President Barack Obama denounced the Supreme Court ruling that effectively blocked one of his cornerstone executive actions on immigration.
Although the Supreme Court ruling was 4-4, the tie left in place an appeals court ruling blocking Obama's Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, or DAPA, plan that would have given millions of undocumented immigrants work permits and shielded them from deportation.
Obama took the action in 2014 after constant blocking from Republicans prevented any immigration legislation from passing.
"The fact that the Supreme Court wasn't able to issue a decision today doesn't just set the system back further," Obama said after the ruling was announced on June 23, according to Mic. "It takes us further from the country that we aspire to be."
He added: "I think it is heartbreaking for the millions of immigrants who made their lives here, who raise families here and hope for the opportunity to work, pay taxes, serve in our military and more fully contribute to this country we all love in an open way.”
Texas attorney general Ken Paxton, one of the plaintiffs in the case that encompassed 26 states who sued the federal government over the executive action, praised the Supreme Court ruling.
“Today’s decision keeps in place what we have maintained from the very start: one person, even a president, cannot unilaterally change the law,” Paxton said in a statement, according to the New York Times. “This is a major setback to President Obama’s attempts to expand executive power, and a victory for those who believe in the separation of powers and the rule of law.”
But others who support immigration reform contended that the fight isn't over.
“This is personal,” said Rocio Saenz, the executive vice president of the Service Employees International Union. “We will remain at the front lines, committed to defending the immigration initiatives and paving the path to lasting immigration reform.”