President Barack Obama’s administration will seek to block a court ruling that has frozen landmark immigration reform and called into question his strategy of bypassing Congressional stalemate.
The White House said on Friday that papers would be filed by Monday to stay a Texas court injunction against reforms that would protect millions of illegal immigrants from deportation.
The Department of Justice has “made a decision to file a stay” said White House spokesman Josh Earnest.
Obama has already indicated that his administration will formally appeal the ruling, but this move would allow the program to go ahead until a higher court weighs in.
“I think that the law is on our side and history is on our side, we are going to appeal it,” Obama said last week as the policy was due to enter into law.
Twenty-six states — all but two Republican-governed — had pressed the Texas judge to intervene, claiming Obama had acted unlawfully.
Obama had used an executive order to bypass a hostile Congress and drive through measures, rather than seeking lawmakers’ approval.