Supreme Court to Rule on Obama’s 2014 Executive Actions on Immigration


The U.S. Supreme Court today announced that it would be hearing United States v. Texas, the case holding up President Obama’s 2014 executive actions on immigration.

Obama’s actions form the DACA and DAPA programs, which create “deferred action” for both those who entered the U.S. as children and undocumented parents of U.S. citizen children. Under the executive actions, both groups will not be deported, and will be allowed to apply for work permits. Though these actions were announced in 2014, they were immediately challenged in a Texas district court, a challenge supported in 2015 by a New Orleans appeal court.

The Obama administration argues that these actions can be upheld under prosecutorial discretion, which allows the courts to choose not to pursue deportation against undocumented immigrants.

SCOTUSblog, a popular legal analysis website, notes that the Supreme Court will adjudicate not only the constitutionality of the proposed program, but also the rights of states to rule on federal programs like this. “In addition to that issue, the case involves whether the states had a legal right to sue, or are barred from doing so under Article III; whether the policy is ‘arbitrary’ and beyond the president’s powers over immigration policy, and whether it is illegal because the government did not seek public reaction to it before adopting it as policy,” they write.

Given that neither DACA nor DAPA will apply to undocumented immigrants who arrived after 2014, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will continue its deportation priorities for those who entered without inspection since that time. Stays of removal that are currently in place for those who entered after this date are now being ignored, according to a supervisor in the Atlanta ICE Reporting Office.

The Court will hear oral argument in Texas in April, and is expected to rule on the case in June.