The Supreme Court of the United States announced Tuesday that they will hear the case Texas vs. United States to decide the legality of President Obama’s immigration programs, which would protect about 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation.
The Court will be hearing the case in April and a decision is expected by June, in the middle of the presidential elections and before the end of Obama’s presidency.
The case was held last year as a result of a litigation brought by a coalition of 26 states, including Texas, against Obama’s administrative programs DAPA and the extension of DACA. DAPA is the deferred action for parents of citizens and legal permanent residents and DACA is the deferred action for children who came to the U.S. before the age of 16. These programs will protect immigrants who qualify from deportation by giving them temporary work authorization and driver licenses.
The indictment was originally introduced in a federal court in Texas where a judge issued a ruling blocking the programs. The Department of Justice (DOJ) filed an emergency motion to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans to remove the initial injunction, but the Fifth Circuit Court denied the government’s request twice. The DOJ announced last November that it would take the case to the Supreme Court.
Texas and the other states have argued that the deferred action programs are unconstitutional and would make their communities unsafe. But the Obama administration has said that the President has the power to make administrative changes in immigration through executive orders.
However, the Supreme Court is now taking a broader step. The Court is “asking both parties to address an additional and fundamental question: whether the administration’s plan violates the constitutional command that the president shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed,” according to the New York Times.
Just last week, the immigrant community of the New York City area got together at Judson Memorial church in Manhattan to request the full implementation of the programs.
“I am an Arab and Muslim American whose family has been torn apart by the ruthless and unjust immigration system in the United States. My own father was undocumented, and even though he had 3 children who were U.S. citizens, he was eventually deported after being incarcerated for 3 and a half years,” said Aber Kawas, youth leader organizer at the Arab American Association of New York. “Programs like DACA and DAPA not only give opportunities for people to work and go to school, but they also keep families together rather than tear them apart.”
“When President Obama announced DAPA, my husband and I began to make plans – plans for our children’s education, to find more steady work, and to walk the streets without fear,” said Monica Robles, a member of Cabrini Immigrant Services. “But when we heard that DAPA had been delayed, our plans and dreams disappeared. My children live in constant fear. My son does not want to go to school because he worries that when he returns home we will no longer be there. Now, we ask that the Supreme Court hears our case so our children can have a better future and so we can live in this country without fear.”