Iran nuclear talks
US President Barack Obama\'s executive order, which would have expanded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program to nearly 5 million undocumented immigrants, was blocked on 16 February. Mike Theiler/Reuters

A Texas federal judge denied a request on 7 April from the US Department of Justice to lift the ban placed on President Barack Obama's executive action on immigration reform.

The executive order, which was scheduled to go into effect on 18 February, would expand the existing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (Daca) program to up to five million undocumented immigrants. The program allows undocumented immigrants who meet certain entry and age requirements to receive a two-year renewable work visa and exemption from deportation.

However, US District Judge Andrew Hanen refused to lift his 16 February decision that placed a temporary ban on the order. The ban was a result of a lawsuit filed by Republican governors who claim the action is illegal. Twenty-six states have sued to block Obama's order from taking effect, while 14 states and the Disctrict of Columbia have come out in favour.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton accused the Obama Administration of misleading the court regarding the early implementation of expanded work permits for the undocumented, Reuters reported on 7 April.

"Any premature implementation could have serious consequences, inflicting irreparable harm on our state, and this ruling is key in determining the extent to which the federal government did not present the full truth in this case," Paxton said in a statement.

The Justice Department has also appealed Hanen's ruling to the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. The appeals court, consisting of a three judge panel, is scheduled to hear arguments on whether Hanen's ban should be lifted on 17 April.

CNN reported that Hanen requested the government provide more information on the issue by 21 April.