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Supreme Court Hears Big Immigration Case

On Monday, April 18, the Supreme Court heard arguments in the United States v. Texas, the case that centers on protecting undocumented immigrants.

Texas, along with a collection of other states, is taking the lead in challenging President Obama’s plan to protect millions of undocumented immigrants and shield them from deportation.

Obama’s immigration plan, announced in 2014, was blocked by a lower court and in effect, has been placed on hold while the case was pending in the courts. The fate of the president’s immigration action is uncertain as the public awaits the Supreme Court’s decision on the case.

In 2014, Obama announced his plans to grant certain classes of undocumented immigrants temporary relief from deportation.

His plan would have applied to the parents of United States citizens and lawful permanent residents under the program Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA).

Obama’s announcement would have also extended to immigrants who came to the U.S. as children under an earlier program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA.

The administration argues that the undocumented immigrants receiving deferred action are not receiving lawful immigration status. Instead, they will be notified that they are NOT a deportation priority.

That way, the administration contends, these undocumented immigrants can “come out of the shadows” and apply for work authorization.

Meanwhile, the states, which are led by Texas and joined by the House of Representatives, argue that the president’s initiative conflicts with the existing immigration laws, and that it grants legal status to undocumented immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally under the current immigration laws.

The states also argue that the immigration plan is unconstitutional and that when the president created it, he failed to ensure that our laws were being faithfully executed.

If the high court strikes down Obama’s immigration plan, it would leave any immigration action to the next administration. If there is a 4-4 tie, again, the issue will have to be taken up by the next president.

The Supreme Court is expected to reach a decision sometime in June.

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