In a decision that seems likely to be challenged in the Supreme Court, a divided federal appeals court refused on Tuesday to permit the Obama administration to put into effect its new policy to temporarily spare more than four million undocumented immigrants from being deported. The government, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled, has not made a case for going forward while the legality of the program is under review in the courts.
The two-to-one decision, leaving in place a federal judge’s nationwide order that forbids for the time being the enforcement of the policy announced last November, did not settle the legality of the program. That is a question that will come up later, with a hearing on it scheduled in the Fifth Circuit for the first week in July. Even so, the administration is free in the meantime to