Austin (US): Texas is leading a 17-state coalition suing over President Barack Obama's recently announced executive actions on immigration, arguing in a lawsuit that the move "tramples" key portions of the US Constitution.
Many top Republicans have denounced Obama's order, which was designed to spare millions living illegally in the United States from deportation, many of them from Central America.
But Texas Governor-elect and current attorney general Greg Abbott took it a step further, filing a formal legal challenge in federal court in the Southern District of Texas yesterday.
His state is joined by 16 other mostly conservative ones, such as Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana and the Carolinas. They aren't seeking monetary damages, but instead want the courts to block Obama's actions.
While Abbott had pledged for weeks that his state would sue, the span of the coalition Texas pieced together surprised both proponents and opponents of the executive order.
Announced November 20, Obama's order extends protection from deportation and the right to work to an estimated 4.1 million parents of US citizens and legal permanent residents who have lived in the United States for at least five years and to hundreds of thousands more young people.
The lawsuit raises two major objections: that Obama violated the "Take Care Clause" of the US Constitution which Abbott said limits the scope of presidential power and that the order will "exacerbate the humanitarian crisis along the southern border, which will affect increased state.