On Tuesday the Supreme Court was asked by the state of Texas not to review the decision made by a lower court to block the deferred action plan ordered by President Obama. Ken Paxton, the Texas attorney general, presented a 42-page brief outlining why Obama’s executive orders to protect millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation bypass established laws and represent an overreach of constitutional authority.
Texas leads a coalition of 26 states arguing that the Obama administration did not give adequate notice and the chance to comment on the plan, which should have been required prior to announcing such a massive shift in policy. The Deferred Action for Parents of Americans program, which was announced in November 2014, calls for the protection of up to five million undocumented immigrants and the issuing of work permits. The great majority of those affected are parents of lawful permanent residents and those with US citizenship.
In the brief the states argue that there are significant repercussions to the “lawful presence” the program grants to undocumented immigrants, including an increase in expenditure in areas such as healthcare, education and law enforcement. The millions of undocumented immigrants affected would suddenly be able to apply for Social Security, driver’s licenses, Medicare, unemployment insurance, earned income tax credit, and other forms of benefit.
“The president alone does not have the authority to grant millions of illegal immigrants a host of benefits – like Social Security and Medicare – which should be reserved for lawful citizens,” Paxton says.