Supreme Court's Deadlock In Crucial Immigration Case
CONGRESS MUST ACT TO PROVIDE RELIEF IN WAKE OF SUPREME COURT DEADLOCK IN CRUCIAL IMMIGRATION CASE
Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a 4-4 decision in United States v. Texas, a case challenging two of President Obama’s key immigration initiatives, Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) and the expansion of the current Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). This deadlock means that the preliminary injunction, which temporarily halted the implementation of these programs, stands.
Millions of would-be eligible immigrants, whose lives would have been vastly improved by DAPA and the expansion of DACA, are now left in a precarious situation as further relief under this administration is unlikely. Receiving lawful presence status through these programs would have allowed these individuals to come out of hiding and lawfully work in the U.S. with a work permit. Such a measure would also have reduced the exploitation of these individuals in the workplace. Further, families would have had comfort in knowing that they could remain together with these programs in place.
According to the American Immigration Council, 3.7 million undocumented immigrants have children who are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents. Research has shown that children whose parents are at risk of deportation are more likely to suffer psychological harm, undermining their chances for educational and economic success. Noting the impact on these families, especially those lawfully residing in the U.S., President Obama expressed deep disappointment in the ruling, stating that the “decision is frustrating to those who seek to grow our economy and bring a rationality to our immigration system.” However, he predicts that lawmakers will eventually be forced to act to overhaul the country’s broken immigration system.
“Congress is not going to be able to ignore America forever,” he said. “It’s not a matter of if; it’s a matter of when. We get these spasms of politics around immigration and fear-mongering, and then our traditions and our history and our better impulses kick in.”
The topic of immigration will certainly be a key issue in the upcoming election. The next president will most likely be responsible for filling the seat left vacant by the recent death of Justice Antonin Scalia, who likely would have voted against DAPA and the expansion of DACA.
The Republican nominee, Donald Trump, and presumptive Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, had very different reactions to the Court’s deadlock. Trump commended the Court for blocking “one of the most unconstitutional actions undertaken by a president,” while Clinton called the decision “unacceptable” and “heartbreaking,” vowing “to defend DAPA and DACA, and do everything possible under the law to go further to protect families.”
While the Court’s ruling is certainly a setback in the immigration reform movement, SABA GB agrees with President Obama—Congress can no longer ignore our broken immigration system and must act in passing comprehensive immigration reform.
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