Politics

President Obama's Executive Order On Immigration Heads To The Supreme Court

| by Amanda Andrade-Rhoades
Immigration Protest.Immigration Protest.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that President Barack Obama’s executive order that would protect millions of immigrants in the country illegally exceeded his authority, but the administration has now appealed for the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene.

On Nov. 20, the Obama administration asked the Supreme Court to issue a statement that the program should be allowed to continue, The Huffington Post reported. In its petition, the Obama administration cited Truax v. Raich, a 100-year-old case that ruled "The authority to control immigration ... is vested solely in the Federal Government.”

On the same date last year, Obama announced the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, which would allow some immigrants currently in the country illegally to receive temporary work permits as an expansion to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which was designed to help those who came to the U.S. as children.

A total of 26 states sued the administration for both DAPA and DACA and the programs were blocked by a judge, who was later backed up by the appeals court. In the meantime, the more than 4 million immigrants who are affected by the executive actions are in a legal limbo.

Though it’s unclear if the Supreme Court will actually rule on the matter, advocacy groups rallied in front of the court to make their voices heard. “Right now it is in the Supreme Court’s hands to make this right for our communities,” Jaime Contreras, a Service Employees International Union leader, told The Washington Post. “Ultimately, we know it’s in our hands, and we are going to come out and vote in larger numbers than we have before.”

Texas, which lead the charge against Obama’s executive action, said it will keep fighting. "The president said himself more than 20 times that he didn't have the authority to unilaterally rewrite immigration law," said Cynthia Meyer, a spokeswoman for Texas’s Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton. 

"Three times federal courts have ruled in our favor, and we stand ready to continue defending the rule of law as we lead a 26-state coalition against the president's unconstitutional use of executive power."

Sources: The Huffington Post, The Washington Post / Photo credit: Travis Wise/Flickr