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Supreme Court to Hear Obama's Immigration Plan

On Tuesday morning, Jan. 19, the Supreme Court agreed to consider Obama’s immigration plan, which would provide work permits to about 5 million illegal immigrants, who would also be shielded from deportation.

This is the latest news in the heated debate over illegal immigration, which has been at the forefront of the presidential campaign. The high court will be hearing the case in April and issuing a decision in June.

In November, the Justice Department petitioned the court to review the ruling by the 5th U.S. Court of Appeals in Louisiana, which upheld a decision by Texas Federal Judge Andrew S. Hanen which blocked Obama’s immigration plan.

On Nov. 20, 2014, Obama went public with his immigration initiative, but Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, along with 26 other Republican-led states, fought the program.

Opponents claimed that if it were to go through, it would place a great burden on the states for various reasons, such as forcing them to issue hundreds of thousands of driver’s licenses to the immigrants.

The issue is whether Obama is violating federal law by making policy changes without the input of the American people, and if the executive branch can enforce immigration law.

On Tuesday, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who opposes Obama’s plan said in a statement, “As federal courts have already ruled three times, there are limits to the president’s authority, and those limits enacted by Congress were exceeded.”

Meanwhile, immigrant advocates are hopeful that they will have a fair hearing, namely because they believe that the lower courts’ decisions were politically motivated.

“We are optimistic that the underlying legal issues will be resolved in our favor, and the relief fought for and won by the immigrants’ rights movement will be unfrozen,” said Frank Sharry of America’s Voice.

While the court may decide to allow Obama’s program to proceed, implementing it before the November election would be difficult. Additionally, the outcome of the election will likely determine whether or not the program will be enacted.

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