President Barack Obama suffered a huge blow Thursday when the Supreme Court blocked his effort to protect more than 4 million undocumented immigrants from being deported.
The high court deadlocked 4-4 over the president’s new program to grant “deferred action” to illegal immigrants who are parents of children born in the U.S. or green card holders, Politico reported.
The tie resulted from the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, which left the court with only eight justices. The one-sentence opinion simply stated that the court was “equally divided” and therefore unable to collect a majority on either side.
A lower court ruling preventing Obama’s executive actions from taking effect was therefore allowed to stand.
The ruling essentially stated that the president overstepped his authority and for all practical purposes killed the program for the duration of Obama’s presidency — something that must surely have him fuming since his dream was a leave behind an immigration legacy.
Obama announced the “Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents” by unilateral executive action in 2014. With one stoke of his pen, he ordered that millions of illegal immigrants should be able to work legally in the U.S.
Once qualified for the program, parents of children born in the U.S. and those with green cards could apply for work authorization, pay taxes and receive some government benefits.
The ruling doesn’t set precedent for future cases, and therefore doesn’t prevent the president from making any future executive actions. However, it does demonstrate the frailty of a president attempting sweeping action without clear authority from Congress.
The decision is sure to bring the matter of immigration to the forefront of the presidential election — as if it weren’t there already. GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump has already promised to reverse Obama’s actions and beef up efforts to deport millions of illegal immigrants.
This huge loss for Obama is a big win for America citizens and millions of legal immigrants hoping to achieve citizenship.
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