Immigration News - Supreme Court Takes Up Obama’s Immigration Plan

Immigration News - Supreme Court Takes Up Obama’s Immigration Plan


Board of Church & Society

1/20/2016

Immigration Blog Update: Supreme Court Takes Up Obama’s Immigration Plan
By Bruce Lamb
CBCS Assistant Coordinator
January 19, 2016
 
The Supreme Court announced Tuesday that it will hear arguments in United States v. Texas, the case that has blocked President Obama’s DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans) and expanded DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) initiatives. The New York Times says, “The Justices raised the possibility of a broad decision by taking the unusual step of adding their own question to the case, asking the parties to address whether Mr. Obama had violated his constitutional obligations to enforce the nation’s laws. The answer to that question could significantly alter the scope of presidential power in realms far beyond immigration.”
 
Obama’s DAPA and expanded DACA would allow as many as five million immigrants who are parents of citizens or lawful permanent residents to apply for a program sparing them from deportation and providing work permits. According to The Times, if the Supreme Court upholds Obama’s DAPA and expanded DACA, the White House has vowed to move quickly to set up the DAPA program and begin enrolling immigrants before his successor takes over. Every Republican running for president has vowed to rescind Obama’s programs if they win the White House, while three Democratic contenders have all promised to keep Obama’s immigration programs intact. The decision of the courts to hear the case is a victory for the president. Now the president has a chance to win the case and implement his plan before he leaves office.
 
What Does This Mean?
Immigrant families will finally have their day in court. Millions of families have waited for almost a year for these immigration initiatives to receive full and fair consideration by the Supreme Court. “The lives of millions of children and families in America have been disrupted and held in limbo  - a situation the president’s action was designed to eliminate – and they deserve the Court’s careful and prompt attention,” said Elizabeth Wydra, chief counsel of the Congressional Accountability Center in the Washington Post.
 
America’s Voice Blog says, “Since 2014, Republicans have been aggressively trying to undo all of the progress we have achieved on immigration. Not only have they stalled the implementation of DAPA and the expansion of DACA, but they have pledged to get rid of the original DACA created in 2012 if they win the White House in December.”
 
The U.S. Department of Justice will file a brief on the side of DAPA and DACA and the Attorney General of Texas, representing the 26 GOP Governors and Attorneys General, will file the brief against. In March, “friend of the court” briefs will be filed in support of DAPA and DACA+. In April the Supreme Court will hold oral arguments and lawyers for the Department of Justice and State of Texas will each present their case before the Supreme Court. Finally, in June the Supreme Court will issue a decision.
 
More Than Immigration Policy Is At Stake
The States argue that the programs “would be one of the largest changes in immigration policy in our nation’s history” and that it raises major issues involving the separation of powers and federalism.
 
The Washington Post says the administration contends that states have no legal standing to sue because it is up to the federal government to set immigration policy and that the department of Homeland Security did not violate federal statues in devising the program.
 
The Washington Post also highlights that although United States v. Texas focuses on Obama’s immigration policy reforms but the legal implications of the case will extend far beyond immigration policy. The Washington Post says, “A threshold issue in this case is whether Texas and the other states suing over the administration’s policies have standing to invoke the jurisdiction of the federal courts. This is a particularly important question because state attorneys have become quite active in challenging federal policies in federal court. Democratic AGs have made a practice of suing the Bush administration over various policies with which they disagreed, and now Republican AGs are routinely suing the Obama administration, but courts have not always known what to make of these suits.” 
 
Read More:
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/20/us/politics/supreme-court-to-hear-challenge-to-obama-immigration-actions.html?_r=0
 
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2016/01/19/more-than-immigration-policy-is-at-stake-in-the-immigration-case/