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WASHINGTON - President Obama’s plans to protect millions of immigrants from deportation were frozen on Tuesday while his administration scrambled to appeal an order by a federal judge in Texas temporarily halting the program.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson announced that the Obama administration has put off for now the first step in implementing the program, expanding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals initiative that has granted a temporary reprieve from deportation for nearly 600,000 young people. The administration had been scheduled to begin accepting applications for the expansion Wednesday.

Johnson said the administration was also putting on hold plans for a much larger program, known as Deferred Action for Parents of Americans, which could apply to around 4 million adult immigrants.

“The Department of Justice will appeal that temporary injunction,” Johnson said in a statement, referring to the judge’s order. “In the meantime, we recognize we must comply with it. We fully expect to ultimately prevail in the courts, and we will be prepared to implement DAPA and expanded DACA once we do.”

Saying he was tired of waiting for Republicans to fix a broken immigration system, President Obama announced in November that he would use his executive authority to protect millions of immigrants from the threat of being deported. Texas and 25 other states, mostly controlled by Republican governors, went to court to block its implementation.

Late Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Hanen in Texas issued an order siding with those states and blocking the plan for now. The White House has said it will appeal, and likely will request an emergency stay of Hanen’s decision at the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.

Read the entire story at Los Angeles Times

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