Tuesday the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review the Obama administration’s proposed new immigration plan that could shield more than four million people from deportation. This spring, if the court rules in favor of the White House, President Obama could begin putting the changes into effect during his final months in office, reports NBC News. However, if the administration loses, court battles could keep the program on hold for several more years.
Under the new policy, adults who are here illegally would be allowed to remain if they have children who are US citizens or lawful permanent residents. A four-year-old program that allows young people to remain in the US if they were brought here under age 16, provided they meet educational or military service requirements, would be expanded as well.
Blocked by lower court rulings in a lawsuit brought by Texas and 25 other states, neither change have gone into effect. The argument is that provisions of the new policy would allow people to get work permits and other benefits, resulting in higher costs of accommodating those who remain in the US.
The lower federal courts ruled last year that because the changes were so significant, the administration should have sought public comment first. Failing to do so, they declared, was illegal.
The Justice Department argues that if allowed to stand, the lower court rulings “will allow states to frustrate the federal government’s enforcement of the nation’s immigration laws.” But the states have successfully argued in the lower courts that the policy doesn’t merely delay or defer removal proceedings. “It expressly grants aliens work-permit eligibility and lawful presence in this country,” with access to Social Security, Medicare, tax credits, and unemployment benefits.
According to WND, the court’s ruling could open the doors for Obama to press forward with his amnesty hopes before he leaves office. Challengers refuted Obama’s claim that he maintained in his executive role the power to prosecute, or not, illegals stating his White House went far and beyond the rightful role of the executive.
“In deciding to hear this case, the Supreme Court recognizes the importance of the separation of powers,” said Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in a statement. “The Court should affirm what President Obama said himself on more than 20 occasions: that he cannot unilaterally rewrite congressional laws and circumvent the people’s representatives,” Paxton added.
Critics are calling Obama’s plan an amnesty provision that bypassed Congress. Twenty-six states sued the White House over the unilateral action. Assuming a ruling by the end of June, it would come right in the middle of the race for President.