House Speaker Paul Ryan announced Tuesday that Congress was slated to vote on whether to file an amicus brief against President Obama’s 2014 immigration reform program, which offers executive amnesty to more than 4 million immigrants in the country.
“The House will vote on whether to file an amicus brief in Supreme Court opposing the president’s executive amnesty,” the speaker told reporters on Capitol Hill, adding, “This is a very extraordinary step. In fact it’s never been done before, but this executive amnesty is a direct attack on the Congress’ Article 1 powers under our Constitution.”
Ryan reminded reporters the “President is not permitted to write law. Only Congress is.”
Immigration Programs Challenged by Texas and 25 Other States
President Obama first announced the programs in 2014, but a challenge by Texas and 25 other states forced federal courts to put the executive plans on hold. This in turn, has placed more than 4 million supposedly eligible immigrants in uncertain legal territory.
The Supreme Court is expected to rule on the case by summer this year. Should the Court rule in favor of the program—considered as a centerpiece to the President’s second term—they will take effect before the next president is sworn in.
House GOP to Be Represented by Former Solicitor General
According to a House Speaker aide, Paul Clement will lead the Republican Party’s legal team in court. Although both Senate and House legislators have filed amicus briefs in the past, the impending vote, expected to take place in April, will be the first time the full House of Representatives (controlled by a GOP majority) will take legal action as a whole.
The vote is expected to pass along party lines, with a few outliers.
Implications of Supreme Court Ruling
The Supreme Court ruling will come at a time of intense political pressure, with the presidential campaign in full swing and Republican candidates criticizing the President for supposedly violating the separation of powers.
The GOP has been vocal over its desire to make drastic changes to US immigration policy, with frontrunner Donald Trump promising to erect a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, and temporarily banning Muslim immigrants. While such remarks are no doubt incendiary, other GOP candidates don’t exactly hold different beliefs, with many calling for tighter controls on immigrants from Central American countries.
A proposed initiative that’s drawn flak from Republicans is the implementation of the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA), which offers protection to more than 4 million undocumented immigrants who are parents of children with permanent resident status and U.S. citizenship. The President’s executive amnesty program also aims to expand the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which provides temporary lawful presence to young adults and teenagers born outside the country, but raised here.
To learn more about how the upcoming House vote and Supreme Court ruling will affect your rights as a migrant, talk to the legal team at Lyttle Law Firm today. Schedule a consult by calling our offices at 512-215-5225 or by visiting our website.