WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Justice Department will not ask the U.S. Supreme Court to stay an appellate court ruling that President Barack Obama's move to shield millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation should remain on hold, a spokesman said on Wednesday.
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Tuesday in favor of 26 states challenging Obama's executive action on immigration.
The immigration order was first put on hold by Texas Judge Andrew Hanen in February after the states, all led by Republican governors, argued that taking in migrants would be overly burdensome.
The 5th Circuit will hear the administration's appeal of the injunction in July.
An administration official said the White House did not want to add to the confusion surrounding the status of the immigration action by seeking a Supreme Court stay at this time.
Instead, the Obama administration will hold off a decision on whether to go to the Supreme Court until after the 5th Circuit rules on its appeal, the official said.
The Department of Homeland Security said in a statement that some components of the executive action had been unaffected, including revised enforcement guidelines that instruct enforcement agents to prioritize criminals and newly arrived immigrants over those with clean records and ties to the United States.
(This version of the story corrects paragraph six to make clear the Obama administration will hold off a decision on whether to go to the Supreme Court.)
Reporting by Julia Edwards; Editing by Sandra Maler and Peter Cooney