The U.S. government has asked the Supreme Court to re-evaluate President Barack Obama’s offer of deportation relief for undocumented immigrants after a 4-4 deadlock in June. The petition was filed last week and seeks a decision when the Supreme Court has a full panel of nine judges.
The 4-4 split decision in United States v. Texas resulted in a nationwide injunction, effectively blocking Obama’s executive action on immigration, leaving approximately 4 million undocumented immigrants who qualified for the program uncertain of their futures. If the Supreme Court accepts the petition, arguments will begin as soon as a ninth justice is sworn in.
Push for Immigration Law Rehearing
The deadlocked 4-4 verdict was one vote short due to the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February, leaving the decision to implement Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) and to expand the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) hanging in the balance. The Obama administration claims that the objective of DAPA is to keep law-abiding families together, and prioritize deportation of serious criminals and new illegal arrivals.
Those who qualify for DAPA will be granted three-year “lawful presence”. They could also apply for federal work permits and driver’s licenses.
Obama did try to nominate a replacement for Scalia in March, but the Republicans denied Judge Merrick Garland a Senate confirmation hearing, restricting the Supreme Court to a number of important cases in the last term. The Republicans also contend that the duty to appoint the ninth judge belongs to the incoming president and not Obama, because a presidential election year unfairly politicizes the selection process.
Texas is leading 26 Republican-led states objecting to DAPA. The Republicans claim that Obama pushed the immigration policy in violation of the notice-and-comment procedures of the Administrative Procedure Act.
Support for Petitioning the Supreme Court
Presumptive presidential nominee Hillary Clinton took to social media to express her support for the petition. In her Twitter account, she posted: “With five million lives on the line, [the Supreme Court] should grant DOJ’s petition to rehear U.S. v. Texas. Let’s keep immigrant families together.
The Center for American Progress (CAP) also released a statement in support of the petition. Vice President of CAP Tom Jawetz said, “With nothing more to be gained from sending this case back to the trial court, we urge the Supreme Court, once fully constituted, to agree to hear this case and do the right thing: reject this politically motivated lawsuit, respect the authority of the secretary of homeland security to set smart national immigration enforcement policies, and unfreeze DAPA and expand DACA.”
If you want to learn more about the status of immigration policies, visit our website for helpful information. You can also contact us at 512-215-5225 so that we can provide the legal help you need.