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By Jonathan Kaminsky (Reuters) - A U.S. appeals court on Tuesday rejected a challenge to President Barack Obama's 2012 executive action granting deportation relief to immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children, upholding a lower court's earlier ruling. A panel of the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that the plaintiffs in the case - the state of Mississippi and a group of Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers upset by White House directives - had not shown they had been sufficiently harmed by the rule to keep the case alive. "We conclude that neither the agents nor the state of Mississippi has demonstrated the concrete and particularized injury required to give them standing to maintain this suit," the decision stated. The ruling comes as the same appellate court prepares to hear the Obama administration's appeal of a challenge to a landmark immigration overhaul unveiled last year that would let up to 4.7 million illegal immigrants stay without threat of deportation. That overhaul was put on hold in February, when a federal judge in Texas ruled that Obama had failed to give adequate public notice of his plans. In the case stemming from the 2012 executive action, Mississippi had sought to show it had standing as a plaintiff by arguing illegal immigrants drained state resources, while the ICE agents said they were being forced to violate their oaths to enforce the law. A federal district court judge had earlier dismissed the case, but had found the ICE agents had standing as plaintiffs. (Additional reporting by Lawrence Hurley in Washington; Reporting by Jonathan Kaminsky in New Orleans; Editing by Eric Walsh)