year, Obama resorted to his executive authority to circumvent Congress and push forward immigration reforms by seeking to provide as many as five million illegal immigrants with work permit while shielding the majority of them from deportation.
Republicans immediately outcried the action as an illegal executive overreach when Obama announced it last November.
In its defense, the White House said the Supreme Court and Congress had made clear that "the federal government can set priorities in enforcing our immigration laws."