President Obama will get one last chance to implement his plan to protect over four million undocumented immigrants from the threat of deportation in front of the Supreme Court. The justices agreed on Tuesday to hear the argument from the Obama administration that the president does not need to go through Congress to change immigration policies.
The debate over immigration has been one of the fundamental issues of the 2016 presidential campaign, with further fuel added to the fire by the decision of the Supreme Court to hear the appeal to the legal challenge against Obama’s November 2014 executive action by a coalition of states headed by Texas. The Supreme Court will hear the case in April, with a decision expected in June.
This means the decision will be handed down just one month before the Republican and Democratic Party political conventions. If the decision goes in the president’s favor, it would give the Department of Homeland Security over six months to start implementing the policy prior to Obama’s exit from the White House in January 2017. At that point, the policy could be extended or cancelled by the next president, depending on their political affiliation.
Immigration advocates claim to be optimistic that the program will be allowed by the Supreme Court; however, opponents say there is no legal maneuvering that will get past the fact that the immigration laws of the United States are the responsibility of Congress and not the president.