Judge sets Jan. 15 hearing in states’ lawsuit over immigration plan

11:15 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015 | Filed in: Politics

Georgia and 23 other states are set to get their first hearing next week in a lawsuit they have filed to block President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration.

U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Hanen, a George W. Bush nominee, has scheduled the hearing for Jan. 15 at 10 a.m. in Brownsville, Texas.

The states are arguing Obama’s plan to suspend the threat of deportation for millions of immigrants is unconstitutional and should be halted. The White House says the president is acting within his legal authority.

Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens declined a request for an interview about the lawsuit this week. But his spokeswoman said his office was not committing additional resources to the lawsuit beyond in-house staff. His office did not respond to questions about how the lawsuit came together, Georgia’s decision to join it and how Obama’s executive actions on immigration will affect Georgia. Olens’ office instead referred to a prepared statement he issued last month.

“We are a nation of immigrants, and I value the many contributions made to our country by immigrants,” he said. “We are also a nation of laws. As the complaint itself states, ‘This lawsuit is not about immigration. It is about the rule of law, presidential power, and enforcement of the U.S. Constitution.’”

“There is no question that immigration reform is needed,” he continued. “However, President Obama’s unconstitutional, short-term action only adds to uncertainty faced by those wishing to live in our country. In the president’s own words from April 20, 2011, ‘I can’t solve this problem by myself…

We’re going to have to change the laws in Congress.’ It is unfortunate that the president has decided to change course.”