An executive order on American immigration policies penned by President Obama is subject to review by the Supreme Court.
According to a report by the New York Post, the justices said that they will review it and might reverse the orders from lower federal courts to block the policy. The review will begin in April and will be decided by the end of June.
— NBC New York (@NBCNewYork) January 19, 2016
Fourteen months ago, President Obama released an executive order that would protect more than four million undocumented immigrants in the country from deportation.
Obama announced the executive order out of frustration with Congress continuing its effort to block what he considers a “common sense” reform. When he announced it in November 2014, he said that people who are covered by the policy may soon “come out of the shadows and get right with the law.”
The executive order would implement the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA), in which immigrants who have been in the United States for a minimum of five years, and are parents to U.S. citizens will be exempted from deportation.
In addition, the EO will also make amendments to the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), which the administration enacted in 2012. The plan aims to expand the immigration policy to include undocumented immigrants who enter the country before 2010.
The EO would also take away the initial requirement that applicants should be younger than 31 years old, and it would prolong the renewal period to two years.
President Obama Announced the Executive Order on Immigration in November 2014
Unfortunately, a federal judge in Texas blocked the executive order in February 2015, and since then it has continuously lost in appeals in lower federal courts, the latest of which was in November by the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals.
As a result, the administration decided to file another appeal to the Supreme Court.
In the court filing, Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, Jr. mentioned that if the order remains blocked, undocumented immigrants would “continue to work off the books, without the option of lawful employment to provide for their families.”
The administration also insisted that Texas, which led the fight against the EO, does not have a right to go against it.
However, lower federal courts have acknowledged Texas’ stand, considering the fact that the new policies enable 500,000 people in the state to get work permits and even driver’s licenses. The costs for these licenses are subsidized by the state, which means the state of Texas would lose millions of dollars from expenses.
— FWD.us (@FWD_us) January 19, 2016
The move by the Supreme Court comes as the issue continues to become a central argument among presidential candidates this year. Republican frontrunner and business tycoon Donald Trump said that if he becomes president, he would deport all illegal immigrants from the country.
Interestingly, not all Republicans support Trump’s cause.
Meanwhile, fellow GOP candidate Marco Rubio has taken the other route, stating he will push for the citizenship of those people. Democrats Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders also share the same goal for immigration.
— Fox Nation (@foxnation) January 17, 2016
Following the Supreme Court’s statement, several immigration rights groups have applauded their decision.
“For a year, more than 5 million immigrants, including U.S. citizen children of DAPA-eligible parents, have been denied relief from deportations that was promised in President Obama’s immigration initiatives,” said Ben Monterroso, who is the executive director of a nonprofit group, Mi Familia Vota.
Unfortunately, even if the Supreme Court approves the executive order and supports the Obama administration in the implementation of DAPA and expansion of DACA, it still depends on the new president whether these policies will remain or get trashed.
[Image by Getty Images]