President Barack Obama's plan to protect from deportation an estimated 5 million people living in the United States illegally has suffered another setback in court.
In a 2-1 decision, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans upheld a Texas-based judge's injunction blocking the Obama administration's immigration initiative.
Republicans criticized the plan as an illegal executive overreach when Obama announced it last November. Twenty-six states challenged the plan in court.
The administration argued that the executive branch was within its rights in deciding to defer deportation of selected groups of immigrants.
Part of the initiative included expansion of a program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, protecting young immigrants from deportation if they were brought to the U.S. illegally as children.
Taking the case to the Supreme Court is now the administration's only option.