One year ago President Obama said he would offer up to four million undocumented immigrants protection from the prospect of being deported from the United States and enable them to work in the country legally; however, his executive orders were targeted by a conservative campaign and the delay could be enough to ruin the chances of these orders being heard by a high court before the president has to leave office, according to the New York Times.
The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit is set to hear a challenge to Obama’s executive actions. Even if the president prevails, it is likely that there will only be time for deportation deferrals to be granted to a couple of hundred undocumented immigrants.
The court is likely to rule in the next few weeks and the Republican states behind the challenge may win a significant victory by making sure that the challenge misses a crucial deadline for the case to be heard in the US Supreme Court. This would mean that a final decision about the executive actions on immigration reform could be left to the next president, who might turn out to be a Republican.
The prospect has resulted in immigration reform activists protesting the tactic, the New York Times reports. “We want to let the court know that we are watching,” says the Center for Community Change director of immigrant rights and racial justice, Kica Matos. “It is not acceptable to us that they are going to run out the clock to achieve political goals.”