President Obama’s immigration reform plan that would postpone the deportations of more than four million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. was declared unconstitutional by a federal court in Pennsylvania. According to Judge Arthur Schwab of the Western District of Pennsylvania, aspects of the President’s executive actions violate the U.S. Constitution. He is the first judge to rule on the legality of Obama’s immigration plan.
However, the ruling has not made any impact on the President’s immigration rule that will give a deportation reprieve to millions of undocumented adults and children who meet certain requirements. Schwab said that the President has violated the U.S. Constitution that says that the President needs to execute laws passed by the U.S. Congress. He said that Obama’s orders go beyond prosecutorial discretion and that his orders are unconstitutional. Schwab stated that the President’s actions do not stop with grating a reprieve from deportation but his actions also allow the beneficiaries to apply for work permits. However, the Justice Department stated that the court’s analysis is wrong.
Elionardo Juarez-Escobar, an undocumented immigrant who was deported from the U.S. in 2005 was again held by the U.S. authorities earlier this year. Schwab issued his opinion in response to his case. He had to determine whether Juarez-Escobar would be eligible for legal status under the President’s new rule. He said that, in order to determine whether he will qualify, he must first determine whether the new immigration rules are legal. The judge has now left open whether the new rule might apply to Juarez-Escobar and it is still unclear whether his past records will prevent him from applying for temporary legal status under the President’s rule.
This is not the only ruling that is challenging the President’s actions and 24 U.S. states have filed a lawsuit challenging the new immigration rule. Those states say that the President has acted illegally by using his authority to grant temporary legal status to those in the U.S. without proper immigration papers. Texas that leads the other states claims that the President has harmed the U.S. Constitution by taking executive actions. Apart from that, the House Republicans are also against Obama’s new immigration rule.