Supreme Court Split on Immigration

Ysabella Atehourtua, Staff Writer

News of the Supreme Court has been all over since the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. However, on April 18th the main story was on President Obama’s immigration plan, Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA), in the case of United States v. Texas No. 15-674. They met to hear arguments from 26 states about Obama’s unilateral 2014 executive action that bypassed Congress to give undocumented immigrants legal work permits and protection from deportation.

  If this were to pass, more than four  million people would be shielded from deportation. Ayah Faqui (11) said, “I think this is a good idea because it will help a lot of people, many are in this country illegally and if we can not get them to come in legally we might as well make it possible to work legally.” This was brought to the Supreme Court by the state of Texas, whose federal judges believe the plan oversteps presidential boundaries. Texas has argued the President has essentially created new immigration laws, while people for the plan believe it simply tells undocumented immigrants, “you will not be deported unless we change our minds,” stated by Justice Elena Kagan.

  At the end of the day, the court was in a 4 to 4 split, with the conservative leaning justices against and the liberal leaning justices in favor of the plan. Hunter Hargrave (12) said, “The fact that there are eight people on the Supreme Court with such differing views is perfect, we start to be able to see all sides of the story and it protects the American people.”   

  The order itself is, said by Jeffrey Toobin from the New York Times, “That the parents of children born in the United States should not be deported if they pay a modest fee and prove that they have not committed crimes.” The main problems the Court faces are whether the people who brought the case up in the first place had the right to do so, and if the harm done to Texas outweighs the people potentially saved.

  The last reason this was brought to court is many believe President Obama had no right to create this executive order in the first place, as he bypassed Congress in order to do so. Thus many believe he has interrupted the checks and balances system by making his own ‘laws’ which is a job primarily done by Congress. Hannah Harrison (10) said, “In my opinion, although it technically is not in his job description to do so, Obama had every right to create this ‘law’ the checks and balances comes from the Supreme Court questioning it right now.”

  Texas’ main reason for bringing the case was that they already have a law that gives licenses to people legally in Texas. If this law passes now, they will be forced to give licenses to all the people previously seen as illegal that would then be ‘lawfully present.’

  Because of the split, the case got deferred to the lower courts. They established that people will be granted the rights to works, but no the right to become a United States Citizen.