The Supreme Court announced that it would hear the immigration lawsuit that 26 state attorneys general have filed against President Barack Obama regarding his executive orders from 2014. The immigration lawsuit, led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, claims that the president exceeded his constitutional authority by issuing executive orders regarding the immigration status of millions of undocumented immigrants. The high court’s decision is expected to come down by mid-summer.
Executive Orders Prompt Immigration Lawsuit
In November 2014, President Obama issued two executive orders that would defer deportation proceedings for undocumented immigrants. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program would allow immigrants who arrived as minors to receive a two-year work permit and exemption from deportation. The Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) program would allow undocumented immigrants whose children were either natural-born or naturalized citizens to defer their deportation hearings.
States File Immigration Lawsuit
The states’ immigration lawsuit alleges that the DACA and DAPA programs would place an undue burden on the individual states. The states would be called on to provide schooling, health care, and driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants. The states claim in their immigration lawsuit that the extra expense of providing these programs for illegal immigrants would force them either to raise state taxes or cut programs for U.S. citizens who rely on them.
Immigration Lawsuit Addresses Constitutional Issues
The immigration lawsuit also seeks to address the question of whether the president overstepped his constitutional authority by issuing the executive orders. While presidents throughout history have issued such orders, this case will examine if the orders can be used to make policy when Congress hesitates to do so. Stephen Yale-Loehr, a law professor at Cornell University, told a New York Times reporter that the high court’s decision on the immigration lawsuit could redefine the balance of power between Congress and the president.”
Immigration Lawsuit and Partisan Politics
Many political observers have noted the partisan nature of the immigration lawsuit. President Obama requested that the court hear the immigration lawsuit before the presidential elections this November. Of the 26 state attorneys general who have joined in the immigration lawsuit, nearly all of them are Republicans. Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who filed the original lawsuit in his previous role as the state’s attorney general, has long been an outspoken opponent of the president’s policies.
Source: New York Times
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