A federal judge in Texas on Monday temporarily blocked President Barack Obama's executive action on immigration, and allowed a coalition of 26 states, including Texas, to pursue a lawsuit that seeks to reverse the Presidential order.
Texas and 25 other states are opposed to Obama's immigration action that offers to protect about 4.7 million undocumented (including illegal) immigrants from deportation.
The order by District Judge Andrew S Hanen in Brownsville, Texas, temporarily bars the US administration from carrying out the policies announced by Obama in November.
Hanen said in his order posted on the Los Angeles Times web site that the administration had failed to comply with procedure.
Obama announced a programme to lift the threat of deportation from some 4.7 million illegal immigrants in the United States using his executive authority, a move that bypassed Congress, which has not passed immigration reform legislation despite three attempts.
The programme would allow some 4.4 million people whose children are US citizens and legal permanent residents to stay in the US while another 270,000 people were exempted from deportation under the expansion of a 2012 programme known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), allowing them work.
''This is a victory for the Constitution,'' said Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott, in a Facebook posting.
''This ruling defends the Constitution and protects the rule of law,'' Abbott wrote on his personal web site.
The Obama administration said it would appeal the ruling.
''The Department of Justice, legal scholars, immigration experts, and the district court in Washington, DC have determined that the President's actions are well within his legal authority,'' White House spokesman Josh Earnest said in a statement. ''The district court's decision wrongly prevents these lawful, commonsense policies from taking effect.''
The court ruling will embolden the Republicans in a standoff in Congress with Obama's Democrats who've maintained a united front in the Senate against even debating the matter.
''Today's ruling reinforces what I and many others have been saying for a long time: that President Obama acted outside the law when he went around Congress to unilaterally change our nation's immigration laws,'' Republican Senator from Texas, John Cornyn, said in a statement. He added that ''the fight to reverse the President's unconstitutional overreach is not over.''