JUSTICE

SCOTUS To Hear Case That Will Determine Fate Of 4 Million Immigrants

26 states are fighting the Obama administration in the Supreme Court starting on Monday

JUSTICE
A November rally one year after Obama unveiled his executive actions. — REUTERS
Apr 18, 2016 at 5:29 AM ET

President Barack Obama’s program aimed at protecting an estimated 4 million illegal immigrants from deportation faces its greatest challenge on Monday when the U.S. Supreme Court will hear legal arguments over the policy.

Obama introduced the controversial program, Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA), in November 2014 as part of a series of executive actions on immigration. It would have allowed parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents to request a working permit for three years and protect them from being deported, if they’ve passed background checks and lived in the U.S. since the start of 2010. The policy had been due to go into effect on February 18 last year, but was blocked by a Texas federal judge when Texas and 25 other states filed a lawsuit to stop the program, saying Obama overstepped his presidential authority.

More Undocumented Immigrants Pay Billions in Taxes

The Obama administration sought have the injunction appealed, but it was upheld by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in November, propelling the case, Texas v. United States, to the Supreme Court. SCOTUS has until the end of June to announce its ruling on whether or not the Obama administration acted constitutionally.

The February death of Justice Antonin Scalia means the court is now evenly split between four liberal and four conservative justices. If the Supreme Court rules 4-4, the Texas federal court ruling will remain in place and the program will remain blocked, which will likely be a cause for celebration for the Republican-led Congress that Obama bypassed when he announced the program.