Deadline looms for states to respond in immigration suit

Nine-year-old Fatima Celedonia holds placard as she joins other immigration law reformers during a news conference in the Denver Public Library, Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015, in Denver. The White House promised an appeal Tuesday after a federal judge in Texas temporarily blocked President Barack Obama's executive action on immigration and gave a coalition of 26 states time to pursue a lawsuit aiming to permanently stop the orders.(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

BROWNSVILLE, Texas (AP) — A deadline neared for a coalition of states suing to stop President Barack Obama's executive action on immigration to respond to a request by the U.S. government to lift a temporary hold of Obama's orders.

The states have until Tuesday to submit court documents detailing why U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen in Texas should not lift a preliminary injunction.

Hanen issued the injunction on Feb. 16 that halted Obama's order, which could spare as many as 5 million people who are in the U.S. illegally from deportation. Texas leads the 26-state coalition that sought the injunction, arguing that Obama's executive action was unconstitutional.

The U.S. government has asked Hanen to stay his injunction while it appeals to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.

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