HOUSTON (AP) — A federal judge in Texas has declined to order the U.S. government to stop an Obama-era program shielding young immigrants from deportation.

U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen's ruling Friday is a blow to opponents of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Hanen questioned the legality of DACA. But he also said opponents couldn't prove that allowing the program to continue was causing irreparable harm. He said more harm would be done if the program ended.

Texas led a group of states in filing the lawsuit in hopes Hanen would rule DACA unconstitutional. That would have triggered a conflict with three other federal orders and likely drawn the attention of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Texas was joined in filing the lawsuit by Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Carolina and West Virginia.