AUSTIN, Texas - Texas is leading a 17-state coalition suing over President Obama's recently announced executive actions on immigration, arguing in a suit Wednesday that the move "tramples" key portions of the Constitution.
Many top Republicans have denounced Obama's move, designed to spare as many as five million people from deportation.
Texas Gov.-elect Greg Abbott took it a step further, filing a formal legal challenge in federal court. His state is joined by 16 other mostly conservative states.
The states are not seeking monetary damages, but instead want the courts to block Obama's actions.
Under Obama's order, announced Nov. 20, protection from deportation and the right to work will be extended to an estimated 4.1 million parents of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents who have lived in the United States for at least five years and to hundreds of thousands more young people.
Abbott said it was up to the president to "execute the law, not de facto make law."
Republican presidents, including Ronald Reagan, have issued past executive orders pertaining to immigration. Abbott said those were in response to actions by Congress - unlike Obama, who Abbott said acted in lieu of congressional approval.
In Washington, immigration hard-liners in Congress announced they would defy House Republican leaders and oppose legislation to keep the government open. They demanded specific provisions to stop Obama's executive actions blocking deportations for millions.
The growing conservative opposition was a problem for House Speaker John A. Boehner and other Republican leaders. A day earlier, Boehner presented House Republicans with a two-part plan to declare Obama's action "null and void" but also keep the government running past Dec. 11, when a current funding measure expires.