After facing criticism for his recent executive order on immigration, President Obama faces a new challenge over his plan to protect the rights of undocumented immigrants, this time coming from the United States Supreme Court. The SC announced it would review an objection by a New Orleans federal appeals court, which ruled that the administration’s executive orders had overstepped the legal authority of the Office of The President.
Protection for Immigrants
In November 2014, the Obama administration announced its plans of providing paths to citizenship to more than 5 million undocumented immigrants in the United States, effectively protecting them from deportation. Obama’s executive order offers legal status to immigrants who have been in the country for at least 5 years, as well as immigrants who are parents of U.S. citizens. The policy would also eliminate the 30-year age limit that currently only allows undocumented immigrants brought in as children to stay in the U.S.
Before these plans could take effect, however, Republican-run states objected to the executive order, with former-House Speaker John Boehner calling the order a part of Obama’s “legacy of lawlessness.” Boehner pointed out the President was acting more like a king instead of working with Congress to solve the immigration issue.
Decision to be Announced in the Middle of Presidential Election Season
At present, the appeals court process brings the challenge to the Supreme Court, which will now have to decide on the executive order’s constitutionality. The SC will review the challenge in April, and will likely to announce a decision sometime this summer, right in the middle of heated presidential campaigns that have stirred public opinion on immigration policy.
Republican candidate Donald Trump said he would build a wall on the border, while fellow GOP candidate Marco Rubio is facing criticism for his unclear stance on helping undocumented immigrants. Meanwhile, Democratic candidates Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have voiced support for a clear path to citizenship, although it remains to be seen whether such a plan will be approved by a GOP-controlled Congress, which has proven to be a thorn on the side of the Obama administration.
Is the Order a Case of Too Little Too Late?
And even if the Supreme Court’s decision is in favor of Obama’s executive order, it may not be around for long as his administration only has one year left before the next administration takes over, and it will be up to the next president to decide whether such a policy will remain in place.
The Supreme Court goes further into detail with the questions surrounding the case on the official Supreme Court of the United States blog (SCOTUSblog).
To learn more about how this latest setback to the Obama immigrant policy affects your rights as an immigrant, get in touch with the immigration lawyers of Lyttle Law Firm today. Call us at 512-215-5225 for a consult and discussion on how we can help you.