CHN: A Divided Supreme Court Fails to Protect Millions of Immigrants

In a blow to millions of immigrants, a deadlocked (4-4) Supreme Court on June 23 let stand a lower court ruling blocking President Obama’s November 2014 executive actions expanding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (expanded DACA) guidelines and creating the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program. Advocates were extremely disappointed that these executive actions, which would have allowed millions of immigrants to apply for deferral of deportation and work authorization, come out of the shadows, work legally, get better jobs, pay more in taxes and stop living in fear, will not be implemented, at least for the foreseeable future.

Texas and 25 other states sued the federal government in December 2014 to block President Obama’s executive actions. In February 2015, a federal district court judge in Texas ruled in Texas’s favor and blocked both DAPA and the expansion of DACA. In a decision issued in November 2015, a divided panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the district court’s order.

Advocates like those at the National Immigration Law Center are urging the Department of Justice to seek a rehearing for when a ninth justice is confirmed to the Supreme Court, and they’re vowing to continue to explore additional options to prevent more families from being torn apart. Despite the bad news from the Supreme Court, advocates have also been working hard to remind immigrants that the case does not impact the “Dreamer” children who were granted relief from deportation under the 2012 DACA program. For more information, visit the National Immigration Law Center.