The U.S. Supreme Court announced on Jan. 19 that it will hear a challenge to President Barack Obama’s executive orders on immigration reform. The orders issued by the President in 2015 would protect roughly 5 million people illegally residing in the U.S. from deportation.
The case is scheduled for April, and a decision should be made at the end of June.
The legal dispute is focused on two policies: Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). DAPA shields undocumented immigrants with children legally residing in the U.S. who have been in the country since 2010. DACA protects immigrants who have been residing in the U.S. since before the age of 16.
The executive orders on immigration came amid a politically gridlocked Congress and could stand to be a significant part of Obama’s legacy, according to Politico.
The Supreme Court will determine whether the President adhered to his constitutional obligation to “take care that the Laws be faithfully executed” in addition to whether the orders are constitutional.
Advocates of the executive orders voiced support for the Supreme Court’s decision to hear the case.
“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,” Ben Monterroso, executive director of Mi Familia Vota, said in a statement, according to Newsweek.
“We applaud the court’s decision to hear the case, and we hope it fully considers the sound legal reasoning behind the President’s administrative relief,” he added.
Many conservatives expressed their opposition to the executive orders, and embraced the case as an opportunity to strike down the immigration policies.
“The Obama administration has a long history of trying to get its way undemocratically, and this case is no different,” Carrie Severino, chief counsel of the Judicial Crisis Network, said in a statement.
“The Supreme Court has already blocked many of President Obama’s power grabs. This case will give the court yet another chance to do so.”