Senate candidates split on immigration policy

Next week the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the lawsuit that has challenged the immigration policy that President Barack Obama attempted to set with the use of executive action, an action that would give around four million undocumented immigrants without serious criminal records temporary protection from the threat of deportation.

The lawsuit last week resulted in a major difference being highlighted between Senate candidates Richard Burr, the Republican incumbent, and Deborah Ross, the Democratic challenger, after papers in support of the legal challenge were filed by a number of Senate Republicans.

Similar papers have also been filed by Republican leaders in the House of Representatives, with many in the party, including Burr, believing that the President has exceeded his authority by taking the executive action over the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents program, and is attempting to supplant the role of Congress when it comes to the establishment of immigration law. The legal filing by the Senators slammed the action as contravening federal law and as being a deliberate attempt to set policy without the use of the legislative process.

Although Senator Burr did not actually put his name to the amicus brief, aides say that was because he was out of the country at the time and he does in fact support its aims. Spokeswoman Becca Watkins says Burr considers the executive action to be a power grab on the part of the President. Ross, on the other hand, supports the DAPA program and has accused Burr and his colleagues of necessitating executive action by stalling on immigration reform.