Justice Department Takes Lawsuit Challenging Obama's Immigration Plan to Supreme Court

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A woman holds a replica green card sign during a protest march to demand immigration reform in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, October 5, 2013. Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

The Obama administration said on Tuesday it plans to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse an appeals court decision that blocked President Barack Obama's executive actions aimed at shielding millions of illegal immigrants from deportation.

The Justice Department said it will appeal a decision by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday that blocked Obama's immigration actions. The case was brought by 26 Republican-governed states that contend Obama exceeded his presidential powers by taking the actions.

Obama's executive orders, announced last November but put on hold by the courts, would let up to 4.7 million illegal immigrants stay without threat of deportation. It was aimed mainly at helping people whose children are U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents.

"The department disagrees with the 5th Circuit's adverse ruling and intends to seek further review from the Supreme Court of the United States," Justice Department spokesman Patrick Rodenbush said.