Obama's Immigration Reform Takes a Big Hit in Court Federal appeals panel won't lift court ruling blocking executive actions By John Johnson, Newser Staff Posted May 26, 2015 5:48 PM CDT 214 comments Comments In this 2014 photo, two girls watch a World Cup match from their holding area where hundreds of immigrant children were being processed at a US Customs facility in Nogales, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, Pool, File) (Newser) – It was supposed to be one of the signature elements of his second term, but a court ruling today raises the possibility that President Obama's sweeping immigration reform won't begin until after he leaves the White House—if it begins at all, reports the Washington Post. The setback came courtesy of a federal appeals court, which refused to lift a lower court's order blocking Obama's executive actions while a lawsuit filed by Texas and 25 other states makes its way through the courts. “Because the government is unlikely to succeed on the merits of its appeal of the injunction, we deny the motion for stay,” said the judges in their 2-1 decision. The White House could appeal to the full 5th Circuit Court of Appeals or to the Supreme Court, reports the Hill. Obama's executive actions would shield an estimated 5 million immigrants from deportation, including young immigrants known as "Dreamers" who were brought here illegally as kids. They also would allow the parents of US citizens or legal permanent residents to apply for work permits, though they do not provide a path to citizenship, notes the LA Times. States say the president overstepped his authority, and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott today tweeted that "Texas just won the Executive Amnesty case at the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals," adding, "The constitution wins." The White House, however, said "two judges of the Fifth Circuit chose to misinterpret the facts and the law in denying the government’s request for a stay."