The Supreme Court has announced it will take up the matter of President Obama’s executive actions on immigration, setting the stage for a controversial ruling this summer. The issue has become a talking point for Republican presidential candidates and the ruling will be highly divisive, regardless of where the Court lands.
At issue is the implementation of the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) aimed at the approximately 4.3 million undocumented immigrants who are parents of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents, as well as an expansion of the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) targeting teenagers and young adults who were born outside of the U.S. but raised in the country.
The President’s actions allow eligible participants to obtain temporary lawful presence and apply for work authorization as well as some associated benefits.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who has been leading the charge in court against the Obama administration, said that the unilateral actions are unconstitutional and that the administration also violated the Administrative Procedures Act, a law that sets forth how federal agencies can establish regulations.
“The Executive does have enforcement discretion to forbear from removing aliens on an individual basis,” Paxton argued in court papers, but that does not include “the power to deem unlawful conduct as lawful, or to change an alien’s statutory immigration classification.”