On Thursday, the plan by President Barack Obama to use executive action to prevent the deportation of millions of undocumented immigrants was blocked by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court was split 4-4 on the case, resulting in the executive action being blocked, much to the delight of political foes in the Republican Party who believe the President had overstepped his authority.
The decision comes just seven months before the end of Obama’s tenure in the White House, and seems to put an end to his hope to have enacted massive immigration reform in the United States by the close of his Presidency. The decision is likely to also further intensify the role played by immigration in the increasingly fierce US Presidential election, which will see voters go to the polls on November 8 in order to choose Obama’s successor.
Around four million undocumented immigrants who would have benefited from the President’s executive action being given by the go-ahead by the Supreme Court have also been left in legal limbo by the ruling. Obama unveiled the plan in November 2014 but 26 states led by Texas quickly launched a legal challenge on the grounds that it was unconstitutional, a stance agreed with by a lower court, whose ruling now remains in place after the Supreme Court deadlock.
Obama called the decision “heartbreaking” but presumptive Republican Party Presidential candidate nominee Donald Trump says the decision put a stop to “one of the most unconstitutional” Presidential actions ever attempted.