President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron in the East Room of the White House January 16, 2015 in Washington, DC.

*(Via MSN News) – A federal judge in South Texas on Monday temporarily blocked President Barack Obama‘s executive action on immigration, giving a coalition of 26 states time to pursue a lawsuit that aims to permanently stop the orders.

U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen’s decision comes after a hearing in Brownsville, Texas, in January and puts on hold Obama’s orders that could spare as many as five million people who are in the U.S. illegally from deportation.

Hanen wrote in a memorandum accompanying his order that the lawsuit should go forward and that without a preliminary injunction the states will “suffer irreparable harm in this case.”

“The genie would be impossible to put back into the bottle,” he wrote, adding that he agreed with the plaintiffs’ argument that legalizing the presence of millions of people is a “virtually irreversible” action.

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